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The owners, who run a distribution company, bought this idyllic new-build with a green-oak extension and five bedrooms in Kent eight years ago and renovated it to suit themselves and their grown-up family.
Originally they intended to buy an old barn and didn’t want a new-build. ‘However, trying to find a property with views and open space was hard,’ says the owner. ‘We saw lots of barns, but they were hemmed in by buildings and open space was key for us.’
When they viewed this property, they knew immediately it was the one for them. ‘We walked in and it instantly felt comfortable. We liked the size of the rooms and the fact that it had vaulted ceilings. Although it was a new-build, it had a lofty barn feel and we loved it. The clincher was when we opened the doors at the back and stepped outside – there was openness and stunning views.’
The house also appealed because, as it was brand new, the owners didn’t have to do much renovation work. ‘We both have busy jobs and although we wanted to put our stamp on it, we didn’t want to take on a major project.’
They updated the bathrooms and added a balcony and French doors in the main bedroom to make the most of the views. They then built a green oak conservatory to give them a light and airy open-plan living and dining space.
The interior has been decorated throughout with a muted backdrop of soothing tones, while accent shades have been used to introduce pops of colour, especially upstairs. The use of sumptuous fabrics and furnishings, as well as elegant antiques, has resulted in an opulent, luxe feel.
In the kitchen, the owners opted for classic handmade country units, painted an off white, with wooden work surfaces and a butler sink. A stainless-steel range cooker adds a contemporary touch, while a trio of industrial lights and modern stools at the breakfast bar - the perfect venue for an informal eating area - inject a modern edge.
The owners built a green oak conservatory with fabulous views to house a dining and seating area. Smart button-back chairs surround a trestle table that is large enough for entertaining guests. 'My style is modern country with a twist,' says the owner. 'I like my schemes to have character. I love the rustic look and enjoy blending old and new together. I adore an eclectic element.'
The indoor seating area has an L-shaped sofa that is mirrored by an alfresco one, with both designed to make the most of the amazing views. 'It's all about the views and the openness,' says the owner. She opted for a relaxed linen sofa and layered it with striped cushions and throws to add interest. At the side of the house, a courtyard garden was created and a wooden building added that incorporates a bar and hot tub.
In the living room, a period-style fireplace with exposed brickwork and a low, heavily beamed ceiling add traditional charm to the new-build. The cottage feel lends itself to a classic decor so the owner chose an ornate scheme with opulent sofas and luxurious curtains, with glass coffee tables introducing a 21st century touch.
The wow factor was added to the main bedroom with the installation of a balcony. 'We live in a conservation area so we couldnt put lots of windows in, but we installed French doors with large oak framed windows on either side. To keep the look light and bright, an off-white palette was introduced and elegance injected with French-style furniture and a huge chandelier that enhances the vaulted ceiling. 'I love neutral palettes and antiques but the house only lends itself to a small amount of antiques, says the owner.
The owners added character into the bathroom with natural materials and gave it a modern edge with rustic touches. 'We wanted to make it more contemporary,' says the owner. A large oval bath made from composite stone makes an eyecatching focal point and creates a spa feel, while wooden shutters add texture and link to the cottage-style door.
Skimming Stone wall paint
Farrow & Ball
A toile feature wall makes a classic and elegant backdrop in the guest bedroom and the owner has drawn out the colour with bold pink accessories to inject a modern country feel. 'I wanted to introduce a little colour or it can look samey,' she says. A raised seating area has been created in the window alcove, where the French influence is continued with a Louis chair.
In the guest bedroom, the owner has evoked a hotel luxe feel by using an opulent wallpaper to create a glamorous feature wall. A sophisticated palette of turquoises and duck egg blues ensure blue is the order of the day, while a pretty bed with more than a hint of French style introduces an elegant touch.
An alcove in the guest bedroom provides a handy space for a custom-made window seat with stunning views. A Roman blind and toning scatter and seat cushions set the scene while cupboards beneath ensure there is plenty of storage for bedlinen.
Blind and cushion fabric
Clarke & Clarke