Inspiration: Olde Bell Inn


I checked out the Olde Bell Inn months ago for inspiration but I thought it was just too bland. One my readers left me a comment suggesting I take another look. The simple color palette, natural textiles, and uncluttered accessories fits the historic space and allows the rooms some air. My house has really small rooms and poor natural lighting. I appreciate the tight color palette in the inn allowing a great flow from room to room.

The Olde Bell Inn was recently renovated by designer Ilse Crawford. I love all of her work. My biggest decorating struggle is designing for the real bones of the house rather then my fantasy —a center hall colonial with tall ceilings and lots of light. I need to remind myself simple can be cost effective (perfect for my tight budget) and beautiful.




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  1. Wow! Just stumbled across this item when looking for ideas for our new home. We live really near the Olde Bell (in fact we got married a few yards away from it) and can testify to its beauty! It’s actually much warmer and cosier in the flesh too.


  2. Katy! I have a post on this (plus one other) hotel all set to go for tomorrow! That was after I scrapped another post idea because I saw it on another blog. Oh, well, it can’t be helped, I guess. I’m actually really into its simple decor right now. But I’m sure I’ll be into something entirely different by next week. :)


  3. Thank you, Katy! That was a big help. I was getting stuck and it’s just getting colder around here!


  4. Hey Katy! I really like your blog. So many neat finds and such a cool balance of design, practical tips, recipes… just love!
    So, my husband and I recently bought a small colonial in New Jersey. We’re also fixing and decorating on a TIGHT budget. I’m looking for rugs for our long living room (I was thinking maybe two to divide the space into two seating areas?) and quickly (to cozy up the place for winter) but cheaply and also not too generic or hideous. Yeah, now that I write it all out I see that I want it all. Geez, I sound rug spoiled, don’t I? Um, anyway, do you have any suggestions? I like the ones in the pics from this Inn. I’m thinking in the cement/slate palette to go with dark wood trim we have everywhere and to maintain some design flexibility for when we have some more time and money to figure out the walls. Oh, also, thank you for turning me on to Farrow and Ball wallpaper. Love! and saving up:)


  5. This is beautiful design work, very fitting for the house, as you said. With small spaces, there does need to be a considerable amount of open space so that the rooms can breather. The color palette also needs to compliment this. And, as you said, it’s much kinder on the wallet!