House Tour: Emma’s Upcycled Cottage

a house tour of this fantastic renovated cottage using retro, upcycled and vintage pieces - pretty kitchen setting with retro pieces

Upcycled chairs with re-furbished 50s kitchen cabinet found in the coal shed!

Retro teapot caddy crochet - part of this beautiful tour of a renovated vintage cottage on the Isle of Skye

A real retro treasure

retro tins in the kitchen, one of which hides the less than pretty cooker switch

retro tins in the kitchen, one of which hides the less than pretty cooker switch

Number One Carbost, retro retreat by the shore of Loch Harport on the awesome Isle of Skye.Peeking into people’s homes is something many of you share a love of! It is such fun to get ideas and admire what other people are doing – even if it is not totally your style. The thing is we all have our own personal style, and in particular when you use unique items. Emma’s house is one of our most popular house tours, and you will see why when you look through the entire tour. We all love to seek inspiration from each other in our lives and this upcycled home is an amazingly pretty cottage which has been renovated using mostly upcycled pieces and techniques from Emma Whyte, who lives on the Isle of Skye. Even better, Emma now offers interior styling and stays at her cottage! Her services include interior design and fill project management. Find all the details here . This is some serious gorgeousness and one clever lady. The fact that she is miles across the sea from me and the power of the Internet brought us together in mutual upcycling loveliness, is even better!

Here is what she wrote to me ” Hi I thought I’d send some photo’s of our little cottage on the Isle of Skye (a few miles away from you..!). The old oil fired boiler broke down last year which inspired us to replace it with a woodburner which heats the hot water and the radiators and to re-vamp the whole place, re-using and recycling as much as we could.”

I clicked the link….and this is when I realised this was a whole blog post, a real look inside homes and architecture at someone who has created a gorgeous home with principles of reuse and upcycling.

Here is Emma’s story ( all pictures are supplied by Emma).A house tour of a UK cottage which has been renovated with principles of upcycling and reusing vintage pieces like this retro kitchenKitchen before 1

Kitchen before 2

Kitchen before

Kitchen Design

Emma says the kitchen was in dire need of a makeover; the units were old and battered, the walls were stained and the grey concrete floor was cold and cheerless. The final straw was the death of the oil fired boiler and the resulting layer of black soot….. everywhere! “We wanted to re-use whatever we could. The cooker, fridge and washing machine were still in working order and we found the 1950’s wall cupboard in the coal shed, so I re-designed the kitchen around these. The full height cupboard which had housed the boiler was now a useful space, so I designed a storage area for our collection of vintage crockery” explains Emma.

Butler sink

Butler sink and pretty vintage barkcloth fabric give that country feel

A joiner installed the wooden worktop and butler’s sink and Emma altered the vintage barkcloth curtains to hang below the worktop. She painted the rescued kitchen cabinet and added a row of cup hooks. The cooker was then flanked by two wooden butcher’s trolleys and a white splashback, which she tiled herself. In a stroke of genius, she cut the back off a vintage cake tin and used it to cover the unsightly cooker switch, and then hung the rest of her tin collection alongside.

Pretty revamped cupboard with cuphooks and vintage touches

Pretty revamped cupboard with cuphooks and vintage touches

There was now space for a small table and chairs Emma found at a boot sale. “I cleaned them with homemade wood reviver (equal measures of methylated spirit, white spirit and linseed oil, it works a treat), recovered the seats with oilcloth and applied wallpaper and varnish to the backrests” Emma saysBeautiful kitchen renovation using vintage and recycled items such as the tins, cooker and side tables

The total cost including the new kitchen units and labour was £1350.

Kitchen table and chairs - upcycled for a vintage kitchen makeover

Kitchen table and chairs

Lounge/Diner Design

Lounge seating area before

Lounge seating area before

Before the renovation the wooden floor was bright blue which presented a challenge. “I wanted to go white but didn’t want to use environmentally nasty solvent based paint. I researched and found a brilliant, water based floor paint which works like magic” says Emma. This was Remmers 2 part floor paint, which comes in any RAL colour, amazing coverage and dries in a jiffy (an English brand). If you are in Australia, we recently painted our floors using Berger Jetdry Aquatread, which is brilliant.

Emma says she was ruthless with the existing furniture. “If we didn’t love it, it was out; we sold some on the local ‘Skye, swap, buy, sell’ facebook group and donated the rest to the local housing charity – Am Fasgadh. This left us with nothing but the dining table which I covered with pages from vintage books, varnished (and varnished and varnished!) and painted the legs chrome yellow”. The dining chairs came from a local house clearance and Emma recovered them with a bright yellow vintage barkcloth fabric.

Lovely old leather chair found at a car boot in Emma's vintage house makeover

Lovely old leather chair found at a car boot.

Farmhouse table upcycled with ladybird books and chrome yellow paint.

Farmhouse table upcycled with ladybird books and chrome yellow paint.

More handmade wallpaper and an upcycled standard lamp in this renovated cottage tour

More handmade wallpaper and an upcycled standard lamp

Emma papered one of the walls with a lovely old ‘Readers Digest’ bird book and smartened up the chest of drawers with Orla Kiely’s Rhododendon wallpaper. “I gave the standard lamp a new lease of life with Orla Kiely wrapping paper and a lampshade made from one of her pillowcases which I bought on ebay. The curtains, rug, coffee table and leather armchair were all car boot sale finds (the armchair cost a princely £10!) and I made the cushions from tea towels and a duvet cover” says Emma. The total cost of the furnishings (excluding the sofa which came from Ikea) was under £150.

Barkcloth curtains and retro standard lamp re-made with wrapping paper and a duvet cover

Barkcloth curtains and retro standard lamp re-made with wrapping paper and a duvet cover

Cute chest of drawers re-invented with a 60's style print.

Cute chest of drawers re-invented with a 60’s style print.

Finally, Emma used wallpaper as a stair runner on both sets of stairs. She finished it with 5 layers of satin finish floor varnish and says it still looks as good as the day she did it.

Emma used wallpaper as a stair runner on both sets of stairs. She finished it with 5 layers of satin finish floor varnish and says it still looks as good as the day she did it.

Wallpapered stairs

 

Emma used wallpaper as a stair runner on both sets of stairs. She finished it with 5 layers of satin finish floor varnish and says it still looks as good as the day she did it.

wallpapered stairs 2 with lashings of varnish!

1950's coffee table re-made with knitting patterns.

1950’s coffee table re-made with knitting patterns.

Clever new woodburner provides carbon neutral central heating and hot water... curl up with a good book

Clever new woodburner provides carbon neutral central heating and hot water… curl up with a good book

Ercol coffe table and a collection of mountain landscapes

Ercol coffe table and a collection of mountain landscapes

Papered and varnished stairs, handmade wallpaper and chair recovered with Ronnie Corbett's cutain

Papered and varnished stairs, handmade wallpaper and chair recovered with Ronnie Corbett’s curtain! I LOVE the South Aussie Tea Towel!!

Wallpaper, handmade from an encylopedia of trees.

Wallpaper, handmade from an encylopedia of trees.

Bright hallway papered with vintage comics.

Bright hallway papered with vintage comics.

Carbost from the jetty

Carbost from the jetty

This is such a gorgeous home – you can see more of Emma’s work and find out how to stay in this cottage on her website http://emmawhyte.co.uk/

**this is an update of a post originally shared in 2015

31 Comments

  1. Emma Taunt on July 3, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Sasha Roos nice with a dash of clinical 🙂

  2. Sasha Roos on July 3, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I thought this was actually your digs for a minute…wrong Emma U0001f61d Well, will see your new place soon enough- yay!! x

  3. Diana Maselli on July 3, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Love

  4. Melanie Taylor on July 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    very inspiring, loved the South Aussie cushion, a lovely surprise

  5. Recycled Interiors on July 4, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I know! Melanie Taylor isn’t that cool!

  6. Recycled Interiors on July 4, 2015 at 8:03 am

    me too Diana Maselli

  7. Helene Wild on November 18, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Ooooh fabulous work U0001f31f

  8. Brianna Salzke on November 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Jo Davey you might like some of this decorating X.

  9. Recycled Interiors on November 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    isn’t it wonderful!

  10. Erin McKinnis on November 20, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Love the tins on the wall – very clever!!!

  11. Recycled Interiors on November 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful

  12. Dani Rose Albert on November 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Love the biscuit tins on the wall 🙂

  13. Recycled_Interiors on November 24, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    aren’t they lovely!

  14. Kaye Woods on November 25, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I love this- never get tired of looking at it, so unique and done with obvious pride and love.

  15. Kendra Yo on December 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    It really is. I am very basic and last year had a similar kitchen, basic. The tins would have been helpful.

  16. Michelle Poulton on December 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    What a great idea

  17. Brenda Hill on January 18, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Not my style, but what an amazing makeover!

  18. Ronhhda Potter on January 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Denise Russell you must have a look at this! So many lovely ideas, love the coffee table

  19. Recycled Interiors on January 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    fair enough 🙂 so nice to see what she has done1

  20. Jennifer Chinweze on January 18, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I have the same radio in red U0001f44dU0001f3fb love the bread bin

  21. Recycled Interiors on January 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Jennifer Chinweze oh fabulous!

  22. Nicole Asencio on March 10, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Very creative, love the 50’s theme

  23. Recycled Interiors on March 10, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful

  24. Meg Chetter on March 28, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    so cute…i wish i was not so intent on “rescuing” everything, so i could have a pretty home :/

  25. Glenda Humes on May 20, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    So much happy color!

  26. Glamour Coastal Living on May 20, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I love a good house tour – off to take a peek now 🙂

  27. glamourcoastalliving on May 20, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Oh my gosh so much retro and fun! Love the pops of colour and prints. What a true upcycled beauty 🙂

  28. Recycled Interiors on May 21, 2016 at 7:16 am

    it’s a wonderful home

  29. Recycled Interiors on May 21, 2016 at 7:16 am

    it’s a wonderful home!

  30. Recycled_Interiors on May 25, 2016 at 7:59 am

    glamourcoastalliving isn’t it a cracker!

  31. I Love My Home on September 22, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    It looks so comfy. Really love it..

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