Yorkshire Interiors - Dutch barn conversion in North Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 20:07 28 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:25 20 February 2013
Janice and Keith Thompson built a home for the whole family including grandchildren but everyone has their own space as Heather Dixon reports Photographs by David Burton
Not much fazes Janice and Keith Thompson when it comes to renovating property but neither bargained on a project quite as challenging as this derelict barn conversion.
After 13 moves in 40 years, we were looking forward to taking it easy, said Janice. But our last house was quite small and there was nothing to do to it. We were getting itchy feet, so we sold it and rented a house until we found a property to do up. Looking back, that was a bit of an under statement.
Their new project turned out to be the conversion of a huge cow shed, two 80ft high grain silos and a Dutch barn with eight acres of land thrown in. As a builder, Keith could see the potential and managed to persuade Janice that he could turn the rural site into a beautiful family home for themselves and their extended family, including son Paul, his wife Sarah, daughter Hayley and three grandchildren, Emily, Ben and Charlie.
Keith, who still ran his building company, spent weekends and evenings renovating the barn.
With the help of his son Paul, he demolished half the Dutch barn, had the silos removed and started restoring the fabric of the two-storey barn and single-storey outbuildings which would become their home.
It took almost five years to complete the whole project. In that time Janice and Keith moved from one completed section to another until they finally settled in their single-storey living space.
Keith built large windows looking out on the spectacular countryside in every room. He used reclaimed bricks and timber to create high, open ceilings and chimney breasts. They furnished the house with a mixture of old and new.
For the first time in our lives we were in the position of being able buy what we really wanted, said Janice. At first I tried to decorate and furnish all the rooms in one go, but quickly realised it worked a lot better if I concentrated on one room at a time. Janice collected hundreds of magazine cuttings and ideas which helped her to formulate the look she wanted which included bold accent wallpapers reflecting her love of flowers and gardening.
I created mood boards to help me make the right decisions, said Janice, who also sought the advice of a local interior designer, Jackie Cope of Newts End Interiors. The rooms are linked with soft, neutral Farrow & Ball shades, but each has its own character created with bold wallpapers and soft furnishings.
The kitchen is in the centre of the house and Janice worked with Holme Interiors of Bedale to create a room which is both functional and welcoming. The kitchen was always going to be the hub of the house, said Janice. The grandchildren are always in and out and we love getting together with family and friends, so the kitchen had to be a place where people felt relaxed and comfortable.
Janice and Keith have vowed that this time they are staying where they are. Weve put down roots here, said Janice. We run a small farm and have a large garden and vegetable patch, so were never short of things to do. We live with our family, yet we all have our own space. Its as good as it gets. We have everything we want right here.
Holme Design Ltd 01677 424669, Bedale holmedesign.com
Newts End Interiors, Northallerton 01677 424288
Peter Silk in Helmsley 01439770051 petersilk.co.uk
Furniture Traders, Thirsk 01845 526365 furniture-traders.co.uk
Direct Stone Importers, Northallerton 01609 781166 directstoneimporters.co.uk
Barkers of Northallerton 01609 776667 barkers-northallerton.co.uk
R & V Ellis of Yafforth 01609 770770 rvjellisfurniture co.uk