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Upon seeing the details for this 17th-century Herefordshire farmhouse, the owners knew it was a three-storey pile of potential – in the perfect location.
But even with all those plus factors, the rundown renovation project was too big a challenge for the couple to take on at the time. Fast forward 12 years to now, happily ensconced in the beautifully restored property. They’ve even added a stunning oak-framed extension to create a family space for them and their three daughters.
‘It first came on the market when we were trying to sell the barn conversion we lived in at the time. But we didn’t even view it as we knew it needed a lot of work,’ explains the owner.
‘We moved into a rented place after our sale went through and continued looking for a family home, then the farmhouse came back on to the market. It had been bought and renovated in the meantime, but the new owners’ circumstances had changed, so it became available at just the right time for us.’
The idyllic location, surrounded by rolling hills in the West Marches, was perfect for the couple when they moved here from London and the Northwest respectively, after getting married in 2005.
‘I was brought up in a town, so the view here never bores me,’ says the owner. The house is also close to a market town, which is important for her as her husband is away a lot with work. ‘I wanted to have neighbours nearby so I didn’t feel isolated,’ she says.
‘I loved the history and character of the farmhouse. It looked like a doll’s house with the door in the middle at the front, plus all the rooms were a good size. It also had a lovely new kitchen. It was a bit of a stretch for us but we’re so glad we took the risk.’
As a lot of work had already been done to the house during the previous sale. The couple went in with a relatively light touch. ‘We repointed the front, installed a bathroom on the top floor and added a woodburner to the dining room,’ says the owner. ‘We then redecorated throughout to freshen up the rooms but didn’t change the colour scheme at all as it was exactly how I would have done it.’
The owner has added interest to the neutral palette with subtly patterned cushions and a statement rug in the characterful living room.
As time went on, the couple began to feel one thing was missing – a family space that would truly bring the house to life.
‘I loved the idea of an open-plan kitchen/entertaining space overlooking the garden,’ says the owner. ‘We thought it would finish off the house.’ So the decision was made to add an extension.
‘We thought an oak-framed extension would look really lovely with the stone,’ explains the owner.
The extension has made a huge difference to family life. ‘We love that it has such large windows so it’s really light. It’s great all year round, but especially fabulous in the summertime when we can keep the doors open on to the garden,’ says the owner. ‘We love having friends over, too – it’s a great entertaining space.’
The owner wanted the family room to have a fresh and simple interior. Finished in her favourite palette of pinks and greys, along with some subtle patterns and prints, to create an eclectic feel. ‘I like to mix traditional with modern and love a mix of old and new,’ she says.
Mismatched florals evoke an eclectic, vintage feel in one of the house’s six bedrooms.
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The blue tongue-and-groove creates a cosy feel in the country-style bathroom. Rather than a regular towel rail, the owner chose to keep it rustic with a ladder.
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‘The house works well for us,’ says the owner. As well as the extra room the extension has brought, there’s space on the top floor for friends and family to stay.’
‘We think this is our forever home. It sounds corny, but the lady we bought from said she could see our daughters getting married here one day. She may well be right!’