Many of us dream of owning a traditional barn in the English countryside: a perfect, peaceful retreat full of period character and charm yet packed with all the modern accessories for 21st century life.
Church Farm barn is a conversion of two grade II listed derelict barns and is exactly the sort of thing we had in mind! Located in a quiet Suffolk village, this 5 bedroom home is truly stunning. However, getting the run down buildings to this point was no mean feat. The project involved the complete renovation of both structures, one dating back to the 1800s, and the other dating as far back as 1700!
Getting planning and building permission for historical structures like these can be a real nightmare but thankfully, with all the paperwork out of the way, Beech Architects were able to get to work on the transformation and what a result!
The main barn was converted into one large, open plan living space and decorated in a modern style whilst recognising the beautiful original features. The 19th century barn made of clay was utilised to accommodate two spacious, tastefully decorated bedrooms. Traditional materials have been combined with super efficient insulation, an air source heat pump and underfloor heating to provide a contemporary yet sympathetic conversion.
Intrigued? Then let's have a look around!
Before work began the exterior of the barn was looking tired, dated, and in a state of disrepair. Luckily, Beech Architects came to the rescue.
Looking at this beautifully restored façade, you would never imagine that it would house a contemporary interior fit out. This traditional yet mysterious exterior peaks our curiosity, making us eager to discover what's inside.
The original outline of the barn is clear but the fresh coat of paint and well-maintained roof indicate that the interiors will have been updated in a similar fashion… .
Here we see a culmination of contemporary and vintage coming together to create a balanced and unified interior. The approach is sensitive to the history of the barn, presenting a traditional canvas with modern flair.
In a nod to the original agricultural purpose of the building the main barn openings were replaced with glazing and sliding folding screens to fully open up these entrances. The open plan layout also helps to maintain the feel and space of the original agricultural building.
A neutral palette ensures the space looks bright and feels open. The modern interiors, such as the white plastic chairs and low hanging ceiling lights, provide an interesting juxtaposition to the exposed beams.
The introduction of wooden furniture in a lighter shade adds depth and warmth to the room so that the area is snug and inviting whilst still looking stylish.
This bespoke kitchen beautifully combines the best of modern design with the period features of the home. It's located under the new bedroom mezzanine and has been arranged to utilise space and is now more than fitting to serve as a social area for entertaining guests.
As you can see, each element comes together perfectly and this is partly because the kitchen range and fridge freezer have been designed into the structure.
The new bathroom, which occupies the space previously used as the 'potato store', pays homage to the past of the building by allowing a few of the wooden trusses to remain visible. It boasts a beautiful freestanding bathtub and modern wet room shower.
The pale colour scheme means the available light is bounced and refracted, illuminating every corner. The walls in this section of the house are all original due to building regulations.
What was once a milking shed is now a stylish and elegantly furnished bedroom with en suite. The existing structure has been cleaned by hand and original openings reused for windows and doors. The overall effect is clean and fresh, providing the perfect place to relax after a long day.
Simplicity is key when it comes to decorating the bedroom. The oak beams are the focal point and all that is needed to complete the interior is, of course, a comfy double bed!
If you enjoyed this project, you'll love: Absolutely Barn-tastic.