A Romantic English Cottage

Creating a space for all your living requirements takes attention to detail, organization and patience. Sharon Van Horik’s romantic home is reminiscent of a quaint English cottage. White-washed furniture, crystal hardware, leaded glass doors and gold-trimmed teacups transport you to simpler times, when indulgence was allowed and celebrated in one’s surroundings.

“My style is not fancy but elegant and inviting, with an emphasis on texture, color and flow,” Sharon says.

Romantic English Cottage Bedroom


She favors quality over quantity, focusing her treasure hunting in the Southern California antiques-store destinations of Orange, Tustin and San Diego, while also incorporating her own heirloom pieces. Some of Sharon’s most prized possessions are two vintage photographs, given to her by her grandmother and now displayed in the bedrooms.

While paying meticulous attention to the details in her home is important to her, Sharon’s top priority is having livable spaces. She speaks of rotating between rooms according to mood.

“I love each room for its individual personality,” she says. Each room evokes different feelings—one may be great for a nap, another for a view through French doors. The guestroom pictured above, for instance, is a playful and cozy but tailored space, featuring a child’s iron bed dressed in Ralph Lauren bedding that looks quaint against soft powder blue walls.

To evoke these different moods, the colors of her home alternate between pastels and neutrals. Light pink adds brightness whereas light blue calms and soothes. When it comes to choosing colors for your home, Sharon suggests staying open to inspiration, no matter where it may come from. The pastel colors of rose candy in a vintage glass footed bowl inspired the soft inviting colors throughout the Van Horik house.

Romantic English Cottage Bathroom

In the bathroom, creating a calming environment is Sharon’s primary concern. By staying true to the traditional style of the home, Sharon placed great emphasis on statement pieces: the bathtub and cabinetry. Special touches also add to the room’s overall charm.

“Give character to your bathroom by adding details such as bead board, raised sinks, granite, molding, wainscoting and creative lighting,” Sharon says. “For us, it was important to keep the master bath open and airy.” For this reason they installed leaded glass doors to invite light into the shaded room and placed an overhead window above the bathtub to connect the indoors with the outdoors.

Far from untouchable, her beautifully dressed beds beckon for a respite, as does her classic hand-painted porcelain bathtub. These simple luxuries create a comfortable home that is steeped in sentimental value to both Sharon and her husband, Dennis.

By Joanna Clay
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki

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