Step inside this beautiful Kent farmhouse

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  • The owner, a teacher, lives here with her husband, who is a furniture maker and has his own kitchen and interiors shop, and their three sons, plus a Wire-Fox-cross-Bedlington Terrier, three cats and various chickens. They bought the five bedroom 16th century farmhouse, which is Grade II listed, sixteen years ago.

    ‘We fell in love with it,’ says the owner. ‘The location was good and we liked the garden. We had a growing family and needed a bigger house. It was crying out to be rescued and we felt we could do it.’

    The house was actually falling down and had been condemned. ‘Birds and bees lived in it and it even had honey dripping through the dining room ceiling,’ says the owner. Added to that, it leaked and smelled of damp and rot.

    ‘We had buckets everywhere. Friends used to arrive and leave their coats on because of the leaks and the cold.’ The wallpaper seemed to hold the house together – the plaster beneath was crumbling and dust would gather at the bottom of the wallpaper every day.

    The family lived in the house for 10 years before renovations began and then they moved into a converted coach house behind the property while the work was carried out.

    One of the priorities was to sort out the facade of the house, which was in such a state it would rock backwards and forwards. It was taken down brick by brick, then rebuilt with traditional lime mortar.

    The house was taken back to its skeleton, rewired and replumbed, insulation added, air-source heating installed, along with retro school radiators, beams replaced and the house reroofed.

    Many of the floors in the house had to be taken up and changed, and reclamation yard finds proved a godsend.

    A new extension was added at the back of the house to create a larger open-plan kitchen with a living area, plus a main bedroom and family bathroom.

    When it came to the interior, the owner was keen to create a look that combined classic country with eclectic vintage style, and pops of colour for vibrant touches.

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