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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Davies

An Interior Evolution - The Lounge and Dining Room

Rewind tho the 1700s and the barn would have been abundant with sacks of wool, grains, carts and produce from the local farms. The Tithe Barn would have been, at time through the year, plentiful in supplies if not in colour or comfort. In the 1990s this well preserved and unusually large C18 field barn, was carefully converted without substantial loss of character. Roll on another twenty five years and an interior reimagining was needed.

From the start I knew what I wanted. Bright, airy, and fresh interiors with a cosy feel. I knew I would need to let the barn for a few weeks every year but first and formost it needed to feel like my home. Being easy to convert for paying guests was a secondary, but important, conern.

With my best friend and mother, both of whom are in deisgn or have years of experience in the area, we all quickly fell onto the same page for each room.

The louge is an impressive room, open to the apex with exposed beams on the roof. A big room we had two requirements. To create a living room within the space and to create a dining area. The room has some challenges. Their are two large doors either side of the ounge leading our to the front and back gardens respectivly. There is also a door each end, one leading to the kitchen and the other to the family bathroom and to two of the bedrooms.

The Lounge beofre...

We decided on a New England beach house feel for the living room. We wanted to keep the colours light and relaxing while making the the furnishing and details as robust as possible. Three Laura Ashley sofas made the base for the lounge to come togther paired with an impressive OKA resin coffee table. The details, predictably came from our own homeware company Mustard and Gray. The cushions really pull this area back and the end result really does make you want to sink into the sofas with a good book.

The lounge now...

The brown dresser in the corner is our next project to upcycle so it sits perfectly with the rest of the room. We have a bookcase on the adjasent all and I'm in no doubt that with a few hours and a tin or two of chalk paint and wax we will have the desired result.

Painting this room is also a project secheduled for the spring. The paint that has been used prviously is a vinyl emultion which is not ideal on these ancient walls. We will choose a chalk based estate paint that will allow the stonework of the barn t breath as it was deisgned to do over three hundred and fifty years ago when it was first built.

The dining area came together party through chance and with a great deal of luck. I have a large extended family, and a group of friends whom I adore. I knew the dining area would be a key space for my life in the barn. I wanted to have a table that would seat at least twelve and to be comfortable enough that evenings would be spent at the table laughing, talking, sipping on port and nibbling cheese into the wee hours.

Dining room before...

A visit to Shropshire Furniture at Whitchurch, masks on in the July heat, was a fortuitous trip. I found a huge table within bedget as soon as I walked in. Shropshire Surniture is vast and a treasure trove of tables, chairs, desks and sideboards. I didn't exactly have a style in mind but as soon as we saw this table we all knew it would work perfectly.

Dining Room after...

A few little tweaks, a fresh coat of paint and new curtains are all planned but for now it already feels like home.

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