When designer Francesca Reed and her husband, Peter Robertson, bought their 17th century farmhouse in Kent, southern England, they below-estimated the activity forward to revive its quintessential English attraction.
‘It was in awful ailment but just known as out to us – it was distinct there was so a great deal likely to be understood,’ states Francesca, who admits the to-do checklist was prolonged. ‘The roof leaked and the pipework was in bad condition. In point, damaged pipes had brought on damage to the flooring and partitions.’
But the difficulties didn’t stop there. Right after eliminating the ruined floorboards, woodworm in quite a few joists was found which intended not only replacing joists but fumigating the overall property.
‘Basically, we were being still left with just the four exterior walls simply because the roof wanted replacing, much too.’
As nicely as changing all the harmed pieces of the assets, Francesca and Peter knew a finish reconfiguration of each ground was expected to get the very best out of the household. ‘During the 1970s, the layout was re-structured with the ground floor primarily based close to two staircases, every single going up to a bedroom.
Curiously, however, there was no way of having from one particular to the other with out descending 1 staircase and ascending the other. It was not quite sensible,’ claims Francesca, who employed TaylorHare Architects to re-layout the inner layout.
At the time permissions have been attained, the crew centered on the ground flooring and established a layout which gives a a lot more workable and easy cooking, eating and dwelling knowledge, and wonderful modern-day farmhouse design.
The dining and dwelling spaces are now intertwined to develop into the heart of the ground floor whilst the kitchen has been was relocated and transformed into a generous open-plan place kitchen room.
But what is notably obvious in Maison Blanche – the name Francesca and Peter have preferred for their new house – is the light, ethereal ambiance the restoration has furnished.
The detached country farmhouse, established in 50 percent an acre of backyard, is tucked away deep in the Kent countryside. An added reward is that the coastline is just a couple of miles absent, affording Francesca and Peter the probability to appreciate not only nation strolls but walks alongside the beach front, far too.
One particular of the property’s earliest proprietors was F.W.L. Sladen, who wrote a definitive guideline on bees. Titled The Humble Bee, it detailed the elevating and domesticating of the insect. A delicate nod to the writer is noticed in the abundance of pollinator-friendly lavender edging the route leading to the front door which displays an ornate bee knocker.
Even though the house’s problem necessitated considerable work, Francesca was keen to retain attributes of its past. So she made a decision to concentrate on just one period from the property’s 400-12 months background.
‘I chose a stripped down, modern Victorian search, which is echoed in the square architraves close to doors and boxy skirtings. For the kitchen, I needed to use standard Victorian fittings and tiles although maintaining the lines reasonably clean and modern without having way too considerably Victorian fussiness.’
This butler sink was the only merchandise salvaged from the initial property and pairs elegantly with diligently selected classic Victorian fittings.
Upstairs, the grasp bedroom is a tranquil, calming place tucked away in the attic with white-washed beams. Nestled into the apex, it affords Francesca and Peter wonderful sights of the backyard garden and fields further than.
‘I preferred the residence to have a classic come to feel but didn’t want the interiors emotion major so selected a light color palette and retained the delicate furnishings whimsical. I like a residence to really feel curated but not overpowering,’ points out Francesca.
This method extends into the back garden where the generous gravel driveway wrapping all over the japanese perimeter allows the home to progressively expose alone.
Francesca thinks every single property ought to have guides, not only to read but as a feature like these attractive colour-coordinated bookcases.
‘Every residence really should have guides since they come to be a characteristic in on their own. The color coordinated bookshelves on the very first floor are one of the most commented on features.’
The renovation took a yr to complete but the wait was perfectly well worth it. ‘It has been remodeled from a unfortunate, decaying home to a gentle and joyous place. In summer months, we can toss open up the home windows and take pleasure in the closeness to character. In winter, we can transform up the heating and feel warm and cozy on the sofa with a excellent e-book from the library wall upstairs!’
An up-cycled sink unit and gifted antique mirror insert grandeur to the spouse and children rest room.
A classic swing stands within just a calming retreat beneath the shadows of a experienced sycamore tree – the fantastic area to unwind. Swing, Ella James.
In the backyard garden, Francesca will wait to get to know the space superior just before utilizing way too considerably.
Maison Blanche has presented Francesca and Peter their to start with style of place living and they would not swap it for the earth. ‘It’s the greenery and calmness that would make it so great,’ enthuses Francesca. ‘To be straightforward, having so substantially space all over us indicates it would be extremely difficult likely back again to obtaining neighbours once more!’
Maison Blanche can be booked through Distinctive Homestays (opens in new tab) .
Architects: TaylorHare Architects (opens in new tab)