Modern Barn Conversion
It was the vision of our MD who saw the potential to take this modest ex-stable barn with a dated interior and release the period potential to the maximum whilst bringing it right up to date.
By completely rearranging the orientation, creating a glass ‘box’ kitchen and ingeniously suspending the inner structure to retain all the beauty of the beams and ‘outer box shell’ the modest barn was transformed.
To explore the potential of creating an extension to take in the benefit of the tree-top views currently only visible from one bedroom window and garden.
All original features needed to be restored and enhanced.
During the design and development phase it was critical to flood the building with light whilst creating a design ethos that was much more modern in approach and with the use of glass maximise the views.
Details & Specific Points of Interest
A converted Grade II listed stable block was transformed with a glass kitchen extension taking in spectacular views.
A full layout reconfiguration based around a steel inner framework allowed the outer structure ‘bones of the house’ to fully showcase the historic charm of the original oak beams and period elements.
New Glass Kitchen Extension
In order to create architectural disconnection from the Grade 2 listed element of the property a glass link was introduced and a double-height steel frame provided the opportunity for an expanse of glazing that offers mesmerising views of the rolling countryside and the River Dane that cuts through it.
This was to become the newly located hub of the house. We were careful to ensure the inside carried through in harmony with a wonderful outdoor entertaining platform complete with olive trees and a kitchen island from which to enjoy the South facing views over the landscape.
The principle kitchen was designed in a totally bespoke way with inlaid aged bronze and embossed leathers complemented by natural horn handles. We turned to Officine Gullo to provide the most spectacular cooking range in matching aged brass and the 6m island offered a feeling of having a chef’s table at home.
Alabaster standing lamps feature heavily on the island which is made up of a natural honed calacatta marble dining space with a Porcelanosa Xtone porcelain worksurface for ultimate durability
As a keen foodie I wanted to create something that we had never seen before that brought together the key principles of true food enjoyment and I set out to design & deliver a chilled marble pantry that combined wine storage and chilling with meat ageing, together with vegetables and cheese sections.
This cabinet has provided a true sense of theatre as well as the go to foundation for any great dinner party.
Beyond the kitchen, the change of design mood deepens as you enter a bygone era adventurers-club Pool room, with a collection of antique explorer-themed pieces from around the world.
The wall backing the kitchen has a bank of wall cabinets made of dark brushed-metal frames with inset embossed hides, ingenioulsy concealing a hidden utility space complete with sink and stacked washer and dryer.
Polished Plaster Tread-Lit Stairs
The staircase, which is illuminated under every tread cuts an impressive shape as it winds its way up to the 1st floor. The polished plaster finish to all sides is a work of art that comes to life in the evening with fully automated lighting and bespoke pendant lights that cast shadows from above.
The landing shows off the bespoke and entirely solid nature of the doors which have inlaid brass sections, perfectly milled to create a hexagonal one-off design. The handles by Oliver Knight adorn each one.
Before / After of the Entry Hall & Staircase
Repurposed Media Room
In the location that was once the kitchen, the new media room enjoys the benefit of a huge chimney breast, two-meter long gas fire with inset brasswork surrounded by basket weave embossed leathers, and the original imposing oak beam overhead.
The solid oak floor has an inset hand-tufted rug and brass trim. Colour is punctuated via deep blue bespoke sofas and contrasting material cushions complemented by fossilised tree trunk side tables.
Before / After of the Media Room (ex kitchen)
Beyond the kitchen, the change of design mood deepens with a collection of antique pieces from around the world to create a fabulous pool room. A bank of wall cabinets made of metal frames with inset embossed hides that offer a hidden utility space complete with sink and stacked washer and dryer.
The original part of the house has been punched through, on either side of the fireplace to create two openings all lined in stained oak to match the skirting boards and architraves throughout the house.
The original part of the house has been punched through, either side of the fireplace to create two openings all lined in a stained oak to match the skirting boards and architraves throughout the house.
The new fireplace has been clad in a Brazilian quartz which mimics the movement in the hand tufted rug in the seating area which sits comfortably in front of the new 2m long log burner.
The sofa has been hand made in ivory nubuck leather and adorned with a collection of feather filled cushions in a variety of tones and textures.
This same nubuck has been inset into a fully paneled wall which conceals the guest WC with only a carefully positioned pin spot uplighter suggesting the position of a secret panel that leads you into the WC.
Inside this is a nod to the oak beams that adorn the building by way of a petrified wooden basin and bronze mirror with a combination of Eucalyptus panel details to the vanity and rear wall.
Hidden WC – Door Open / Closed
The Upper Floors
It was an easy sacrifice to remove the smaller bedrooms and create a complete new layout for three, much larger bedroom suites with views.
Whilst the vaulted master highlighted the amazing original oak trusses, the layout – with occassional use mezzanine – needed a rethink and a flip.
The master bedroom has been completely opened up into a vast, double volume space where the King Truss is the focal point within the structure of the room.
A polished nickel bath and bespoke timber fireplace surround complete this tranquil sanctuary which leads into the master ensuite.
The tones and materials of the entire house have been consistently carried through every piece of cabinetry and the headboard and wardrobes are no exception. The headboard design re-introduced the same ivory nubuck as the sofa and wall paneling on the ground floor. Textured fabric is used to bring colour into the wardrobes which are matched by cushions on the bed.
The steam room shower is lined in dramatic stones and the hand-made, bespoke vanity is embellished with embossed pig hides and natural river stone basins.
Polished nickel Samuel Heath brassware adds elegance to the space with 3 different shower options, all harmonising with the transluscent alabaster wall lights.
Completely Reformated Duplex Suites
The most important part was that the above-ground floor system needed to be torn down and newly supported from an internal steel framework that allowed all the original beams and character to be fully displayed without continuing to act as part of any load-bearing structure. This left the outer walls to be a full-character facade internally and externally.
Two further bedrooms were carefully designed to provide 2 storey luxurious spaces with upstairs lounges and ensuites that command spectacular views across to Swettenham Hall and the countryside beyond.
Garden & Shared Grounds
As well as a personal garden terraced with low-level lounge seating featuring olive trees inset into a marble table and views over the grounds, the estate benefits from 60 acres of the most beautiful countryside, equestrian facilities, river and woodland walks as well as recreational areas and roaming wild deer.
A converted Grade II listed stable block was transformed with a glass kitchen extension taking in spectacular views. A full layout reconfiguration based around a steel inner framework allowed the outer structure ‘bones of the house’ to fully showcase the historic charm of the original oak beams and period elements.
Simon Evans, MD, Design by UBER
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