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April 18, 2024
Interior Design

This 200 12 months outdated barn within the English countryside has a contemporary farmhouse inside with baggage of character

This 200 year old barn in the English countryside has a modern farmhouse interior with bags of character

The proprietor of this Devon nation barn places her appreciation of well-loved gadgets and instinctive homemaking expertise right down to each her grandmothers.

‘My English granny’s residence was a riot of coloration, stuffed with handmade gadgets akin to rag rugs and patterned cushions. Then my Belgian grandmother had a house that centered on the kitchen, and all the time felt so heat and welcoming,’ she remembers.

Each strands have woven by means of each property she and her household have lived in through the years. ‘For me, these are the issues that all the time make a house,’

Such influences have been central to the transformation of the transformed Dorset barn the proprietor and her husband purchased 4 years in the past.

‘Though we’d lived in outdated properties earlier than, our final residence was a sensible Eighties home, which suited us on the time. However we hankered to reside in an outdated property once more, and as soon as my husband retired and our boys had flown the nest, we determined it was the best time,’ she says.

It took a very long time to seek out something that ticked all their bins, nevertheless, and the couple initially considered this transformed barn on the outskirts of Sherborne solely out of curiosity. 

‘Nonetheless, the minute we drove down the lane lined with its fairly thatched cottages, I knew this was the place we must be,’ says the proprietor.

‘When the barn was a part of a working farm, the cows would come alongside from the valley and into the farmyard, which is now our courtyard. We liked the sense of historical past,’ she explains.

See: World’s greatest properties – tour the globe’s most lovely homes 

It did take some imaginative and prescient to see how the lengthy, low barn might look, nevertheless. The Nineteen Nineties conversion had stripped the 200-year-old constructing of its character.

’It was similar to a nondescript bungalow inside, and really gloomy with dark-framed home windows, bland decor, and an odd stippled-glass panel dividing the kitchen from the remainder of the dwelling area,’ says the proprietor.

The couple felt that the principle dwelling space must be one open area to make sure the inside was as brilliant and ethereal as potential, with the bedrooms and loos main straight off it. Fortunately, the earlier house owners had already obtained planning permission for giant skylight home windows to be put in, which was start line.

The second the couple moved in, the renovation started. The work took round 18 months altogether and the couple lived on web site all through. ‘It was difficult at instances,’ the proprietor admits. 

‘I’d had main wrist surgical procedure when work began, and there was no operating water for 3 days. That was once I did marvel a bit what we’d achieved!’ 

Steadily, the newly-configured inside started to emerge. 

As soon as the important repairs had been made, and the fundamentals together with plumbing and wiring had been up to date, a fire was put in in the lounge space to provide it a focus.


Initially, there was no hearth within the Nineteen Nineties barn conversion, so the couple created this one specifically for the cosy woodburner. The placing mustard painted bureau, from an antiques store, now homes the tv.

The sofas are organized to create one other zone within the open area. The proprietor’s  love of sample and coloration is clear within the vary of various textiles that each one sit comfortably collectively.

See: Lounge concepts – intelligent methods to embellish dwelling areas


New oak flooring have been laid all through to offer a way of circulate with the kitchen central to the general scheme.

‘I really like cooking and wished this a part of the home to really feel like an actual hub,’ the proprietor says.

To make extra space, they sacrificed the present utility room subsequent to the unique kitchen (there’s now a discreet laundry cabinet at one finish of the kitchen), which additionally meant there was room for the big island the couple wished.

The far finish of the large island is about again to make sure there’s sufficient room to entry the utility cabinet that faces it.

‘I didn’t need the items to really feel too fitted or excellent; I’ve by no means been a lot of 1 for symmetry!’ says the proprietor. 

‘We discovered an organization that specialises in handmade freestanding furnishings that may butt collectively, which we thought was an important strategy – neat, sensible and classy, however not too uniform.’

The Shaker-style items are pared again in order to not detract from the ornamental touches the proprietor likes to include.

See: Kitchen concepts – decor and adorning concepts for all kitchens 

Eating space

An eclectic mixture of furnishings outline the eating space.


This area results in the bedrooms and loos, whereas a vintage-style mirror, outdated books, and collectibles add character.

See: Lavatory concepts – fashionable decor concepts for all loos


This charming area has a refined seafaring theme, because of the classic crusing image and blue and white scheme.

The quiet scheme in right here is enlivened by the placing quilt.

The beautiful vintage washstand makes a beneficiant bedside desk. The cushion is created from a treasured piece of chintz that the proprietor’s English grandmother as soon as had as a pillowcase.

See: Bed room concepts – designs and inspiration for lovely bedrooms

Bathe room

The monochrome area is given an sudden elevate with this brilliant yellow faculty chair. 

The palette all through the barn employs mushy, impartial tones because the proprietor wished the numerous heirlooms, classic treasures and paintings collected or inherited through the years to be totally appreciated. 

Quirky ephemera – clackety typewriters, chunky binoculars, boxy cameras and charming collectibles – sit alongside colourful outdated books, timeworn linens and rustic ceramics to create casual little shows. 

Alongside, a mixture of vintage, up to date and industrial furnishings helps to create an atmosphere that’s relaxed, snug and really welcoming. 

‘Ultimately, the barn has the character we felt it deserved,’ says the proprietor. ‘It actually does really feel like a house now. I feel each my grandmothers would approve.’

Images Richard Gadsby

Textual content Sharon Parsons

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