The interior of this country house is as beautiful as its stunning surroundings

A sympathetic makeover has created this perfect country retreat, surrounded by farmland and fells

country house exterior in winter
(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

Brownber House was built in the 1860s for the farm manager of the Brownber Estate in the Westmorland Dales, straddling the border between Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.

Enjoying views out across the beautiful valley to Green Bell and the Howgill Fells, it is an ideal home filled with biophilic design ideas for an idyllic escape, worlds away from the hustle and bustle of life and where you can stop, breathe, and enjoy the beauty both indoors and outside.   

The owners have sensitively updated the once-tired property, and now manage it as a luxury holiday let. ‘But if we ever stop doing rentals, this is the property we would like to live in,’ they say. ‘It’s so beautiful and well-proportioned and it feels like one of the family now.’

Interior facelift

living room with log burner in a country house

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

Structurally, everything was in good order when they took on the property and the period details had been well maintained. ‘For us, it was more a question of cosmetic improvements to make it much more to our style.'

The pair enlisted the help of interior architect Georgina Rose to find the right paint colours and furnishings to achieve the look they wanted. ‘Even though everything was perfectly workable, we wanted a more harmonious look throughout the house.’ 

Although they envisaged a luxurious look, they didn’t want it to feel intimidatingly smart or precious. They have tried to create a sense of balance by also offering a warm welcome and somewhere to relax. ‘It is as though you’ve come to your friends’ house in the country. You can leave your muddy boots in the hall and put your feet up and enjoy yourself here.'

In the country living room, the couple added the Ecosy wood-burner for extra warmth. Vintage armchairs, reupholstered in William Morris’s Marigold linen, flank either side of the fireplace and an ottoman doubles up as a coffee table.  

Kitchen refit

green country kitchen with island with wooden top

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

A new green kitchen was fitted,  its spring green paintwork bringing life to the downstairs rooms. To further enhance the sense of space in the kitchen, they decided against fitting wall cabinets. The open display shelf is a more decorative option as a kitchen storage idea, while a wood-topped kitchen island provides extra storage capacity and a generous preparation area. 

Green kitchen with wooden topped island and window seats

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

As kitchen island seating, some industrial-look bar stools offer a place to perch, while inviting window seats have been added to the two kitchen windows, and in other rooms around the house, providing good viewpoints of the fells and farmland.

Open-plan kitchen diner

view from dining room of a country house into green kitchen

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

Originally there would have been double doors dividing the kitchen and rustic dining room, but the open-plan look makes better use of the space. The table, an Ebay find, is paired with chairs that once belonged to the owner's grandmother, and glass pendant lights from Garden Trading.

country dining room wuth antique wooden table and chairs, log burner and window seats to country views

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

With windows on two sides, the dining room is a lovely bright space. They added a log burner, and new curtains in a Vanessa Arbuthnott fabric. As a neutral dining room idea, a rug softens the wooden flooring.

Luxury bathroom

bathroom in a country house with freestanding tub and neutral decor

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

'You want people who come to stay here and feel it is something different and luxurious,’  say the owners. With this in mind,  they turned the fifth bedroom into a luxurious bathroom with a freestanding tub. 

In this neutral bathroom, white metro wall tiles are a subtle backdrop for a patterned Roman blind and a Hexagon mosaic marble floor from Mandarin Stone.

bathroom shower tap mixer over a bath with country view through window

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

'We designed it with Georgina so that it would feel like a real treat. You walk upstairs and it’s a wow moment, looking out over the fields from the bathroom window.’

Bedroom makeover

country bedroom with striped cover, window seat and neutral scheme

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

Bold stripes and leaf-prints add a sense of fun in this bedroom. The bed from Original Bed Company is flanked by table lamps that were secondhand finds. The overall feel of is a restful bedroom.

original fireplace in a bedroom with decorative tiles and wooden mantel

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

The owners were delighted that the pretty bedroom fireplace and original tiled surround had been left intact, creating a lovely feature in the room.

Relaxing retreat

view out from the hallway of a country home to countryside

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

In spring, the hills are dotted with new lambs, and as summer arrives, the fields are full of wild flowers and the scents of freshly mown hay, before autumn days colour the tree-lined approach to the house with splashes of mellow reds and oranges. 

Snow, rain or shine, there is plenty to refresh the soul in the landscape outside and still more delights await visitors inside the house. It is truly the perfect country retreat.  

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