Searching for a characterful old property to restore, German-born Tina and her American husband Simon knew they need look no further when they saw the old millhouse – an idyllic setting to bring up their three youngest children. The Grade II-listed Victorian flour mill is set in two acres of grounds, with the millpond a bonus for the fishermen in the family.

The mill was built in 1862 but had fallen into disuse by the 1920s, becoming completely derelict before being converted into two weekend homes in the 1960s. By the time Tina and her family took it on, there were decades of additions to unpick, so they planned a large-scale renovation designed and the results are simply beautiful.

Project notes

Owners: Tina and Simon Jones live here with their children Finian, 15, Rhiannon, 14 and Conlan, 12. They also have four grown-up children who live abroad. Tina is an interior designer and Simon is a lawyer
Property: A six-bedroom, Grade II-listed Victorian watermill, built in 1862, near Guildford, Surrey
What they did: The mill had to be stripped right back to correct shoddy construction work carried out over previous decades. The wiring, plumbing and heating were all replaced

converted watermill shaker kitchen blue with island

Tina commissioned a bespoke kitchen from Churchwood Design to suit the mill’s unique period features. Plenty of cupboards – with a rail-mounted ladder to reach the high ones – and a clever mobile island unit, painted in Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball, give useful additional storage and a workspace 

converted watermill stove range cooker

An original Victorian range has been converted by David White Fireplaces to include two Smeg ovens and an induction hob

Tina sits at the vintage pine kitchen table. She made the cushions and had blinds made up in a Robert Allen fabric. An antique brass oil lamp has been converted to an electrical fitting

The dining room opens out onto a small terrace which overlooks the lake

The waterwheel and gear wheels have been fully restored in their original position on the ground floor, which now also accommodates a study 

In the living room, a Stovax Regency stove offers a cosy spot to sit. A glass panel in the floor reveals the millwheel mechanism below.

Ikea’s Ektorp sofa has been matched with an antique rug. The sideboard and ceiling light are from Maisons du Monde

The window seat fabric was a remnant from France; for similar, try Izabela Peters. For grain sack cushions, try Parna. The other cushions are by Lexington. For similar lights, try Hector Finch

A quirky gallery display of map prints on the landing

A feature wallpaper mural adds a nautical dimension to the dining room. For similar, try

Simon is a keen caver and the framed maps are caves he has charted over the years. In a wire basket at the centre of the display is a vintage caving lantern

The pretty guest room, with vintage Habitat bed, Laura Ashley quilt, and pillowcases by Ralph Lauren. The curtain fabric is Diamond & Baratta’s Silhouettes

Tina bought the daybed in her native Germany; try Swoon Editions’ Laurence design for similar

Tina sourced the basins and cabinets from salvage yard for the en-suite bathroom. For similar lights, try Broughtons, and for tiles, try Bert & May

Built in 1862, on a secluded site where a watermill has stood for 800 years, Tina and Simon’s Victorian home gives glorious views over the grounds and millpond

converted victorian mill original window

A closer look reveals the craftsmanship of the Victorian bricklayers, with the original cast-iron windows

Words – Owen Collins