We have worked on this beautiful Dales home over two years. The ebb and flow of family life, and budget demands, mean that it has evolved slowly, rather than arriving fully dressed. This is a gentle way to work; it means that changes can be made without too much stress, and the approach meant we could properly consider what was going to work in this house, and what was not.
If you follow our Insta page, you will have seen how this journey has progressed, and know that this was no bucolic cow byre. It was, in it’s time, a Cotton Mill, drawing water from the stream that criss-crosses the garden. The beams are huge, heavy and characterful. The bare stone walls, were they are exposed are rough and crude. This is not a barn that wants to be pretty.
The semi-basement is the first completed set of spaces. It is hard to express how sad this area was before. Unfunctional. Un-lovely. It served as part storage, part utility, part playroom. But it was dark, and damp and unwelcoming. Over the last two years we have worked with the Client’s builder, to create spaces which truly reflect the vernacular and the home-owner. It has altered the way the house is used, and now what was an un-used the side door is the main entry to the home – walking into a light, spacious, welcoming lobby cum boot-room.
Glass double doors hide the utility, without plunging this window-less room into darkness. In the loo we have used an old timber beam from a dairy farm as a basin shelf. And a French enamel light from The French House. Brass taps, door knobs and handles are warm, tactile.
From this space, we walk into the playroom – huge amounts of storage have been created under the stairs – filled with coats, board games, Sylvainian Familes, Lego. A bright mustard velvet sofa for the children to enjoy, and a piano.
Walls are softened with a small-scale pattern wallpaper – a particular favourite of ours in country homes as it creates so much texture and loveliness without over-powering in style.
We are still working with the owner, the sitting room near to completion, and moving on to the kitchen this winter – it is wonderful seeing a house, and a family evolve together, one of the true joys of this work.
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