What Lies Behind the Red Door?

James Rippon James Rippon
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The old saying “blink and you'll miss it” certainly rings true in this particular project. The windy country roads of rural Britain are lined with unassuming farmhouses, cottages and pubs, and this church, on the outskirts of Durham in the north of England, is no different.

Looking just like any other country church from the outside, the differences are hidden until you step inside, which is when you quickly realise this once humble church is now unlike any other. Converted by Swiss architects Evolution Design and wonderfully captured by architect and architectural photographer, Chris Humphreys, this quaint getaway has to be seen to be believed!

Racy red

Other than the bold pop of colour to the exterior, the church remains as it has for many years. The traditional stone has been restored to its former glory and the grounds have been manicured to match the traditional façade.

Splash of colour

The only real indication that this otherwise historical church might not be so standard is the eye-popping splash of a bright reddish pink. From this angle it reminds us of the famous red telephone boxes that line London streets. This distinguished colour has also been used for the window frames that wrap the building.

Eclectic mix

We have a real soft spot for conversion homes. These unique properties immediately convey a special charm and character all of their own, even before the personality of the occupants has been added to the interior design.

They have a story to tell and their history and previous life can always be used as a design element of the interior style. Whilst the owner's have chosen a heavenly modern and eclectic interior style, the past life of the building has in no way been forgotten. The eclectic feel of the chosen materials and furnishings is only augmented by the presence of exposed timber beams, high ceilings and the original window shapes that are typical of period churches.

Contemporary meets classic

Here in the lounge room a fashionable mix of modern, industrial, mid-century and classic interior themes is apparent, all bathed in the ample amount of light on offer thanks to the classic church windows.

That's the best part about an eclectic style interior: when a generous mix of various styles are deliberately mixed and matched, a particular sense of harmony and effortlessness becomes apparent.

Muted bedroom colours

Opting for a more subdued and calming colour palette for other parts of the home, here we see a bedroom that is the epitome of calm. Fresh white walls, furnishings and bedsheets perfectly complement the polished floorboards and timber headboard, which has been recessed into the cupboard to add a sense of cosiness.

Luxury at its best

The main bathroom is afforded a little more space than the en suite, which has been put to good use with the installation of a round waterfall shower, hanging above a classic style freestanding bath. Modern wallpaper has also been used, paired next to the ever popular subway style tiles that line the bottom half of the bathroom walls.

The juxtaposition of old and new that carries through all facets of the house works perfectly and exemplifies how the history and original charm of an existing building can always play a part in the new design of any conversion project.

To explore another unusual conversion project, check out: A First-Class Apartment Conversion.

Did you like the mix of old and new? Would you have decorated this church any differently? Let us know your thoughts!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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