Design

My Grandmother’s Home in Cornwall

My Grandmother's Home in Cornwall

My grandmother Milly and aunt Lulu (of beauty uniform fame) live together in a fishing village in Cornwall, England. Lulu moved there a couple years ago to help take care of Milly. We got lots of sweet requests to show the house they live in, and we’re so happy to oblige. Here, Lulu gives us a peek inside…

OUTSIDE:

My Grandmother's Home in Cornwall

My Grandmother's Home in Cornwall

On hosting visitors: It’s a really good family house. You can have a lot of people staying and it absorbs all of us. Kids will sleep on the floor or we’ll do army cots. It functions really well as a big house with lots of people rattling around in it.

On a beloved hobby: Milly embroiders pillows all the time. All the pillows in the house were done by her. We call them ‘millows’ instead of pillows. She just made one in a week! I ordered four more! It’s a very expensive habit! She likes to give them to people she loves.

House tour in Cornwall, England

LIVING ROOM:

House tour in Cornwall, England

House tour in Cornwall, England

On family photos: We’ve got loads of pictures we haven’t framed but we still want to see, so we always put photos and cards on the mantle. It’s crammed with pictures and cards! They’re three or four deep.

On the memory of my grandfather: All through his life, my father was always making something — cooking big meals or sometimes we’d go into the kitchen and there’d be a dollhouse or wooden boat smack bang in the middle of the table. All his model planes and cars are still around the house.

KITCHEN:

House tour in Cornwall, England

House tour in Cornwall, England

House tour in Cornwall, England

On nightly meals: I always say, ‘Mummy, what would you like for dinner?’ And she’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m fine with just an egg on toast.’ But then I make her a big dinner and she scarfs the lot! Tonight we had baked chicken thighs, with all sorts of vegetables around it, like tomatoes and mushrooms and some lovely fresh beans. We sometimes have smoked mackerel and salad and cauliflower soup for lunch. Mummy always has ice cream, too.

House tour in Cornwall, England

On a measuring wall: We have a height wall that everyone measures themselves on. You see the kids shoot right up!

LULU’S BEDROOM:

House tour in Cornwall, England

House tour in Cornwall, England

On harbor views: I don’t draw the bedroom curtains at night (I hope no one has a telescope!). The town lights are all twinkly with beautiful reflections in the water; and I wake up in the morning to the harbor views.

On bedtime rituals: I watch Netflix until 10 p.m. The Crown is coming back any minute — and then I read. I have three books on the go, including the new Bill Bryson. And of course I watch Queer Eye! I looove that one.

House tour in Cornwall, England

On a family dollhouse: My father made the dollhouse. It’s all lit up with electricity and wallpaper and even loo paper! As a gift, you could always buy him something for his dollhouse, like a person or a broom, he loved anything. He made all the little paintings by clipping out pictures from magazines and putting them in tiny frames. Nowadays, when a child visits us, they just sort of disappear, and they’re up there playing with the dollhouse for an hour.

MILLY’S BEDROOM:

House tour in Cornwall, England

On a personal photo: I recently hung my father’s photo (which used to be downstairs) next to her bed, and she absolutely loves it up there. She says good night to him at night.

On dressing up: Milly wears the same clothes every day (trousers and a loose sweater), so her way of dressing up is to brush her hair and put on a necklace. The necklaces hang from her pictures. When we were younger, she would kiss us good night before going out and she’d be wearing Dioressence perfume. It was so glamorous. Now, at night, she puts her hair down — a lovely white curtain of hair.

GUEST BEDROOM:

House tour in Cornwall, England

House tour in Cornwall, England

House tour in Cornwall, England

On a love of marmalade: Under the table, we have jars of marmalade and chutney. We take a jar when we go to someone’s house for drinks. We made 80 jars of marmalade last January and they’re all gone except one! That shows how many drinks parties we go to! We also sold some at the church fête.

On grandfather clocks: We have an old grandfather clock, and at the moment it’s doing a very slow chime. It goes ‘dong…dong.’ But I love a clock, it feels like you have a heartbeat in the home.

House tour in Cornwall, England

On the family matriarch: Milly always says, ‘I’m so spoiled. I just love this house and love it here.’ I feel the same way.

Thank you, Milly and Lulu! We love you so much.

P.S. More home tours, and our England vacations, if you’d like to see more photos.

(Photos by the wonderful Belathée for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Sydni Jackson says...

    “When we were younger, she would kiss us good night before going out and she’d be wearing Dioressence perfume. It was so glamorous. Now, at night, she puts her hair down — a lovely white curtain of hair.”

    This is so beautiful.

  2. Erin says...

    Oh, this is lovely. I think we need a “millows” tutorial!

  3. Charlie says...

    A heartbeat in the home! Love that!

  4. I live quite close to Polruan and I always secretly hope I get to see your gran when I’m there :-) She seems so sweet.

  5. Margot says...

    THIS IS THE BEST. Such a sweet portrait. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Kate says...

    Why am I crying? OMG why am I crying?

    • Charlie says...

      Me too! And I don’t know why!

  7. Zulema says...

    What a magical place to live 😍 . I was taking a car ride with my kids this morning and I was looking at the houses downtown and wish one day I can live in a beautiful small town where there’s a sense of community. This place looks like that 💯

  8. sam says...

    millows! the sweetest thing ever <3

  9. Jessica Taylor says...

    This house exudes warmth and love to me. It is a clear example of the best designs come from layering what one loves over time. Please don’t let Marie Kondo near this place….it is perfection!

  10. Christi says...

    This is a beautiful look into aging with grace and dignity. As usual, props to Cup of Jo. Well done.

  11. Jenny says...

    What a beautiful family and home. Thank you for sharing. I would buy millows if she ever opens up an online shop!

  12. yvonne says...

    It’s the best!!! Love Millie and Lulu and their warm cozy home. My type of home. Your post felt like a big hug. It made my day!! Joanna, do you stay in that beautiful guest home when you visit? I will visit that post often… it brings me peace and joy!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, our family squeezes into the guest room with the boys on the floor. my favorite place on earth! :)

  13. LK says...

    Tell Lucy we’ve been thinking of Paul. I have a new neighbor and I suggested “When Breath Becomes Air” to him – he read it, and then had his mom read it. She texted him and said how lovely it was.

  14. Maddy says...

    I love this 100!! It just reminds me of my grandma and all the good times had at her place!

  15. Olga says...

    This is perfect. Thank you for sharing :)

  16. Julie says...

    So sweet!❤️ I have a home tour recommendation: Lori Roberts from Little Truths Studio! Her home always looks so cozy and peaceful on her instagram.

  17. Love this so much! Wish I had a grandma like her! (I’ve never known my grandparents)