Be inspired by this Cornish farmhouse refit

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  • This fabulous granite farmhouse was built in the 1860s and was bought by its current owners in 2003. A yearning for a different way of life and a new challenge led them to move from Northamptonshire to the far-away south-west tip of Cornwall.

    The moving day itself turned out to be rather stressful, especially when the removal van didn’t turn up. With their house let, the owner and her teenage daughter had to vacate the spot there and then. Luckily they found another company that was able to step in at the last minute and save the day.

    The property that they moved into was wonderfully attractive on the outside, but a little unappealing inside. ‘It had pub-style carpets everywhere,’ says the owner, ‘and was wallpapered in a mix of woodchip and stripes.’ Before making any decisions about refurbishing and redecorating, they decided to live in their new home for six months and get a true feel for it.

    ‘Because we were moving from a bigger house we had far too much stuff,’ says the owner. ‘It was like a warehouse.’ Their daughter had her 18th birthday party in the house – surrounded on all sides by boxes.

    The task of restoring the once-grand house was a big one – made harder by the fact that it had been divided into flats. ‘Where possible, we reconfigured the rooms and tried to get them back to how they originally were,’ says the owner.

    Other big changes, such as the travertine flooring throughout the ground floor, helped turn the house into the understated gem that it is today. But the transformation took over 10 years, despite the owner throwing her heart and soul into the project. ‘My family said I would never finish it, but I kept plodding on,’ she says.

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