Take a look around this bright and modern four-bed farmhouse in Devon

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  • After lots of renovation work, the owners of this Victorian farmhouse put together a simple, modern look on a shoestring

    Having fallen for a quaint, red-brick Devon farmhouse, the owner had a battle 
on her hands to persuade her husband it would work for them. ‘His first impression was “No way!”’ she says. ‘He thought it was dark and cramped. Once we left, I started explaining how the ground floor could be opened up to bring in more light. By the time we got home, he was convinced. 
We’d seen nothing else with so much potential.’

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    The house had barely been touched for 20 years, 
and had tired decor and old-fashioned fixtures. Once the couple moved in, they stripped away 
the old carpets and wallpapers, and tackled the layers of old paint on the skirtings, dado and staircase. ‘We spent every day sanding and painting,’ says the owner. ‘Although it was summer, we didn’t relax in the sun even once. It was horrible, but we definitely learned a lot!’

    They knocked through the kitchen and dining room, central passageway and sitting room to boost light levels and to create one multifunctional living space. ‘The window frames needed replacing and we wanted minimal frames and maximum glass,’ says Emma. ‘UPVC would have jarred with the exterior, so we went for aluminium. We swapped the two back windows for much taller shapes, which make the interior brighter.’



    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The couple bought this beautiful four-bedroom Victorian farmhouse near 
Ottery St Mary, Devon. ‘We hadn’t been looking to take on 
a project this big, but it was a real opportunity to make a house 
our own,’ the owner says.

    Living room


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The owners laid grey floor tiles throughout the ground floor and painted the walls white. ‘White is flexible and inexpensive,’ says the owner. ‘We chose low-maintenance things in a mix of old and new. This is an easy home to live in.’

    Simple, square-lined corner sofas zone the seating area and are easy 
to push together or move apart 
when the couple want to rearrange the furniture. In off-white, they’ll 
go with any accent colour, too. Reclaimed wood and clusters 
of houseplants add natural 
texture, colour and character to 
the simple living room scheme.

    ‘If we can’t find exactly what we want, we’ll have 
a go at making it ourselves,’ says the owner. ‘My husband made this lovely corner bench in the living room. I wanted this 
to be an inviting little area.’

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    Dining room


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    With natural wood and painted metal as the linking features, the couple’s self-built kitchen table mixes effortlessly with seats, stools and a bench all sourced from the high-street.

    The owner’s husband spray-painted the circular mirror, which was originally dark grey, bringing an extra dash of fresh colour into the kitchen. The wooden shelf links neatly with the dining furniture.

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    Buy now: Skogsta bench, £40, Ikea
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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The couple couldn’t afford to replace the kitchen, so they upgraded the worksurfaces, bought a new cooker and tiled the splashback with leftover bathroom tiles. ‘The existing cabinets were made-to-measure and still solid, so I spent about £900 on 
a professional spray paint to extend their life until we’re ready for a redo,’ says the owner.

    Their budget-friendly kitchen makeover also included removing wall and base units to open up the space and make room for the fridge-freezer and a new, wood-topped breakfast bar. ‘We didn’t want to spend 
a fortune on 
the kitchen, as we might change the whole lot 
in time,’ the owner says.

    Main bedroom


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Limited wallspace meant fitting the bed and wardrobes into the main bedroom was a challenge.  Through trial and error, the found the bed worked best under the window, leaving a pretty period fireplace as a focal feature.

    Guest bedroom


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The guest room bed can be arranged either way around. With the higher rail at the foot, it doubles as a hanging rail. Lack of space for two bedside tables inspired the owner to 
make the hanging tray.

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    For more inspiration, check out our bathroom ideas

    The owner kept and repainted the tongue-and-groove wall panelling 
in the bathroom, but replaced everything else, choosing 
ultra-modern fittings that let 
the dark grey floor and rustic 
wood vanity unit stand out.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Brick Blanco tiles, £51.62sq m, Tileflair
    Buy now: Orchard Wharfe bath, £263.20, Victoria Plum
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Tate bath filler, £175.20, Victoria Plum

    Now, with the interior finished, the couple are looking to the future. ‘We’re expecting our first child soon,’ says the owner, ‘and the open-plan layout may 
not work so well as our family grows. With that in mind, we’re planning to divide the room with a glass partition and sliding glass door between the dining and seating zones. It will give us separate spaces when we need them, without losing light or the open feel.’

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