time at the bar

Turn­ing a derelict vil­lage pub into a char­ac­ter­ful home was a long process, but Gill and Richard Peet rel­ished the chal­lenge

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture ann Broad | Pho­tog­ra­phy Colin Poole

Last or­ders may have been called at this for­mer pub in Ox­ford­shire, but its own­ers have taken it from derelict to di­vine with a sen­si­tive trans­for­ma­tion

The dart­board was still hang­ing on the wall when Gill and Richard Peet first viewed the for­merly derelict pub in Ox­ford­shire they now call home. ‘It was a snowy Jan­uary day, the build­ing was boarded up and the in­te­rior had a strong smell of al­co­hol and stale cigarettes,’ re­calls Gill. ‘But when the view­ing was over, Richard said, “Let’s make an of­fer,’’ so we did.’

The cou­ple grasped the op­por­tu­nity to ren­o­vate the prop­erty and cre­ate a stun­ning home. ‘We had been searching for some time to find an in­ter­est­ing build­ing that fit­ted the bill,’ ex­plains Gill, ‘and this ticked ev­ery box.’ With Richard’s ex­pe­ri­ence of ren­o­vat­ing prop­er­ties for a liv­ing, they ap­proached the project with en­thu­si­asm. ‘We started by pulling down walls and dig­ging up the floors, as our first aim was to have an area to move into as soon as we could,’ says Gill. ‘ We also worked on sev­eral rooms up­stairs to cre­ate a small flat for us to live in dur­ing the build.’

Down­stairs, ceil­ings and walls came down ready for a two-storey ex­ten­sion to be con­structed at the rear of the house. This would even­tu­ally ac­com­mo­date the din­ing and kitchen area, as well as the cou­ple’s bed­room suite. ‘At one point we had a dig­ger in the mid­dle of the ground floor and Richard’s son, Sam, was rip­ping up the floors ready for new pipes and electrics,’ says Gill. ‘It was all hands on deck.’

Us­ing ex­ist­ing ma­te­ri­als where pos­si­ble was Richard’s goal when he started the project. ‘He made sure that he sal­vaged as much as he could, in­clud­ing reusing all the old stone to con­struct the ex­ten­sion,’ re­calls Gill. ‘The tiles in the kitchen were care­fully re­moved from the snug bar and re­pur­posed as the cooker splash­back.’

Ex­posed red brick sits along­side Cotswold stone through­out, adding tex­ture. White ceil­ings and walls give a spa­cious feel and pro­vide a back­drop for Gill and Richard’s fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories. Sourc­ing items from mar­kets, vin­tage shops and recla­ma­tion yards has been a long-term pas­time. ‘ We en­joy buy­ing items that have a his­tory, of­ten from our trav­els but also lo­cally,’ says Gill. Up­stairs, the com­bi­na­tion of white and chalky blue lends a tra­di­tional feel to the mas­ter bed­room and bath­room, and retro linens adorn the guest beds.

At last, with all their hard work be­hind them, Gill and Richard can turn their at­ten­tion to en­joy­ing their trea­sure-filled home. And it seems they aren’t the only ones who are pleased with the for­mer inn’s new lease of life. ‘Passers-by have knocked on our door, in­trigued to see what we have done with the old pub, and are pleased to find it no longer stands derelict,’ says Gill. ‘ We’re so happy to have been part of that trans­for­ma­tion.’

Kitchen com­bin­ing hand­made stor­age units with vin­tage fur­ni­ture has cre­ated an at­trac­tive, prac­ti­cal space. White-painted cup­board, £ 495; decorus hand­wo­ven bas­kets, £36.50 each, both Peet Hinch­liffe in­te­ri­ors. For church pews from £350, try The old...

mas­ter bed­room a free­stand­ing bath sits in one corner of the cou­ple’s bed­room, which fea­tures a deep-blue wall for a more in­ti­mate, cos­set­ing feel. Try the Earl Blue dou­ble-ended tub, £500, Vic­to­rian Plumb­ing. Wall painted in Bas­seterre matt emul­sion,...

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