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As featured in The Times on Saturday 3 November 2018

This is such a special building, probably the best of its kind in the country.  For that reason, its listed status was quite restrictive.  English Heritage imposed lots of conditions: it must continue to look like a barn; the open space inside mustn’t be carved up; the materials must reflect its agricultural past.

Luckily, we felt exactly the same.

The architects devised two huge black “pods” that sit in the space, without touching walls or ceilings, but effectively zoning the barn to create a kitchen/dining/living area at one end, an intimate snug at the other and an imposing entrance hall in between. Within these pods are concealed a cloakroom, boot room, laundry and pantry as well as pipes and cables, allowing the barn’s timber-beamed ceilings to take pride of place. The main open-plan space is divided up by a kitchen island and a bank of subtle storage cupboards, both in cast concrete.

There’s a pared-back palette of grey, charcoal and earthy terracotta throughout, while unfussy materials such as the kitchen’s steel cabinets nod to the building’s agricultural past.

Upstairs, the former hayloft has become two bedroom suites, each with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The decoration is largely minimalist, with a couple of large abstract paintings and a few outsized statement pieces especially selected.  Other Antique Provençal pieces come from our favourite shops in France.

The property also enjoys superb contact with the natural world, with rabbits scampering outside and woodpeckers perching in the oak tree that dominates the garden.