“We were also impressed with the cosy atmosphere and lovely setting that Karen and Steve had created”
EA – London
What was the client brief?
Our clients wanted a traditional country property as a second home they could use year-round. In a perfect world it would have an annexe with rental potential, a countryside setting, private land, plus space for a swimming pool. And it had to be within easy reach of an international airport to facilitate regular trips from the UK
What is the history of the property?
It proved quite difficult to source a relatively small house with a separate annexe. However, we eventually found a two-storey farmhouse with an adjacent outhouse to convert. The property dated back to the 18th century and was in semi-derelict condition with an overgrown garden and remnants of poor, and illegal, restoration work. But the location was idyllic and, although the house had been most recently used as a sheep barn with some living accommodation on the first floor, it retained sensational barrel-vaulted ceilings, ancient beams and antique flooring.
We designed the interior to put the kitchen and its portico at the heart of the house and the portico itself was designed to soften the property’s façade and complement the interesting line of its roof. Maximising views from every room was another priority in the main house, particularly as the garden grounds and pool were such attractive features. We then converted the annexe into a self contained, two bedroom guest house, which meant the entire property could sleep up to 10 guests in total
What challenges did we need to overcome?
The farmhouse was long and thin, so creating a natural flow throughout the living space was our first design challenge. Outdoors the client wanted a swimming pool and parking, along with space for a vegetable plot and a small olive grove, all of which meant clever planning in quite a small garden. And we also faced an uphill struggle to have the unsightly cement electricity pole removed from outside the house – many said it couldn’t be done, but we managed!
What were the project timescales?
All construction work and interior design in the main house was completed within 12 months. The pool and annexe took a further two months to finish. And landscaping the garden and restoring the woodstore was another two months. So our clients were able to move into the property in less than a year and a half.