too cool for school – naomi jones

too cool for school

home tours

Liz and Corentin Lamour have diversified their farm in Brittany, northwest France, by transforming some of the cottages and barns on site into unique holiday accommodation for people who want to escape to the country for a while. Incredibly, the couple are their own architects and designers, as well as builders and decorators, and over the years I’ve had the pleasure of styling and writing about many of their projects for editorial features, one of which can be seen in the gorgeous bookazine, Modern Rustic, issue 09, out now. But this inspiring little cottage, la Maison de Jeanne, was the first that I worked on, with the help of the fantastic photographer Brent Darby

As Liz was previously a teacher before the third of their four children arrived, she decided to give this cottage some old school style with colours and decorative pieces inspired by and salvaged from old school rooms

Using a spiral staircase instead of a standard flight meant they had enough space in the original ground floor for the grey and white utilitarian shower room and a dormitory style twin bedroom so that the upstairs could be used purely as a master bedroom. The main living area, which would include an open plan kitchen/diner would exist in a new addition with a high vaulted ceiling.

‘The extension’s design is an amalgamation of both Corentin’s and my ideas,’ says Liz. ‘I wanted to create something that would remind me of my teaching days, while Corentin was imagining an old train station waiting room.’

Corentin built a wide door with extra windows to let more light in

Grey drapes tone perfectly with the woodwork (painted similar to Tempest by Fired Earth). They came from ‘an adorable brocante in Paimpol called L’emotion du Passe,’ says Liz. Try Ikea for similar. 

The vaulted ceiling lends the space more light and a feeling of openness in a room that has three functions. Corentin wood clad the ceiling, and used underfloor heating beneath wooden boards. ‘Wood insulates too well so the heating is not that necessary here,’ admits Liz

Blankets from Bronte brighten the dark grey sofa which came from Tamara at Reclectic is a good source of vintage posters

Over the main work area in the kitchen, Liz has hung twigs festooned with rusted decorations and tags with special words, such as ‘Affection’

The large chalkboard behind (from is just one reference to this old school theme, and is exceptionally useful in the kitchen

Liz busy with Molly in the kitchen chopping apples from the orchard, while Una and Roisin read at the dining table

The large clock hanging over the sink is the Bravur from Ikea. Try Urban Cottage Industries for similar lighting 

The bold splash of red in the dining area lifts the otherwise monochrome scheme

A formica topped table is a practical option for family living; try eBay for similar

The doorway marks the start of the original cottage, where Liz and Corentin managed to squeeze a twin room on the left beside the shower room.

The white stove is by Jotul. Track down vintage metal signs via Eras of Style

An old school chair found at a local car boot sale makes a sweet bedside table between the twin beds

The room hints at old boarding school lodgings with metal beds and stripy linen from Linum. Educational posters bedeck the walls and zinc numbers line the shelf (available at Etsy). Head to Reclectic for vintage posters

The bathroom is pure utilitarian, much like old school showers: bricks divide the shower from the basin; the flooring is concrete

Ikea has a good selection of basin units in grey

The master bedroom is an unexpected surprise in this small cottage, with its high exposed A-frame. A light feature has been created with leftover wood in the shape of a star draped with fairy lights

The wall behind the bed is painted a chalkboard grey; try Tempest by Fired Earth for a tone with a hint of blue. The Paris white metal bedstead from Bedroom World is similar to Liz’s

A nifty shelf/drawer unit provides hidden storage, display space, and does away with the need for a bedside table

The unit was from A simple inspection lamp hangs on a long wire from a wall hook; try Urban Cottage Industries

The wardrobe was made from old bits of wood found on the farm; it is painted to match the feature wall. White painted floorboards and a simple muslin drape keep the scheme light

Choose Tempest by Fired Earth for a tone with a hint of blue. Tamara at Reclectic often has a good selection of vintage books and suitcases

Fancy staying at la Maison de Jeanne? 

The cottage sleeps 2-4 people and costs from 100 euro per night, or from 545 euros per week; visit for more information. Travel from the UK via ferry ( to St Malo, then drive for around one hour to Plelo.

If you’d like to see your home in a magazine to help promote your small business, or for the sheer fun of it, please do get in touch:

naomi jones

Hi, I’m naomi jones, a freelance interiors writer and stylist, and mum to Lillie-Mae. For many years I was the features editor at Period Living, but after spending a year with my daughter after she was born in 2011, I figured a freelance life would allow me to be with her as much as possible while giving me the freedom to keep up with my passion for styling and writing about people’s homes.
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finding beauty everywhere

As an interiors writer and stylist specialising in real home features for interiors magazines, I get to travel all over Europe to style people's homes, so on this blog I'm going to be sharing some of the lovely homes I visit, as well as the locations that I end up in.

I'm also passionate about good food, nature, art, urban design and architecture so there'll be the odd smattering of posts that relate to what I get up to on my days off, whether on my own or with my family, Mr Jones and Lillie-Mae, and Daisy pup.

I hope you enjoy it,

naomi x

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