A desire for beautiful views across open countryside and a longing to live in a period property were what sealed the deal for Kate and Paul Gerrish when they found their ideal rural retreat: this converted barn in the middle of a tranquil farming hamlet, within the scenic Oxfordshire countryside.

‘The children had left home so we took the opportunity to downsize, selling our three-storey, six-bedroom modern house in a nearby town,’ says Kate.

The Grade II-listed building dates from the 1850s, and was converted in the late 1990s into a characterful home. The kitchen and bathrooms were fitted with good quality cabinets and sanitaryware, but the style was rather dated.

The couple have transformed the barn’s interiors, adding a new traditional kitchen with space for a dining table. Throughout the property is decorated with a soft palette to create the perfect backdrop for furniture and treasured possessions. ‘I chose Old White by Annie Sloan for the walls and added colour with furniture and textiles,’ says Kate.

The home

Owners: Kate and Paul Gerrish live here with Jack Russells Charlie and Coco. With her daughter Isobel, Kate runs Bliss, a home and vintage shop. Paul is now retired and the couple’s four children no longer live at home
Property: Built in 1850 and originally used as cowsheds, the barn in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside was converted into a dwelling in the late 1990s
What they did: Kate and Paul decorated throughout and installed
a new hand-built kitchen, alongwith a cloakroom, bathroom and shower rooms

gerrish barn conversion blue sofa living room

The rich blue velvet sofa from Sofas & Stuff takes centre stage in the sitting room, complementing Kate’s favourite piece of furniture: a pale blue sideboard from Station Mill

gerrish barn conversion country living room

A neutral palette in the vaulted living room creates a relaxed atmosphere. An ornate French overmantle mirror from The Old Pill Factory acts as a focal point to the room, above a Dimplex stove. The map design fabric on the armchair, from Just Fabrics, is the perfect choice for this well-travelled couple

gerrish desk with notebook and flowers

Simple posies of garden flowers work just as well against the barn’s exposed stone walls as they do in the freshly painted spaces

gerrish country kitchen pink range cooker

The handmade wooden cupboards are by Hunts Bespoke Kitchens and Interiors. Working closely with the designers, Kate chose a simple, country-style design, painted in the pleasing tones of Leather 4 and 5 from Paint & Paper Library, and Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball. The blind fabric is Sanderson’s Tally Ho design

gerrish pink range cooker floral splashback

A pink Rangemaster cooker is teamed with a splashback tiles from Welbeck bringing a distinctively feminine and nostalgic feel

country bedroom toile headboard

A combination of grey and sepia tones, with soft off-whites, creates a sophisticated scheme
in the master bedroom. The French-style bed has been beautifully upholstered in Normandie, a toile de Jouy fabric in muted grey/lilac cotton by Annie Sloan, from Bliss. The bedside cabinets are from Scumble Goosie

gerrish country bedroom stone walls vintage

The guest studio in the garden is furnished with a mix of antique and vintage furniture in white to contrast with the rustic stone walls. The mirrored armoire is from Burford Antiques, and the armchair is from Bliss. Floral bedlinen by Cabbages & Roses suits the garden theme

gerrish bedroom vintage drawers

Antique silver and vintage gold mirrors add lustre to the pretty trinket boxes and accessories. The chest of drawers is from Station Mill

gerrish country vanity unit bathroom

Extremely pleased with the finish in her kitchen, Kate asked the team at Hunt Bespoke Kitchens and Interiors to transform the cloakroom

gerrish barn conversion

Kate and Paul are now working on the garden. ‘We decided to improve the layout by removing some of the older shrubs and hedging, and introduce a new planting scheme in pastel shades,’ explains Kate

gerrish porch barn conversion

Kate outside the studio cottage which has been converted into guest accommodation

gerrish stag garden sculpture
Words and styling: Ann Broad

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