De­signer’s room

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Ad­vice on barn con­ver­sions from Tom How­ley and Maria Speake

Hav­ing first planned to cre­ate a new, eco-friendly build­ing, the barn’s own­ers Sue and David Mans­field were en­cour­aged by plan­ners to ap­ply for per­mis­sion to trans­form it and make the most of the orig­i­nal fea­tures.

This spa­cious, south-fac­ing room orig­i­nally had a flat roof and was pre­vi­ously used as a garage. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of the dou­ble-height ceil­ings, the cou­ple fit­ted a mez­za­nine sup­ported by ex­posed steel joists. ‘The floor is cov­ered with solid oak boards, but the beams are made from scaf­fold­ing planks that our builder had used,’ ex­plains Mrs Mans­field. ‘i liked them so much that i asked him to make a fea­ture out of them.’

The cou­ple com­mis­sioned Tom How­ley to de­sign and fit the kitchen. ‘We were look­ing for a de­sign with tra­di­tional el­e­ments, but which would also sit well in this set­ting,’ she says. The Hart­ford col­lec­tion, based on Shaker-style cab­i­netry, was painted in the com­pany’s sig­na­ture night­shade, a colour that com­ple­ments the in­dus­trial look of the space.

Low-level cab­i­netry al­lows the tex­ture of the brick to stand out and lend warmth; the Mans­fields chose a Sile­stone work sur­face in Yukon, a near white, to cre­ate a vi­brant con­trast. ‘The space works well be­cause it’s fo­cused on the func­tion­al­ity as well as the aes­thetic,’ says Mr How­ley. ‘it’s not over­crowded with cab­i­netry and the ap­pli­ances are kept hid­den, which is great for open-plan liv­ing.’

Fur­ther in­dus­trial touches are in­tro­duced through the black over-is­land pen­dant lights from Culi­nary Con­cepts (01252 852305; www.culi­narycon­cepts. co.uk) and the smooth, con­crete-tile floor­ing by So­lus (0121–753 6399; www.so­lustilestu­dio.com). Ara­bella Youens Tom How­ley (0161–848 1200; www.tomhow­ley.co.uk)

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