The layout on the first floor is charmingly random,
due to the arrangement of short corridors and little corners.
Before moving to Radford Villa, which they have started to share occasionally with bed and breakfast guests, the couple lived in a farmhouse in Surrey. “We had been hoping to move for a while, to somewhere deeper in the countryside,” Carol says. They were feeling a gravitational pull towards the southwest of England, as Peter’s family hails from that region, and it was their daughter who discovered the villa for sale.
“We came to see it, and liked it because it isn’t a chocolate-box-pretty sort of place, more a rustically elegant house,” Carol says. “It has a few quirks and interesting nooks and crannies. Also, it feels down to earth around here. We feel part of a real community, in an area that has a rich industrial heritage.”
The villa was in good condition when they arrived, though the décor was a bit on the bright side for their taste. Importantly, many of the original period features, such as the fireplaces, window shutters and ceiling cornices were intact, so the couple let the interior embrace them for a while before they began to put their own stamp on it.