When living in London with two young children started to feel claustrophobic, the owners decided to up sticks and move to Kent for a more rural lifestyle. They found this detached four-bedroom property, however the only thing they liked about it was the location. Although in good structural order, the interior was dated, with avocado bathrooms and swirly patterned carpets. But the couple went ahead with the purchase.
'The fact that it still had original features, including untouched fireplaces, was a positive for us,' says the owner. 'We knew that we could improve on what was already there, and I was very keen to get started, ripping up the carpets before the removal van had even arrived. I decided I’d much rather live with bare floorboards.’
The owner soon realised that her new home was a house of two halves. ‘The front is flooded with light, but the rear is north-facing and felt much darker and cold looking. I soon learnt the colours I needed to use to make these areas feel cosier.’
The owners used a darker colour tone for this north-facing sitting room to make it feel much warmer than if it was painted on a cream or white.
The owners knocked a series of small rooms into one and built a 10ft extension into the garden to make space for a large open-plan kitchen-diner. This has provided a new layout that works well in the large home.
They built a chimney canopy and painted it in a contrasting colour to create a strong focal point. Wooden worktops match the flooring and create a cohesive, warm feeling.
Painting the end wall of the kitchen/diner in a dark finish frames the expansive window and draws the eye towards the garden. Isn't that an ideal dining spot?
Master bedroom and en suite
Original blue tiles around the fireplace stand out against the white walls, and a wallpaper in a similar colour creates cohesion and ties the theme together.
Get the look:
Buy now: Similar wallpaper, £29 per roll, Wallpaper Direct
The blue theme continues into the guest bedroom with a variety of patterns. A group of three wall plates echoes the pattern on the wallpaper.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar wallpaper, £66 per roll, Houseology
A two-tone colour palette in the hallway draws attention to the striking Arts & Crafts-style angles. A nature theme is brought to the hallway with a tree coat stand, pine cones and wooden bird sculptures, reflecting the rural location.
Get the look
Buy now: Tree coat stand, £508, Skandium
Framing the bath with marble-style tiles creates the feel of a luxury hotel, with plenty of room for displaying candles, bubble bath and body lotions.
Get the look
Buy now: Paint, £55 per 2.5 litre, Fired Earth
The owner is a still-life painter, so having space for an artist's studio was important. This conservatory extension provides plenty of light, and the garden setting provides inspiration.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar chair, £40, Habitat
Image credits: David Mereweather
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