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Before & After: From rural ruins to country chic

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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There are many rural farmhouses scattered around the world that have an obvious connection with nature and agriculture, manifested not only through its wild, rugged landscape, but also through the available materials used in the build of these sometimes centuries old buildings. At the time of construction, the owners of these farmhouses would never have imagined that they would be used as a liveable property in the future, but as time goes on, people are returning to their roots, heading back to nature and reusing these dwellings that once stored grain or animals and re-purposing them as homes fit for 21st century life. In this case, like many, we have a farmhouse that was in desperate need of renovation. Thankfully, it has been rehabilitated to its original glory days and can shine again with the same charm and sincerity that it did once upon a time. Take a look…

Before: The exterior

This image looks like it has just been resurrected from the photo album of our grandparents, giving off an antiquated country charm that is unbeknownst to many city dwellers. This black and white image reveals the poor state of the farmhouse prior to renovation, and shows just how much it needed to be restored and re-adapted to suit 21st century living standards. The exterior has been successfully maintained, with the surrounding landscape reinvigorated to bring it in line with the manicured gardens of today that we've come to love.

After: The exterior

Wow, the transformation is amazing and though you can see the shell of the house has been retained, it is has been refreshed and updated. The rehabilitation of homes can go either way—it can be aggressive and change the face of the home entirely, or it can be executed in such a way that it's hardly noticeable. Choosing the latter option, the work mimics the traditional vernacular of the home, yet spruces it up and covers the materials that had to be replaced. Special attention had to be paid to the gaps in the brick pointing and to strengthening of the existing woodwork.

Before: The dilapidated interior

The interior was very badly hit during the years the property was left unkempt. Here, we see the attic space which has been obviously weathered and left for dead. The attic was full of moisture and rubble, and therefore, the architects were required to really think about how they could reorganise this seemingly unfixable space.

After: The new ground floor

Logically, the ground floor was selected as the most public space of the house, with the upper floors housing bedrooms and more private rooms. The new interior materials have paid homage to the past, reflecting its rural origins in a fresh and contemporary fashion. Now, there is a fluid circulation available between rooms, with the internal spaces interconnecting without the use of heavy partitioning of doors.

After: The new attic

The solution to the reinvigoration of the upper floor can be seen here, with numerous openings added to bring in the optimum amount of natural light. The timber floors have been replaced with a sleek new finish, retaining the charming wooden tones and material quality evidenced through the rest of the space. Those stoic exposed beams that line the ceiling have been restored, showing off that true rustic feel we love so much inside country homes. No longer a space for unwanted goods or storage, the attic is now a functional and liveable space that shows much promise for the future.

If you'd like to see another exciting before and after transformation, take a look at the following ideabook: Before & after: An abandoned farmhouse reinvigorated

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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