All change

This for­mer rail­way sta­tion has been trans­formed into a beau­ti­ful fam­ily home for Ruth Amigo and Ben North

Period Living - - Contents - Words So­phie War­ren-smith | Styling Suzie At­t­away | Pho­to­graphs Olly Gor­don

Awash with colour and quirky fea­tures, this con­verted rail­way sta­tion makes the per­fect home for the Amigo fam­ily

Ruth and Ben had al­ways loved the old sta­tion house where Ben’s par­ents had lived for a decade. Three years ago, af­ter their third child was born and they had out­grown their small farm cot­tage nearby, they were able to buy it from them. In Septem­ber 2014, the fam­ily moved in, while Ben’s par­ents moved into a new home they’d had built in the grounds of the sta­tion prop­erty. ‘We al­ready knew the house very well, and we just wanted to put our own stamp on it,’ says Ruth. ‘It was in good con­di­tion and ev­ery­thing we’ve done to it is purely aes­thetic. We used all our old fur­ni­ture, which fit­ted well, and we are very lucky that we were left some lovely pieces’.

The hall­way was the first space the cou­ple tack­led. A lighter area next to the front door runs up through the stair­well, now painted white, while in a darker, nar­row pas­sage the cou­ple had built-in shelves fit­ted for their books. ‘We bought a big stor­age bench from Frome mar­ket, our favourite place to find things for the house, and fin­ished it off with two enor­mous pen­dant lights from Fac­to­ry­lux,’ says Ruth. The floor is orig­i­nal and flows through­out the house.

‘The liv­ing room, with an orig­i­nal well that was ap­par­ently un­earthed when the sta­tion was first con­verted in the 1980s, was easy to tackle as we used all the fur­nish­ings from our pre­vi­ous house,’ says Ruth. ‘We only had to have a few more cur­tains made from the same fab­ric to cover all the ex­tra win­dows. We then painted the room in Far­row & Ball’s Tal­low, a warm colour that goes beau­ti­fully with the fab­ric.’

The ‘wait­ing room’ is the fam­ily’s favourite space. They wanted to make it feel cosy and com­fort­able as they spend a lot of time there.‘it gets very cold as it’s got lots of sin­gle-glazed sash win­dows, an ex­posed ceil­ing and cel­lar un­der­neath, but Ben’s par­ents in­stalled a wood-burn­ing stove that heats the room very quickly,’ says Ruth.

The pine kitchen is more than 20 years old, but Ruth had it painted to give it a new look.

‘We moved some of the units around, in­stalled some draw­ers, turned a few wall units into open shelves, and re­placed the old work­tops with gran­ite,’ she ex­plains. ‘We had to re­place some of the orig­i­nal floor­boards as they were in quite a bad state, but now it’s all fin­ished we love it, and we all eat to­gether ev­ery night.’

Up­stairs, the chil­dren’s be­d­rooms still have their orig­i­nal fire­places and the fur­nish­ings are in keep­ing with the home’s quirky vin­tage style. The walls are bright­ened with posters from exhibitions and even framed sheets of wrap­ping pa­per.

Ruth and Ben’s bed­room was the last room they tack­led. ‘It has some big fit­ted wardrobes, which I painted to match the blue walls so they blend with the rest of the scheme,’ says Ruth.

The en suite was up­dated by repo­si­tion­ing the ex­ist­ing bath­room fit­tings and adding new tiles.

The fam­ily have now lived in the house for three years, and couldn’t be hap­pier. Know­ing the house so well be­fore they moved in helped them to plan what they wanted to do, as Ruth ex­plains: ‘It’s im­por­tant to know and live in the space be­fore do­ing any­thing to it. We have reused most of the fur­ni­ture that was left in the house and from our pre­vi­ous home, al­though we moved things into dif­fer­ent rooms once we fin­ished dec­o­rat­ing.’

The up­dates are on­go­ing, as the cou­ple re­cently con­verted a small an­nexe into an of­fice where

Ben can work from home. Ruth also man­ages the prop­erty as a photo and film lo­ca­tion house, so next on the list is a fresh new look for the main bath­room. Even­tu­ally she would like to lower the sides of the well in the liv­ing room so it sits at floor level. For now, though, the fam­ily are con­tent to en­joy the space just as it is.

Ruth and pet Al­fie out­side the old sta­tion house, which still bears the hall­marks of its for­mer life. The paved pa­tio is where the plat­form once was and the cast-iron brack­ets along the back of the build­ing sup­ported a canopy to shel­ter pas­sen­gers. Vin­tage ad­verts add au­then­tic­ity

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