TOWN IN COUN­TRY Gen­er­a­tions of one fam­ily have en­joyed this Lon­don-style house lo­cated in Ox­ford­shire farm­land

Emma and Will Dee­ley’s char­ac­ter­ful pe­riod home is the stuff of leg­end and not what you would ex­pect to find in the mid­dle of farm land

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture anna tobin | Pho­tog­ra­phy RACHAEL smith

There is a rea­son that Emma and Will Dee­ley’s house might look out of place in the Ox­ford­shire vil­lage in which it is lo­cated. ‘Leg­end has it that, back in the 19th cen­tury, a wealthy landowner fell in love with a city lady, who said she would only marry him and move to the coun­try if he built her a Lon­don-style townhouse,’ ex­plains Emma.

Although the cou­ple have no con­nec­tion to the orig­i­nal own­ers, the house has been in the Dee­ley fam­ily for sev­eral gen­er­a­tions. They have farmed the land here for more than 500 years, and it con­tin­ues to pro­vide for the fam­ily. Will’s brother and par­ents man­age the farm, while Will and Emma run a suc­cess­ful events venue busi­ness in the 14th-cen­tury Tythe Barn, which they ren­o­vated. ‘Trans­form­ing the barn into a venue for wed­dings and par­ties sparked my in­ter­est in in­te­rior de­sign,’ ex­plains Emma. ‘I love searching for un­usual pieces to use as dec­o­ra­tion.’

With the barn trans­formed, Emma started to make their home more suited to 21st-cen­tury liv­ing. ‘The house was set up for how peo­ple used to live, with lots of small rooms,’ she ex­plains. ‘The kitchen was at the front of the house and we had sep­a­rate din­ing and sit­ting rooms. I wanted a bright and airy space that looked out

best buy ‘I love the wooden kitchen shelf that Will bought for me on a birth­day trip to an an­tiques fair. Filled with glasses and jars, it adds in­ter­est to an end wall’

onto the gar­den, so that I could watch our chil­dren – Stan, Isaac and Florence, who are now 13, 12 and 6 – play­ing while I cooked.’

The cou­ple ex­tended out into the gar­den to cre­ate a kitchendiner and knocked through the sit­ting and din­ing room to make one large liv­ing space. ‘There were a few fid­dly things we had to do to en­sure the new part of the house was in keep­ing with the old,’ ex­plains Emma. ‘This in­cluded sourc­ing glazed black brick to match the ex­ist­ing build­ing, which took us a long time to find.’

While she adores the style of the house and all the char­ac­ter and fea­tures that go with it, Emma also likes the con­trast that can be ob­tained by mix­ing con­tem­po­rary and vin­tage styles, which ex­plains the kitchen’s mod­ern feel. She chose sim­ple white han­dle­less cab­i­netry and then added a stain­less steel work­top, in­spired by a de­sign she had seen in a Bulthaup show­room. ‘The work­sur­face is bril­liant,’ says Emma. ‘It doesn’t stain and it also helps to add to the in­dus­trial look of the room. I kept some of the brickwork ex­posed in both the kitchen and din­ing ar­eas to con­tinue this theme.’

This eclec­tic mix is car­ried on through­out the prop­erty. ‘I love the high ceil­ings in all the rooms and, although it’s a big house, we’ve made it feel cosy by keep­ing the main fo­cus on the

fire­places, and then dress­ing the so­fas, arm­chairs and beds with plump cush­ions and soft throws,’ ex­plains Emma.

A warm, neu­tral pal­ette forms the back­drop to the sit­ting room and hall, but Emma has been braver with colour in the play­room and mas­ter bed­room. Once a kitchen, the play­room, which is painted in a dark grey with blue un­der­tones and is com­ple­mented by a lush vel­vet sofa and vi­brant, striped rug, has been de­signed as a chill-out space for the boys and a crafts-cum-play area for their younger sis­ter. ‘It can be up­dated eas­ily as they get older,’ says Emma. ‘In our bed­room, I’ve teamed the floor­boards with an inky wall paint, which works be­cause the room is lovely and bright.’

With so many re­quests for the un­usual items she fills the barn venue with, Emma has fi­nally got around to col­lat­ing them in an on­line store, The Ar­ti­san House. Sev­eral ob­jects also find their way into her home, which now show­cases an ever ro­tat­ing dis­play of stock. ‘We love that our house has be­come an on­go­ing project and that pieces are al­ways mov­ing around,’ she says. ‘Af­ter all, that’s the way it’s been here for the last 200 years, and long may it con­tinue.’

de­sign ad­vice‘ Plan ahead so you know what you want and where things like sock­ets should go be­fore builders and dec­o­ra­tors start work’

sit­ting room Invit­ing so­fas, plump cush­ions and a deep-pile shaggy rug make for a cosy fam­ily space. an­tique panel mir­ror, £780sq m, Look­ing glass of bath. Ma­jella globe crys­tal chan­de­lier, £118, the Chan­de­lier and Mir­ror Com­pany, is sim­i­lar

Hall The clock makes a big im­pact in this area. Clock, £55; ta­ble lamps, £25 each, all ard­ingly in­ter­na­tional an­tiques & Col­lec­tors Fair. Wonky jug, £25, the ar­ti­san House

KITCHEN-DINER Mid-cen­tury and an­tique fur­ni­ture blend beau­ti­fully with the mod­ern units. Cab­i­netry, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, How­dens. Wooden shelv­ing unit, £75, Ne­wark an­tiques Fair. For a state­ment pen­dant light, try urchin, £275, Heal’s

Din­ing AREA The ta­ble, made by Will’s grand­fa­ther, sets a vin­tage tone in this space. Zinc tray ta­ble, £120, Cox & Cox, is a match. ta­ble lamp, £60, the Old Flight House. Crackle glaze ce­ramic apothe­cary vase, from £28, Pas­tel Lane

PLAY­ROOM Ex­posed brick lends an in­dus­trial air. Walls painted in Down Pipe es­tate emul­sion, £ 43.50 per 2.5 litres, Far­row & Ball. Chairs, £35 each, trade se­cret

MAS­TER BED­ROOM A wall-hung unit (left) pre­vents the pe­riod skirt­ing from be­ing hidden. besta shelf units with door, £ 43 each, Ikea. arm­chair, £225, the old Flight house

Florence’s BED­ROOM Emma’s clever mix of vin­tage pieces and quirky finds cre­ates a fun fin­ish. gull­holl­men rock­ing chair, £ 40, Ikea. way­fair has a pink chan­de­lier, £39

En SUITE The old roll-top bath has been given a new lease of life with glam­orous gold paint. wall painted in Pi­geon mod­ern emul­sion, £ 43.50 per 2.5 litres, Far­row & ball

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