Step inside this Grade II-listed converted watermill

When the owners of this country home started renovating their kitchen, disaster struck. Every cloud has a silver lining though,
as it opened up the opportunity to carry out work that they'd always wanted to do.

It was a case of going back to their roots when the owners decided to up sticks from London and move to the countryside. They were both from Yorkshire originally and, having just had a baby, they were keen to return to the area to raise their family. ‘We love old houses and the sight of this converted watermill from the road sold it to us.,’ says the owner. ‘As we approached, we had to cross a stream with a little bridge to get to the property – we were blown away.’

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

The six-bedroom property was originally a working mill with an attached house, and the water wheel still remains at the centre of the property. ‘I love that it has evolved over the centuries – it’s come a long way from a working watermill to a family home.’

The family moved in and work was gradually undertaken, starting with the bathroom and kitchen.

Kitchen

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

Unhappy with the small kitchen, the owners decided to relocate it to where the dining room was. Once the kitchen was completed, the owners planned to take a break from any further renovations for a while but then – in 2012 – disaster struck when the house was flooded. ‘The weather was so bad that the bridge was washed away and the garden destroyed. The water came into the ground floor and ruined everything.’

The Chalon cabinets survived the floods, although the wooden flooring was damaged.

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Chalon kitchen cabinets, island and bar stool, POA, Chalon

Orangery

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

The family had to move out to a rented house while repairs were made and flood defences put in to ensure they weren’t flooded again. The couple then decided they may as well do the other jobs they’d always wanted to, at the same time as repairing the flood damage.

Top of their wish list was adding an orangery on the back of the house. ‘‘We wanted to create a social space – an open-plan kitchen diner with a seating area where we could entertain.’

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

Blue introduces a punch of colour to the neutral scheme, while pattern has been used to great effect.

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Similar sofa, £1550, Laura Ashley
Buy now: Little Greene Inox No 224 Absolute matt emulsion, £42 for 2.5ltr, John Lewis

Boot room

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

In keeping with the countryside setting, the owners went for traditional country decor. The boot room is a prime example of this, with classic country tongue-and-groove panelling and an antique settle.

Main bedroom

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

In the main bedroom, an adjoining dressing room was knocked through to create a bigger space and the floor taken out and lowered to provide more headroom. The wooden beams were whitewashed to create a softer feel, and a patterned wallpaper is a fun touch.

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Similar mirror, £345, Oka
Buy now: Wallpaper, £61 per roll, Wallpaper Direct

Guest bedroom

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

A floral wallpaper makes a pretty backdrop in the guest bedroom.The combination of soft textures and fabrics would make a visitor feel welcome.

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Wallpaper, £40 per roll, Laura Ashley

Bathroom

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

Exposed wooden beams, a freestanding bath and ornate gold mirrors work harmoniously to create a luxurious country bathroom.

Living room

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

Plaid fabrics and a leather ottoman create a country house feel, while the plump cushions, pretty flowers and personal photographs keep the living room feeling cosy.

Country Home and Interiors Sept 2017 Howat & Hutchinson

‘We love the tranquillity of being beside the stream and just outside a village – although we’re not too far from civilisation either. It’s truly a wonderful place for the children to grow up in.’

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