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The owner works for a cleaning company, while her husband is a skilled carpenter and joiner. They bought the barn, which was built in 1700, in 2005 with a view to the husband renovating it. They had done up their previous cottage themselves and the husband was itching for a more ambitious challenge. They fell in love with the derelict barn because it had views across fields and was the epitome of the rural idyll. However, it was virtually a shell, with a tree growing through the middle!
The husband juggled working part-time with renovating the barn. An architect was enlisted to help with the design and layout. The owners had been granted planning permission for four bedrooms, but instead they chose to have two en-suite bedrooms. Downstairs, they opted for an open-plan layout to emphasise the vaulted ceiling by creating a dramatic dining and living space.
They decorated with a neutral backdrop, which flows throughout the house and keeps the look light and airy. The owner chose to use earthy colours that work particularly well with the period features such as the mellow wooden beams and exposed stonework. 'I was keen to use earthy tones as they make for easy co-ordination,' says the ower. She added accessories in bold shades to provide punches of vibrant colour and inject interest.
A pretty bench with white wicker baskets provides handy storage for accessories. The owners have enhanced the rustic theme and made it a comfy spot to perch with a pretty striped seat cushion and chicken-motif cushions. Attractive coat hooks decorate the walls and are ideal for hanging coats and hats, while a grey-washed willow basket makes easy rustic storage for wellies. A ceiling airer, meanwhile, is the perfect place to dry off outdoor clothes.
The barn had large front and back openings where the cattle once walked through, and the owners decided to enlarge the entrance at the back to accommodate a glazed floor-to-ceiling doorway that floods the house with light and allows them to enjoy the rural views. The neutral backdrop allows colour to sing out and the owners chose an all-year-round summery feel with a colour combination of pastel shades and jewel brights. Floral fabrics emphasise the rustic surroundings.
The owners wanted to create a dramatic open-plan space with the wow factor. Walls soar up to a stunning vaulted ceiling, so the owner built an exposed stone fireplace to create a cosy focal point. A feature wall painted in a deep neutral shade provides extra definition and is decorated with a pretty dried flower wreath. The owners paid great attention to detail so a cottage-style cupboard door gives a nod to the barn's age with its cast-iron hinges and latch.
Creating a kitchen with personality was the owners' main aim, and they were keen to incorporate all their favourite elements in a homely, rustic scheme. Off-white units with pretty detailing were made by the owner, and feminine flair was introduced with pale pink units and an eyecatching island in distressed purple, crowned by a practical wooden ceiling rack. As the space is the heart of the home, a battered leather sofa provides informal seating for guests.
The owners realised that the light-filled space beside the floor-to-ceiling window at the front of the barn was the perfect space for a dining area, and decided to create a grown-up scheme with a country edge for formal entertaining. Texture plays an integral role in the owner's decor so she chose to combine exposed stone, leather and wood for a rustic twist. A sleek wooden table with trestle legs is at the heart of the scheme and is teamed with elegant chairs in dark brown leather for drama.
The space under a vaulted ceiling at the top of the barn proved the perfect place to create a dramatic retreat. To accentuate the characterful setting, the owners decided on a soft and soothing backdrop that complements the ancient beams beautifully and chose a painted French-style bed as an elegant centrepiece. Damask bedlinen adds a classic touch, while a flourish of bright pink accessories and fabrics introduce lively accent colours that really bring the scheme to life.
The owners wanted to create a statement feature wall in the main bedroom and opted for a large-scale wallpaper featuring oversized blooms to help make the airy and open space feel more intimate. For a splash of colour, they introduced a treasured find from a junk shop - a bold blue trunk with a hint of shabby chic - to inject a vintage edge and to provide the perfect place for storing bedlinen.
The light and bright guest bedroom overlooks the garden so, as a way of bringing the outdoors in, the owners chose a floral button-back chair, with a crocheted throw emphasising the touch of granny chic. To keep the look calm, they chose to dress the bed in soothing duck egg shades, mixing subtle stripes with polkadots and teaming with a bold turquoise throw. A discreet ledge below the beam offers useful display space.
Sticking with earthy shades and natural textures to ensure a restful scheme, the owners chose travertine floor and wall tiles for a wet room feel and added soft green walls to warm up the look. A roll top slipper bath is ideal for compact spaces and injects classic elegance - the owners chose a dark brown design for extra impact.