Rosie, aka Rosie & the Farm, is an Interior Textile Designer and heritage renovation enthusiast documenting the journey of renovating and restoring her multigenerational home in rural North Yorkshire. Her social media accounts include plenty of DIY, a menagerie of animals and feathered friends, and a few mishaps and adventures along the way! We are delighted that she has chosen Alternative to be part of her renovating story and proud to join the craftspeople and in-depth design conversations.
We chatted to Rosie about her flooring choices, interior inspiration, renovation challenges, and the decoration of her farmhouse.
Describe your farmhouse and who do you share it with.
We live on a beautiful Farm in rural North Yorkshire, where we are embracing and exploring traditional multigenerational living, with 3 generations calling this home. There are 3 houses on the Farm. The Farmhouse is home to my parents and grandmother, the Mistal is home to myself and my husband Will, and the Cottage will be a holiday let once renovated. We also have 4 acres of land, including a few paddocks, a woodland, and a couple of outbuildings. We keep ducks and chickens, with plans to introduce some more livestock in the next year, and we mustn’t forget our Border Collie, Tip!
When did you move in and how long will the renovation take?
We moved in April 2021, after over a year of searching for the perfect project, and viewing over 40 properties. The Farm was in quite a state of disrepair when we bought it, and we have been gradually working to restore it to its former glory. I think the question of how long the renovation will take is a little like asking how long is a piece of string! Period homes have a habit of tossing up surprises just when you think you’re almost finished, so I think it’s safe to assume that the Farm will keep us busy for a few years to come.
Biggest challenge so far and lessons learnt
Without a doubt, our biggest challenge so far has been learning to plaster. Starting work on the Farm at the tail end of the pandemic meant that the availability of tradespeople was limited. With such a big project on our hands we couldn’t afford to lose months waiting for a plasterer to become available. So instead, we took the bold (and slightly bonkers) approach of teaching ourselves to plaster from YouTube. A little over a year later, we had finished plastering the full Cottage, which included a significant amount of traditional lime plastering. It was no mean feat but I’m so glad we did it, and we learnt so so much!
What’s the most popular blog you’ve done?
Anything about materials. I think the most read post on my blog is one on Lime Pointing – it’s a complicated topic with limited information available that’s easily accessible for non-trades. I try to cover technical topics in an ‘easy to understand’ way on my blog – though it definitely goes a little more in-depth than I can fit in a caption on Instagram!
How did you find Alternative Flooring?
I first came across Alternative Flooring a few years ago, when I worked in a Woollen Mill as a Textile Designer. I was doing some research into UK textile manufacturers, and Alternative Flooring were one of the companies I came across, and have been on my radar ever since. Fast forward to our work on the Farm, and I’ve really enjoyed following along on the Alternative social media accounts, the posts are always packed with great information and inspiration.
Are Alternative eco-credentials important to you?
I first came across Alternative a few years ago, when I worked in a Woollen Mill as a Textile Designer. I was doing some research into UK textile manufacturers, and Alternative were one of the companies I came across, and have been on my radar ever since. Fast forward to our work on the Farm – I’ve really enjoyed following along on the Alternative social media accounts, the posts are always packed with great information and inspiration.
Tell us about the flooring choices in your home and why wool.
Whilst the downstairs flooring in our Cottage is solid floors, we wanted to infuse some softness into the upstairs. We chose two different designs from Alternative’s ‘Essential Wool’ collection, using Wool Herringbone ZigZag in Button on the staircase and landing, and Wool Berber in Buru for the bedrooms. I wanted carpets that felt warm, inviting, and cosy, but would also hold up to busy rural life.
In terms of ‘why wool’… Wool is my absolute favourite fibre! It is sustainable, renewable, super hardwearing, easy to clean and naturally stain resistant – what’s not to love?! I chose a stunning red striped border for the Wool Herringbone runner. It adds real drama to the otherwise neutral staircase, and injects warmth into the double height space.
How do you put decorating schemes together?
My approach definitely varies from room to room, but I usually begin with a colour or fabric. I love to combine texture and pattern with natural materials, like wood, linen, and wool. Colour is really important in my schemes, and I usually work from a palette of gentle neutrals with a few pops of colour that allow a space to really sing. I work hard to incorporate repurposed and antique pieces, sourcing unique items that give a room a sense on individuality. Although I can visualise a space very easily, often my biggest challenge is explaining what’s in my brain to other people. I tend to produce physical mood boards to help with this, which allows me to show how materials, colours, and surfaces work together. Overall, I think I aim to create spaces that feel special and are exciting, but that are also calming and easy to live in.
Did you use Alternative’s Show Me My Room online too
Yes! The Show Me My Room tool was really helpful in choosing our carpets. Being able to visualise the space ahead of making any firm decisions was great, and helped to narrow my selection before ordering samples.
What your home means to you?
Ah, it’s a special place! It’s where we live, work, and, quite literally, build our lives.
Favourite room and why?
It has to be the staircase for me. Although I think that’s a bit of a misnomer for what the staircase actually entails, really, it’s three rooms in one. A double height entrance hall with huge barn window, a staircase, and a mezzanine balcony that leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. The why is simply because of the work we have put in to transforming this space. Will and I spent many hours balanced on a plank of wood, carefully repointing and replastering the stone wall 4.5 meters off the ground. But it was all worth it to sit at the huge window, taking in the view across the Farm whilst drinking a morning coffee.
Describe your style in three words…
Tactile, engaging, considered.