Yorkshire Interiors - A converted 220-year-old Grade II listed stone barn near Guiseley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 05 September 2013
A converted 220-year-old Grade II listed stone barn near Guiseley, West Yorkshire is made into a comfortable modern home
Andy Stakes has renovated his barn in a West Yorkshire village twice in 10 years – first as a bachelor and now as a married man. The first time he moved to the area it was to turn the ancient farm building – complete with animal pens - into a rustic-style country home. ‘It was very twee and traditional,’ said Andy. ‘There was a pitch pine staircase which I rescued from the original barn and there were four bedrooms downstairs which were quite small and dark. My taste was very different then to now.’
After five years Andy had the chance to build his own house in Ilkley, where he and Jeanette lived for four years while renting out the barn. ‘Although we loved the last house, which was very modern with loads of light and glass, we kept coming back here to the barn at weekends to see friends and I realised how much I missed the village,’ said Andy. ‘We also have two huge dogs so the country location was perfect.’
So they decided to move into the barn permanently with the aim of renovating it for a second time, to bring it up to date. ‘We lived in the barn while we did it up,’ said Jeanette. ‘In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best idea because it was difficult to come home from a long day at work to a house which was in chaos, but we sold our last place quickly and didn’t have much option. Andy was also renovating a canal boat at the same time for our Bear Boating company – named after our dogs which look like big bears – so there was a lot going on all at once.’
Before they moved in they replaced all the roof slates so the barn was completely dry, then they redesigned the room layout, turning two small bedrooms into one large one, laying new floors, installing a new kitchen and bathroom suites and building a new, modern glass and steel staircase which was re-positioned to the front of the house, leaving room for a utility in the space behind it.
‘We have more open space and the barn seems a lot lighter as a result,’ said Jeanette. ‘We brought a lot of modern furniture from our last house because we didn’t want it to look traditional; the old and new work well together. We have contemporary furniture set against the bare stone walls and oak beams of the original barn.’
The uneven stone surfaces of the walls created a problem with kitchen units and lighting. The stone is too thick to chase wires through, so they have a remote control lighting system, and the kitchen units are fixed to a false wall.
A large island unit creates a natural divide between the kitchen and living areas of the open plan room while a bookcase separates the sitting and dining areas.
‘We recently started collecting pictures by local artists,’ said Jeanette. ‘The open-plan spaces really lend themselves to large pieces of art and help to create a sense of urban living in a rural location.’
In contrast, the ground floor is more practical and consists of the bedrooms, en suites and a spacious utility leading to the garden. ‘The dogs are huge and we didn’t want them bounding in from the garden with their muddy paws and coming straight into the living area, so the ground floor layout is very practical,’ said Jeanette.
Christopher Pratts 0113 234 8000 cpratts.co.uk
Arcade Kitchens, Ilkley 01943 602147 arcadekitchens.co.uk
Bo Concept 01924 460483 boconcept.co.uk
Better Bathrooms 0844 484 7678 betterbathrooms.com
Urbanara 0800 77 97 527 urbanara.co.uk
Barwick Bathrooms 01274 687555 barwick-bradford.co.uk
Guiseley Glass 01943 870800
Mandarin Stone 01600 715444 mandarinstone.com