You would never know that this house was originally part of a brewery. 'From the outside, it looks like a sweet, flat-fronted Georgian doll's house,' say the owners of their Winchester home.
The couple originally used the house as a pied-à-terre, but in 2015, they decided to sell their home in the country and move here. This soon revealed the building's shortcomings and, although the house was perfectly livable, it needed improving. It could be quite drafty and the sitting room, which faces north, was always particularly cold and unappealing. 'Although it has great bones, it is not a large house, just two rooms deep, and it felt quite poky,' say the couple.
The refurbishment began with a broken dishwasher. 'We knew we needed to fix it and while we were at it, we decided to change the kitchen a bit,' say the owners. 'The layout of the room was poor, which made it really difficult to cook - and we love to cook. We asked an interior designer to help and when we showed her round the house, she immediately had ideas that we liked so much, we ended up redoing everything, from top to bottom.'
The changes the interior designer suggested were intended to open up the entire layout of the house and make it feel bigger. The couple also gave her free reign with colour. 'Some of the shades our interior designer used in our house are quite dark, which we thought rather bold, but they create lovely, intimate spaces,' say the couple.
Sitting room arch
The arched area was originally a narrow corridor that led to the front door. Most of the wall was taken down to open up the sitting room and improve the flow of the space.
The previous, poorly laid-out scheme has been replaced with this well-considered arrangement of bespoke cabinets and central island unit. The decision to use a glamorous combination of pink, copper and gold warms and offsets the dark-grey stone worktops.
The south-facing kitchen-diner is one of the owners' favourite rooms. 'We are both poets and we like to sit at the table and write,' they say. 'It is particularly lovely in the summer, as the sun warms the room all day long.'
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'The blue-grey colour of our bedroom walls is beautiful,' say the couple. 'We set up a shared Pinterest board with our interior designer and kept pinning the same images - simultaneously in the case of the beautiful curtain fabric from Lewis & Wood.'
Elegant built-in cupboards have been made specifically to fit the space and provide neat, easy-to-access storage.
Victorian-style geometric floor tiles bring depth and interest to the scheme without compromising the modest space's restful atmosphere.
Main bathroom from other side
The bathroom enjoys a convenient position between the main bedroom and the dressing room.
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'Originally, we only had folding beds in the attic because we couldn't get proper beds up the narrow, winding staircase,' say the owners. 'The solution was to make the beds in parts then assemble them in the rooftop. Now the attic rooms feel like grown-up spaces.'
Attic bedroom window
Storage trunks offer an attractive way to keep belongings tidied away, but also easily to hand.
Basement shower room
This renovated basement space is a valuable addition to the house, especially when the couple's grown-up sons are staying. The brickwork, a legacy of the property's brewery history, has been cleaned and sealed.
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'Now that the house is finished, it's as comfortable as our old country house,' say the owners. 'It feels calm and luxurious, but also really joyful.'
This house originally appeared in Homes & Gardens, July 2017.
Image credits: Mel Yates
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