Soak up the country-classic vibe in this 400-year-old, converted grain mill in the Cotswolds

After working and raising a family overseas, these owners felt the call of their rural roots and found the perfect English family home in the Cotswolds

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

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.'


villa with trees

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

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.


kitchen with dining table

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Bar stools, £180 each, Cox & Cox 
Buy now: For a similar dining table, try the Chester Grey, £299, The Cotswold Company 
Buy now: The Tavern dining chairs, £99 for two, John Lewis 
& Partners are similar

Living room

living room with sofa and wooden table

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

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.'

Get the look
Buy now: Pavilion Chaise sofa, from £1,895, Loaf
Buy now: Guilloche cushions, £60 each, Oka
Buy now: For similar try the New Frontier coffee table, £499, Barker & Stonehouse


bedroom with bedside lamp

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Pops of soft blue and natural wood tones make for a restful scheme in the bedroom.

Get the look
Buy now: Darcy bed, £995, Loaf 
Buy now: Coastal Chambray bedspread, £120, John Lewis & Partners
Buy now: The Soft Geometric table lamp, £35, Cox & Cox, is similar


bathroom with bathtub

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: The Avebury stone resin bath, £1,599.20, Bathstore, is similar
Buy now: Weathered oak bar stool, 
£180, Cox & Cox

‘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.'