Two years in a caravan for 10 years in a dream home
Restoring this farmhouse was a challenge for Barry and Trion Kettlewell, but the results were well worth the effort. Sharon Dale reports.
TRION Kettlewell had driven past Summer Farm scores of times and never gave a moment’s thought to the For Sale sign outside.
“I was visiting my parents in Cyprus when my husband called to say he’d been to an open viewing at the farm,” she says.
“He thought we could make it into something really special even though it’s not what we had in mind when we wanted to upsize.
“It was for sale by tender and we didn’t think we had a chance because we had a property to sell, but we won, and our own property sold within days.”
That was December 2000 and and soon the couple and their two children Rory, then aged eight, and Lily, three, were living in a caravan while they tackled the mammoth renovation project at Littlethorpe, near Ripon.
“It had no kitchen or proper bathroom and it was just uninhabitable, but fortunately Barry has a good eye for design and he is very handy,” says Trion.
The family lived in the caravan for two years before moving in and carrying on with the project.
When they had finished the interior, furnished with items from Trion’s favourite shop: Angel and Rose in Boroughbridge, they started on the neighbouring barn and hayloft.
“They were falling down and it was a case of having to act. We decided to make them into guest accommodation for our own families and we let them out as holiday homes from Easter to September,” says Trion, who adds: “We never set a budget and haven’t totted up what we’ve spent. I think we’d be horrified if we did.”
The main farmhouse now has a kitchen, study, kitchen, dining room, sitting room, cloakroom plus three bedrooms, one en-suite and a house bathroom.
The barn has three bedrooms while the hayloft now has two bedrooms.
The property sits in 14 acres and has a range of outbuildings, garaging, gardens, orchard, pasture and a wildlife pond.
“We’re selling because we’ll have been here 10 years at Christmas and we feel it’s just time to move on.” says Trion. “But we will miss it. It’s a wonderful place to live.”
Summer Farm at Littlethorpe, near Ripon , is for sale for £1.4m. Contact Strutt and Parker on 01423 561274, www.struttandparker.com
MAJOR PROJECT: The farmhouse, barn and hayloft at Summer Farm have been fully renovated. Right, the kitchen.