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
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.’
di s t inct ive
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 Pill Factory home truths
Property Former village pub dating from 1850 Location oxfordshire Rooms Sitting room, kitchen-diner, family room, snug, pantry, laundry room, four bedrooms, four bathrooms Purchased 2013 Previous Property ‘ We lived in a barn-style newbuild in a nearby town,’ says Gill.
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, £ 45.50 per 2.5 litres, Craig & Rose