Sometimes if you can’t find the absolutely ideal country house, you just have to build one yourself. This property just wasn’t big enough for the family buying it so they had it redesigned – which involved knocking down a good bit of the original structure.
It was such a dramatic change that the side of the bungalow became the front, and a huge new double-story extension was added on.
To go with the new lightness and sense of space, the interior took on a very Swedish feel. White and neutral is the classic theme, with solid, well-made furniture, soft furnishings in natural linen and lots of earthy tones.
1/11 mortgages in later life
2/11 Dining room
Use a neutral background to make design features, like this dining room fire place, stand out. Here the soft grey panelling anchors the Nordic scheme and the dark, bare wood floor adds a touch of Scandi simplicity.
Make your kitchen a calm, modern space for cooking and entertaining (as well as just hanging out), with a variety of muted tones, neutral accents and stripped back furniture. These shaker cabinets are painted in soothing neutrals and topped with classic materials - granite and wood.
Keep up your theme throughout the house by making the most of your hallways and connecting areas. Here the space feels huge and uplifting thanks to the light colours and uncluttered design.
5/11 Living room
Mix up your neutral shades to create depth and texture in your rooms. This living room has an unusual white woodburning stove as its focal point, and to offset this, the grey feature wall is a perfect darker foil. When it comes to furniture, modern pieces marry well with antiques in this cosy space.
6/11 Living room
Don't be afraid to mix and match your furniture. Here, signature Swedish pieces blend with the rustic look. Add neutral soft furnishings to soften tiled floors, and layer up the tones to add depth to the room.
Get the look
Buy now Large Compass Skeleton Clock, £155, Graham & Green (opens in new tab)
7/11 Living room
Not everything has to be perfect, or match perfectly. An unusual item in the living room can make for a striking contrast - as with this vintage bureau.
Get the look
Buy now Quill Bureau in Vintage White, £775, Loaf (opens in new tab)
If you're lucky enough to have a window, you can make your bathroom feel like a lovely cocoon of peace and serenity. Keep the colours light and neutral and accessories to a minimum. The simple towel ladder here is a window frame rescued from a barn in Sweden.
Vintage and reclaimed furniture can add a touch of history and depth to your bedroom. Add a quirky bit of personality with a vintage basket full of odds and ends, and pretty-up the whole look with dried flowers.
Add some cosiness and interest to a neutral bedroom with a colourful rug, and matching accessories like wall hangings and cushions. A tall chest of draws is useful, not just for storage, but also as a decorative feature and space for plants and other favourite items.
In keeping with the distressed paint snapshots around the house, the furniture in the bedroom is a mix of shabby chic and luxe. A handmade wreath hangs from a frame similar to the towel ladder in the bathroom
This house originally appeared in Country Homes & Interiors, November 2016
Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and also edits its sister title Style At Home. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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