Inside Sienna Miller's charming English country cottage

Inside Sienna Miller’s charming English country cottage

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

British actor Sienna Miller is no newcomer to the countryside. In fact, she bought her idyllic rural bolthole over a decade ago. The purchase came after Miller’s big industry breaks “Alfie” (2004) and “Layer Cake” (2004); a brief but highly publicized relationship with co-star Jude Law and her subsequent anointment as one of the “It Girl”s of noughties London. “It was a time when there was a lot of press attention on me, and I wanted somewhere to escape,” explained Miller, in an exclusive interview with Architectural Digest for its annual September Style issue. “I bought the house on a whim — it offers a sanctuary. I also wanted somewhere where family and friends could gather. It has a nurturing feeling; it is a home with a heart,” said the cover star.

“When I heard that Sienna Miller had recently restored and decorated her 16th-century English country home, after leaving it untouched for nearly a decade, I was thrilled to feature it on our cover,” Architectural Digest’s global editorial director, Amy Astley, told CNN over email. “Sienna has a very natural, personal sense of style, and her charming aesthetic completely transformed the cottage into a warm, cozy, romantic getaway.”

Miller says her country escape “has a nurturing feeling; it is a home with a heart.” Credit: Simon Upton

During lockdown, the thatched-roof cottage was given a new lease of life by old friend and Miller’s first acting employer, Gaby Dellal: a film and theater director with a knack for sourcing one-of-a-kind pieces from reclamation yards and salvaged goods dealers. Though not a professional interior designer, Dellal’s own artfully furnished homes in London and Cornwall were enough to convince Miller. “I wanted a Gaby house!” she said.

Artful color clashes and a penchant for vintage furnishings make the space appear stylish yet effortless.

Artful color clashes and a penchant for vintage furnishings make the space appear stylish yet effortless. Credit: Simon Upton

Much like the actor’s renowned sense of fashion, Miller’s bucolic retreat is effortlessly chic — an appearance we now know requires a lot of work. The decor — an eclectic color clash here (see above: her pink and green kitchen), an antique sink fixture there — seems like a happy accident but it actually took Dellal a painstaking amount of time. From firing the building’s structural beams in order to get the shade of wood just right (“All the beams were black, which I can’t bear. So we burnt the black off—it’s so much softer,” said Dellal) to insisting each vintage kilim carpet be dyed with all-natural vegetable coloring, Miller’s home is masterclass in perfectly imperfect curation.

Sienna Miller is the coverstar for Architectural Digest's September Style issue this year.

Sienna Miller is the coverstar for Architectural Digest’s September Style issue this year. Credit: Simon Upton

The rooms are a treasure trove of vintage finds, too, from the twenty steel-framed Crittal windows Dellal found on eBay and the Victorian room divider covered in green and purple chintz, to the blue-and-white ceramic inspired wallpaper dating back to the 1950s. Miller, who was living in New York during lockdown, wasn’t able to visit the site for 6 months during reconstruction. “I could not believe the transformation—I knew it had massive potential, but arriving to see this meadow in front of the house planted with wildflowers, I started to cry,” she said. “And it was all achieved in such a short space of time. Gaby is a true artist. Everything has a story, like the kitchen cabinets that were made from old school desks, and there is a real sense of place—it is an artistic retreat but not in any sense precious. Every time I stay here, I discover new aspects.”

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