BACK TO HER ROOTS

Re­turn­ing to her childhood Som­er­set vil­lage to build her own fam­ily home was a dream come true for this owner

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture & Pho­tog­ra­phy JO SHELDRAKE

When Marie Lyn­ham de­cided to re­turn to­her old vil­lage in Som­er­set, she thought out­side the box. The op­por­tu­nity had arisen for Marie and her hus­band Chris to build their own home in the gar­den of Marie’s par­ents’ house, and they knew it would prove to be the ideal new chapter. ‘I wanted a coun­try cot­tage in the vil­lage where I grew up,’ ex­plains Marie, owner of home­ware busi­ness Nest Homely In­te­ri­ors. ‘It meant we could be close to friends and fam­ily and our chil­dren, Max, eight, and Am­ber, four, could at­tend the same school I went to.’

G e t t i n G started

The cou­ple had a clear vi­sion for the de­sign and en­listed Stan­ley C Baker & Sons and Col­lier Read­ing Ar­chi­tects to help. ‘In September 2012, we ap­plied for plan­ning per­mis­sion and then be­gan build­ing in Jan­uary of 2013,’ says Marie. De­cid­ing on the right po­si­tion of an L-shaped prop­erty was im­por­tant to the pair. ‘We wanted to in­cor­po­rate some open-plan liv­ing to cre­ate a spa­cious feel and en­sure that we could not be over­looked, as well as ben­e­fit from a south-fac­ing gar­den,’ she adds. Us­ing lo­cal Blue Lias stone from the Polden Hills, the build took just eight months to com­plete, thanks to Marie’s keen or­gan­i­sa­tional skills.

It is the kitchen-diner that is the heart of this home and a mag­net for the whole fam­ily. Marie and Chris had to com­pro­mise on the size of the util­ity room down­stairs to get the lay­out just right. In­clud­ing an is­land means Marie can pre­pare meals while watch­ing the chil­dren play. It is also a great place to en­ter­tain fam­ily and friends.

The sit­ting room is an ele­gant mix of clas­sic, mod­ern and char­ac­ter features. Fab­rics and wall­pa­per blend to­gether to cre­ate an in­for­mal, stylish zone. ‘My par­ents knocked down their old cot­tage to build a new house and we used a beam from that cot­tage as part of our fire­place, which is a lovely touch,’ says Marie. ‘I based the neu­tral sit­ting room tones on our fire­place, but added some colour with fea­ture walls.’

con­nec t i n G s paces

Bi­fold doors in the kitchen-diner and sit­ting room are wel­come ad­di­tions to the house as they fold back com­pletely and have in­te­gral blinds. ‘ We love them be­cause they keep the walls free of ex­cess cur­tain fab­ric and the area feels clean and fresh,’ says Marie.

‘I was keen to en­sure the space flowed and wanted the ter­race and gar­den to be on the same level and we used a sim­i­lar floor­ing fin­ish to the kitchen, for a co­he­sive look.’ Creating light and airy bed­rooms was also im­por­tant. There are built-in wardrobes in two of the bed­rooms, to max­imise stor­age. In the bath­room, the cou­ple chose a full-size shower with a sunken tray and prac­ti­cal wall holes, as well as a free­stand­ing bath and large sink with a use­ful stor­age drawer.

per­sonal touches

‘Build­ing this home has taught us so much,’ re­flects Marie. ‘When the work fin­ished and I thanked the builder, he re­sponded by say­ing: “I’ve built the house and now it’s over to you to make it a home.” And that’s ex­actly what we’ve done. I’ve dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for up­cy­cling and re­paint­ing fur­ni­ture, which has fed into my in­te­ri­ors busi­ness. Chris and I also wanted to em­brace the Nordic hygge trend and cre­ate a feel­ing of warmth.’

This new build has proved a tri­umph for the Lyn­hams. ‘It’s the best of both worlds,’ says Marie. ‘It’s clas­sic in style, but with a sim­ple feel and it ful­fils our fam­ily’s needs. And what’s more, we’ve re­turned to my childhood vil­lage and I’m pleased to say it’s ev­ery­thing we hoped it would be.’

MAIN BED­ROOM The neu­tral decor has a bou­tique ho­tel feel, with its serene colour scheme. the bed is an ebay find that was sanded and painted in house white mod­ern eggshell, £67 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball

BATH­ROOM Us­ing match­ing floor and wall tiles makes for a seam­less, ele­gant look. rav­ello bath, £2,404, Mayflower bath­rooms. traver­tine tiles, from £13.99sq m, traver­tine Store. ro­man blind, from £244, Laura Ashley

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