Renovating a barn that was half rundown house and half milking stalls is not a challenge many would relish, but this couple did just that. The couple first spotted the property for sale 12 years ago. Located just across the valley from them, in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales, it was a must-see. ‘The barn was for sale in two lots,’ says the owner.
‘One part was a three-bedroom cottage, while the rest was milking stalls for sale with planning permission to convert into a four-bedroom house.
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‘We visited it on a sunny day and just fell in love with the views across the valley, as well as the fact it came with five acres of land,’ she continues. ‘We knew if we bought both lots we could create one house with plenty of room for our two girls, then aged seven and six, to run around in. We’d also have space to keep horses.’
The family lived in a rented house for a year while the cottage part of the property was done up. An architect was brought in to draw up plans for both phases of the work. ‘We knew we couldn’t do all the renovation at once – partly due to the cost and also because there was so much to do,’ says the owner.
The barn, originally built in 1842, now has four bedrooms.
Firstly a new roof was needed and larger hardwood windows were installed to bring in more light. Inside, the house was taken back to bare brick, with some internal walls removed. Damp-proofing was put in and underfloor heating laid and the house was rewired.
To improve the layout, the three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs were converted into two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downstairs, there were two kitchens and two living rooms, as the previous owners lived with a dependent relative. The couple decided to convert one of the kitchens into a utility room, while the second living room became a dining room.
The couple moved the front door to the other side of the house for easier access, and incorporated the original entrance hall into one of the kitchens to create a larger space.
The owner has injected shots of colour with blue-grey tiles and a painted island.
Get the look
Buy now: Stonelustre grey blue tiles, £299.71 per sq m, Fired Earth
Enquire online: Cabinets, Eastburn Country Furniture
Buy now: Island painted in De Nimes by Farrow & Ball, £46.50 for 2.5 litres, Homebase
The chimney between the kitchen and the dining room was opened up, which meant putting in RSJs to support the ceiling, then all the beams had to be sandblasted.
The fireplace now contrasts beautifully with the dark grey wall.
Get the look
Buy now: Wall painted in Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball, £26 for 0.75ltrs, B&Q
A striped rug livens up the wooden floor.
Get the look
Buy now: Stockholm rug, £299, Ikea
Buy now: Walls painted in Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball, £46.50 for 2.5ltrs, B&Q
Enquire online: Dresser, Eastburn Country Furniture
The family lived in the house for five years before starting the second phase – converting the milking stalls. ‘Our aim was to tie both houses together,’ says Tracy. The work differed from the first phase as the property consisted of just four external walls. ‘We knocked out the milking stalls first,’ she says. Internal walls were then built and a new staircase and first floor added.
‘We opened up the entrance area to the roof trusses to make a real statement as you enter the house,’ says Tracy. ‘We wanted to maintain the integrity of the barn and being able to see the exposed beams was key – it gives an idea of the space and scale here.’
It was important to the owner that the property retained its integrity and looked like an authentic barn conversion. She incorporated lots of natural materials, including slate and oak floors, while as much original stonework as possible was exposed, creating feature walls in the living room, cinema room and two of the bathrooms.
‘‘Less rooms, more space!,’ she quips. ‘Don’t be tempted to sacrifice the integrity of the barn by carving it up into too many rooms as the space needs to be seen to be appreciated.’
Tracy was also keen to create an eclectic decor throughout the house. ‘I don’t like things that match,’ she says. ‘I prefer furniture and accessories to have a history and I’ve incorporated pieces collected over the years.’ The paintwork is important, too, and the largely neutral backdrop is punctuated with deep-toned feature walls and occasional pops of colour.
A king-size bed is the focal point here.
Zingy rugs, floral bunting, patterned cushions and a cluster pendant light create an eclectic scheme in this girl’s bedroom.
‘The house has definitely justified all the hard work – it’s an amazing place to live,’ says Tracy. ‘We grow our own fruit and vegetables and we’ve been able to keep hens. Living here is the best of both worlds – it’s easy to get to Leeds and Manchester, yet we’re in the country with everything on our doorstep.’