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One couple explains how they created city chic in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside. Heather Dixon reports Photographs by Colin Poole

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There are few homes with a more appropriate name for the season than Sally and David Pears Candlelight Cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Its a lovely house at Christmas time and theres plenty of room for all the family, says Sally. Sometimes we are snowed in but we dont mind because its such a cosy house.

In fact Sally tends to stock up on supplies over Christmas because Candlelight Cottage has become something of a rural getaway for friends and family who like the fact that time slows to walking pace in the tiny Dales village of Conistone. They top up the log baskets, fill the food cupboards and baton down the hatches against the bitter cold winds to enjoy a traditional Christmas round a roaring log fire.

But thats where the tradition ends. The cottage isnt festooned with tinsel and baubles. couple prefer a modern look of silver and black, and have decorated the entire cottage in a style which reflects Sallys love of modern designs and bold fabrics.

When we bought the cottage it was painted plain white throughout and we wanted to put our own personality into it, says Sally. We also have a house in London and I wanted to bring a touch of city style into the countryside.

They had no intention of altering the exterior charm of the former farm building. However, it stands in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so the there had to be no external hint of the modern interior.

he couuple also wanted to keep the character and layout of the house, including the step-down kitchen, uneven floors and original oak beams. In fact they liked the beams so much they added more.

When it came to decorating, Sallys aim was to make every room look different but still work as a whole. wanted to keep the character of the property but add a contemporary twist, she says. added a few metallic colours into the scheme, particularly silver which works really well with neutral colours. kept the dining room white in contrast to the sitting room which features touches of black.

Sally wanted to mix the traditional country look of the bedrooms with their original beams and trusses, with a more contemporary style of dcor and furnishing. We tend to travel quite a lot ukand we wanted to create the look of a boutique hotel, she said. When we stay here it always feels as though were away on holiday.

Keeping the look stylish and uncluttered allows the character of the building to speak for itself. When come here have the best of both worlds, says Sally. I love the city but also love the countryside and the beautiful stone cottages we have around here. thought it would be really good to combine the two. I dont think a Dales cottage has to be traditional just because its old. Modern interiors work really well in an old property. like the idea of creating a bit of city chic in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside.


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