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It was a case of going back to their roots when these owners bought this beautiful converted mill in the Cotswolds. Originally from Wiltshire, the couple lived in London and then overseas in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Chicago and Hong Kong, as they brought up their three children. But when one of the children was about to start his GCSEs, he decided he wanted to go to school in the UK. ‘It gave us the impetus finally to move back home to England,’ says the owner.
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She began looking for properties online and soon spotted an idyllic converted grain mill. ‘This house jumped out at me,’ she says. ‘I fell in love with it at first sight. Her husband came back to the UK with their son, and they took the opportunity to view the house. ‘They filmed it on their phones so I could see it,’ says the owner. ‘We took the plunge and put in an offer. Then I visited and, fortunately, it was just as gorgeous as I had thought.’
The 400-year-old house had been a grain mill until 1959, then stood empty for 10 years until it was bought by an architect and converted into a French country-style family home.‘It still had many of its original features,’ says the owner.
‘The previous owners had retained them when doing the conversion, so the bedroom had beams with pulleys. It had been restored with great attention to detail, which we loved.’ The family now had a base and over the next two years they renovated the house. ‘We were living in Hong Kong still,’ says the owner, ‘but we came back most holidays.’
This five-bedroom, 400-year-old, converted grain mill is a real Cotswold beauty. The owner loved the house as soon as she saw it online. ‘Added to that, my husband is a geographer at heart and we were looking for something with water – this was perfect as there’s a mill stream in the garden,’ she says.
The renovations included installing a new heating system, putting in three new bathrooms and building a conservatory at the back of the house. In addition, a barn and outbuildings were converted into guest accommodation.
‘The result is an upside-down guest house, with two bedrooms downstairs and an open-plan living room and kitchen upstairs that take in the view across the meadow. We wanted the barn conversion to feel like part of the main house and be in keeping with it,’ says the owner.
The existing units were painted in a soothing soft green, while a laundry maid adds period charm. A built-in bench is a great space-saving solution for an informal dining area.
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The family home was redecorated throughout. ‘I wanted to get as much light in as possible, and I kept the palette neutral to complement the Cotswold stone,’ says the owner.
‘I like to keep the look simple but add colour with abstract paintings. My mother-in-law is an artist and my friend is an interior designer, so they helped with the aesthetics.’
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Pops of soft blue and natural wood tones make for a restful scheme in the bedroom.
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The freestanding bath adds a contemporary touch to the characterful bathroom. Niche shelves, painted blue to tie in with the house’s colour scheme, are a great spot for toiletries.
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‘We brought up three children in southeast Asia, so our home is filled with things we’ve collected over the years that bring back memories of our travels,’ says the owner. ‘It’s been fantastic to create a family home in the UK after living abroad for so long. We’re country people at heart so it’s great to get back to our rural roots.’