The owners, now both retired, bought this 200-year-old former rectory with three bedrooms in 2014. They wanted to downsize from their family home because their children had flown the nest, but they were keen to stay in the same village.
Fortunately, a former rectory on the high street came up for sale – they were so keen they were the first people to view it. ‘It’s such a pretty little place from the outside,’ says the owner. ‘We loved its exterior. The estate agent didn’t even have to put the key in the door – we knew we wanted it.’
The house was in need of a complete renovation and the owners spent three months transforming it. ‘The house was gutted. We changed everything,’ says the owner. As well as being re-roofed, the house was rewired, new heating installed and fireplaces were opened up in the study and living room.
The most ambitious project involved a reconfiguration of the downstairs space, including the galley kitchen, utility, dining room and sun room – all of which were very small. ‘I wanted to knock it all out and create one large open-plan kitchen with a dining and sitting area. I knew it would be lovely and light with a triple aspect.’
The light-filled theme is continued through the rest of the house, with an airy interior that exudes classic elegance.
A palette of warm whites creates a light and bright entrance hall with a welcoming feel. The owners have tucked a compact vintage church pew neatly into the area beneath the stairs, providing a handy space to pull on boots, while a classic country-style coat hook positioned on the wall above allows for hanging coats and hats out of the way. Easy-to-clean tiles make a practical flooring solution.
Bronte by Moon
The owners have created a timeless scheme in the living room that combines old and new beautifully. 'I chose fairly classic schemes as I like a chic look. I love a mix of old and modern as I think it works so well,' says the owner. 'We have many old pieces such as portraits of my husband's family.' In addition to the comfy sofa, a window seat has been created that's ideal for reading in the sun.
'I love light and space and wanted to bring as much light as possible into the rooms with mirrors and lighting,' says the owner. She has also incorporated hero pieces into the living room that add personality. 'We have a drum that was my father-in-law's regimental drum from the Gordon Highlanders, which we use as an occasional table. It's important to include familiar pieces as that's what makes it a home.'
Alexander & Pearl
The kitchen is truly the heart of the home in this all-encompassing space that epitomises modern country living. 'I wanted to create one large open-plan kitchen with a dining and sitting area,' says the owner. 'I knew it would be lovely and light with a triple aspect. I had a vision of a large space with a beautiful log fire in the middle.' Extra definition is given to the off-white kitchen cabinets and island with contrasting granite worksurfaces.
Kitchen cabinets, island and bar stools
The cosy fire can be appreciated by people perched at the kitchen island, as well as by those seated in the dining area on the other side. A large table provides plenty of room for entertaining, while heirloom chairs have been given a new lease of life with a lick of paint and re-upholstered seats. Floor-length curtains in zingy spring shades inject a burst of colour.
On the upstairs landing, the owner has used elegant, flowing curtains decorated with a classic motif to create a focal point and frame a beautiful arched window with pops of warm colour. A petite console table introduces a touch of French chic and provides somewhere to display pretty china, while a candle sconce on the wall adds extra glamour.
The colour palette in the main bedroom is key to creating a soothing and calming scheme that's perfect for a good night's sleep. A canopy above the bed and a boxed window pelmet with flowing curtains help create a romantic feel, while fresh white fabrics with subtle grey Indienne motifs and a rattan tray table give a nod to colonial chic.
The Holding Company
A pure white scheme in the bathroom is punctuated by fresh blue and yellow accessories. The owner has incorporated tongue and groove on the bath panel and shelf unit to create a classic country cottage feel. The white palette keeps the look harmonious, while using the same tiles on the splashback and floor enhances the unified feel. A large mirror reflects light back into the room, demonstrating the owner's love of light.
The White Company