This impressive country house in Somerset is nestled in 67 acres of land near Exmoor. It had been untouched for 45 years until the new owners extensively renovated it with a team of builders over a period of two years. Careful planning went into the project to ensure the house was brought into the 21st century whilst remained true to its history. Building works included diverting underground streams and enlarging every window. The seating area in the entrance hall, lifted with jewel toned accents against dramatic deep-blue panelling, flows into the kitchen beyond via a set of double French doors.
Four rooms were knocked together to make one enormous kitchen, which includes units, an expansive island, a dining table and seating area. It is where the family spends the majority of its time. Large marble slabs were craned into the house to create the worktop on the immense kitchen island with integrated butler sink. Opulent and oversized accessories enhance the stately feel.
With plenty of space to play with, the owners chose to furnish the kitchen with a mix of fitted cupboards and antique pieces that create distinct areas for food preparation, eating and relaxing. The huge Aga warms the large room and is given a contemporary edge with the addition of a striking slate splashback. Spots of hot pink are added here and there to brighten up the look.
As the kitchen is large enough to include a table large enough for family meals, the main dining room is put to frequent use for entertaining and for special occasions. A mixture of furniture styles gives the recently renovated room a patina of age and prevents it from looking too pristine. The cool blue palette is comfortable and inviting.
The style of the property strongly dictated how the interior should look. One hundred years ago, woodwork was brought into the house from a local church, but the owners felt it was a little dark and oppressive. "We thought long and hard about painting it. Several people were horrified that we even considered it, but the dark atmosphere was too oppressive." The owners' first instinct was to paint some of the panelling in a pale colour, but a test patch of off-white did not look right. Farrow & Ball's paint colours fitted the authenticity perfectly, but the final colour choice was far from conventional. A dark blue was chosen, which softens the look while keeping its dark tones. "The area is more inviting now," say the owners.
Enlarging all the original windows has had a dramatic effect on light levels inside the house. This bedroom is now a bright space that is further enhanced by a pale colour palette. An oversized, upholstered headboard introduces a block of pattern.
With 10 bedrooms, guests are welcomed frequently to the house. The owners wanted to create a comfortable, country atmosphere for visitors so the rooms are filled with a variety of painted furniture, chintzy fabrics and cosy quilts. The ornate mirror in this room adds an opulent touch to the space.
Luxury was the priority in this - and all - the bathrooms. Here, the owners decided to create a room with sleek designer style and stone tiles. A freestanding bath and wall-mounted fittings maintain the room's clean lines and keep the floor space clear of clutter. Deep-toned, floor-to-ceiling tiles add to the dramatic atmosphere.