Described by the family children as a, ‘teeny, tiny, hobbit house’, Michelle lives in a cosy barn conversion. It’s bijou, tranquil and so lovely. Come and see...
Michelle’s stable door opens directly onto the largest room in the house, an inviting living space with a window at the front and the skylight at the back giving lots of natural light. A large beam runs the length of the room giving it a rustic, cottagey feel. This was originally stained a shiny red colour and was a bit of an epic to get back to the natural wood, but so worth it.
There was no fireplace and no obvious wall for one to go on when Michelle moved in, but inspired by images of cosy sheds, Michelle realised that having a single storey house meant the flue can go straight up and out through the roof.
The floor was another drama. It was originally a thick, dark, wool carpet which was very good quality but looked like a sea of dead flies, so this came up immediately to be replaced by boards.
The first attempt was a disaster. Michelle came home from work one day to a corrugated floor. Moisture from the ground below had caused the boards to expand and with nowhere to go, they went up. In large furrows. Like bodies had been inexpertly buried underneath.
Before the replacement flooring was laid, a bitumen seal was put down and the floor has since stayed in its rightful place.
The silver lining of this experience was that Michelle had chance to change her mind about the colour of the wood she used, going from practical mid brown the first time to a more soothing, pale limewashed oak the second.
Living Room Details:
- Untreated engineered oak floorboards by Whitehall Flooring
- Limewash treatment by Mum!
- Linen Curtain Fabric by Tinsmiths, Ledbury
Gallery walls have been a popular choice in recent years but for us they are a classic fixture rather than a trend. Mum always had a rogue’s gallery in her house when we were growing up and it is something the three of us have naturally adopted in our homes.
Pictures of family, friends and places visited add personality and identity to a home and stop it having that fake, show-home feel. There are lots of tips on how to create a gallery wall online but Michelle just did hers by eye and it has grown over the years (mainly in line with the arrival of more nieces and nephews).
The consistency comes from having all monochrome prints and all black frames. The worst part is dusting and keeping the frames straight as a result of said dusting! But she loves it and guests are always drawn to it.
Gallery Wall Details:
- Wall painted in Mouse’s Back by Farrow and Ball
- Frames from all over the place but mainly Ikea
- Sheepskin and throw from Camperdown Lane
The kitchen is long and narrow and was a mish mash of mismatched units when Michelle moved in. She stripped the whole thing out and had a kitchen made and fitted by a local company Enchanted Wood.
She decided against wall cabinets because they felt too imposing in a narrow space, and instead went for a long row of cupboards for plenty of storage and surface space.
The house doesn’t have a separate utility room (a goal for wherever Michelle goes next) so the far end is used as this space. This is the only part of the kitchen with wall cabinets which Enchanted Wood designed to give the effect of a dresser (as well as a fab shelfie location which we have yet to take full advantage of!)
- Tumbled Limestone Floor by Mandarin Stone
- Kitchen by Enchanted Wood.
- Splashback tiles by Fired Earth
- Kitchen Units painted in Elephant’s Breath by Farrow and Ball, although Michelle is seriously thinking about changing the lower cupboards to a dark grey or blue and limewashing the worktop. Will she find the motivation? Keep an eye on Instagram for some potential #transformationtuesday stories.
When Michelle was sharing a flat in London many years ago she drew the short straw and got the smallest bedroom. The room was only big enough for a double bed and a trunk with a mirror propped on it. She managed to squeeze a pile of magazines down the sides of the bed to act as bedside tables, it really was dinky! But it did have a wardrobe immediately outside in the corridor.
Ever since then Michelle prefers having a bedroom that is free from clothes clutter and in subsequent house shares would chose a small bedroom with a separate dressing area over a larger room. When she bought this house, there were some spacious cupboards in the corridor which became her wardrobe, allowing the bedroom to be just that - a bed room. It feels much more restful and nurturing as a result (and she can close the door on the spare room clothing chaos next door!)
- Curtain Fabric by John Lewis - try Tinsmiths for similar
- Sleigh Bed by Anderson Bradshaw
- Lamp, sheepskin and accessories by Camperdown Lane
Spare Room / Dressing Room
This room is very functional acting as a dressing room/ironing room/clothes dumping ground rather than a bedroom - it is just big enough for a single bed but clothes have taken priority. It is still a work in progress, or more accurately, a stalled job (seeing as it has been 8 years and nothing has happened apart from a few holes have been filled and a few paint sample blobs have been daubed on the walls). So we’ll move swiftly on...
Another compact little room with lighting provided by a skylight in the roof - great for ventilation, privacy and natural light.
This room originally contained a bath and was in a different configuration but as Michelle so rarely has baths, (being a shower person not a grubby person!), she made the bold choice to do away with the bath altogether in favour of a spacious walk in shower.
Lots of people would shy away from this in case it affected resale appeal but Michelle has created a house that suits the way she lives, figuring most people like to change things up anyway and she has no intention of moving in the immediate future, by which time styles will no doubt have moved on.
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