This Interior Designer’s Quaint Cottage is Clutter-Free and Packed with Charm

neautral cottage living room with wooden beam ceiling
Photography by John O’Hagan

Text by Faith Morgan

Artist and interior decorator Pandy Agnew’s 1,100-square-foot cottage has helped teach her the importance of streamlining. “Editing out the clutter keeps me breathing,” she says. “I have come to that place in my life where good health and happiness are my priorities. All of the lovely ‘things’ in my home are just that.”

Originally built in the 1800s, the cottage’s existing floor plan needed a few modifications (like the addition of closets). But regardless of her home’s small stature, Pandy insists that it’s the perfect size for herself and her two grandsons who visit often, as well as the casual get-togethers she regularly hosts.

Brown cottage, green front door, and white picket fence.
Photography by John O’Hagan

Pandy’s move toward simplification influenced her choice of furnishings and décor. “What speaks to me in furniture and accessories is true comfort and classic style,” she explains. “I love using neutrals for large pieces and introducing bold accents with unexpected art, color in changeable pillows, a great antique, or a unique piece of furniture.” Classic lines and simple forms, she notes, don’t go out of style.

cottage dining room with teal beaded chandelier
Photography by John O’Hagan

Pandy appreciates a home full of comfortable furniture with great style and a look of being ‘collected’ rather than staged. “My home is tiny compared to most,” she says, “but for me it is perfect. It has no garage, no usable attic, no basement; there’s no place for anything I don’t really need. It takes away a lot of stress.”

Cottage kitchen
Photography by John O’Hagan

Soft neutrals accented with small doses of color typify Pandy’s home. The limited color palette gives the small house an open, airy feeling, whereas too many bright colors and loud patterns might overwhelm the space. Lighting also plays an important part in her décor. “Lighting changes everything; it sets the mood,” she says. “I love great lighting; from crystal and beads to upside-down baskets, it really defines the space and gives the wow factor.”

boys room with vaulted window seat
Photography by John O’Hagan

Stripes, navy blues, and rope accents lend an understated nautical feel to Pandy’s little-boy-friendly guest room. A storage-filled window seat is the ideal spot to read a book from the adjacent built-in shelves or simply look out over the lush garden. “Windows with views make a perfect room,” Pandy says.

Shop our latest issues for more inspiration!