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Inspired by our Book of the Month The House of Second Chances by Esther Campion, the Books With Heart team decided to put on their designer hats, hit Pinterest and renovate their own cottage. Each team member got a special part of the house and safe to say, they all want to live there after seeing the result!

There’s nothing like an enormous knitted blanket and faux-fur bedroom mat on a fluffy bedspread to get my comfort heart-a-pumping! Give my white walls, a white duvet cover and some light-coloured wood flooring and I’m set for life.
– Alana, Publicist

If I was able to redecorate a stone cottage I’d try to make it is minimalist and modern as possible (I love the ultra-modern look and can’t resist the combination). I’d want to have an exposed stone feature wall, with the rest of the walls white, with dark grey cabinetry and steel faucets. Everything else, toilet, sink, bath, shower tiles, I’d want to be white. I’d have wooden floors stained the same grey as the cabinets. As a final touch (or lack of touch) I’d want no nick-knacks, no plants, no extra bowls or soap dishes. Simple, clean and stunning!

– Antolin, Publicity Assistant

Living Room
There is no combination better than exposed wood with soft greys and whites. Keep it minimalistic with an amazing coffee table as the calling center piece followed by a couch that screams comfort. Leave the original bones of the house to work their magic by sticking to simple ornaments.

–  Jemma, Publicist
Living Room

Though it’s a tad overgrown I already quite like this garden, but there’s got to be a sunshade over the bench! What a gorgeous little spot to spend your afternoons reading with a cuppa, or doing some arty crafty things, don’t you think? I’d pop a small table under the window, too. There’s also a lack of colour in this garden so where I’d trim some of the overgrowth away, I’d be planting some gorgeous, bright flowers – probably hyacinths and petunias because they’re lovely and don’t require a lot of care (sadly I’m an accidental plant-killer).

– Stacey, Australian Publishing Assistant

Obviously, our dream cottage MUST have a library! In that dream library there will be tall inbuilt timber shelves surrounding a stone fireplace with cushy reading chairs in front of it. These armchairs will be so soft and big you can easily take comfortable mid-read naps. The bookshelves are perfectly organized and stacked so high that each shelf needs a ladder to get to the top. It will back up onto the garden where we’ll have big glass doors so that the beauty of the garden will be a part of our reading space and all the perfect-for-reading natural light will stream in. The timber, the stone, the books, bright daylight and garden views will mean our library will be the perfect combination of rustic, natural and cosy, cosy, cosy!

– Louise, Campaign Manager

Bench space, bench space, and more bench space! The kitchen is the heart of a home, and there is nothing like sharing a meal with loved ones. Having a nice open kitchen with lots of room to move about and plenty of storage would be ideal. Keeping the colour palette to a neutral tone makes everything look more spacious and cleaner, as well as more inviting and cosy. I can already hear the long conversations I’d have with family or friends while leaning over a bowl of pasta and perching on a bar stool. 
KitchenAn organised pantry is one of the most visually satisfying rooms one could possibly have. As well as being peaceful to look at, it is an incredibly practical way of organising your groceries. The pantry is also a great place for cookbooks and family recipes to live

– Victoria, Product Executive


  • The House of Second Chances - Esther Campion

    Their grandmother's stone cottage was always a welcome retreat in the childhood summers of Ellen and Aidan O'Shea. After a trip home from Australia, Ellen is keen to bring the neglected property back to its former glory and enlists the help of her dear friend and one of Ireland's top interior designers, Colette Barry. Aidan is already begrudging the work on the house he has avoided for nearly twenty years. The last thing the builder needs is an interior designer who seems to do nothing but complicate his life. With their own personal heartaches to overcome, will Aidan and Colette find the courage to give the house and themselves a second chance?

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