time to adapt

By mod­i­fy­ing the lay­out, Ju­lia Tay­lor- Stan­ley has brought light and space into her pe­riod house

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENT - Fea­ture Sharon par­sons | Pho­tog­ra­phy richard gadsby

An up­dated lay­out was needed to make the most of this Devon house

When Ju­lia Tay­lor-stan­ley and her hus­band Mark Mar­shall first viewed the Devon prop­erty that they now call home, they were cap­ti­vated. Set in nine acres of wood­land and gar­dens with far-reach­ing coun­try­side views, the im­pos­ing villa was built in 1876 as a gen­tle­man’s res­i­dence. ‘The way it came into view as we rounded the drive was won­der­ful,’ says Ju­lia, ‘ but it was only when I stepped into the sit­ting room with its el­e­gant pro­por­tions and its as­pect over the gar­dens, that some­thing res­onated. It felt so tran­quil and calm, and as a writer, I re­ally value that sense of peace.’

In­deed, Ju­lia, an award-win­ning scriptwriter and film pro­ducer, to­gether with Mark, who works for a re­new­able en­ergy com­pany, were keen to find a prop­erty that would be a haven from the hus­tle and bus­tle of daily life, and tick all the boxes in terms of char­ac­ter, space and lo­ca­tion. ‘I had owned a hol­i­day home in Devon in the past, and had al­ways thought it such a spe­cial area,’ says Ju­lia. ‘ When we fi­nally had an op­por­tu­nity to move down here full-time, we didn’t hes­i­tate.’

The cou­ple rented a prop­erty in a nearby vil­lage while they searched for their ideal home. ‘This house was ac­tu­ally the first one we saw, but we still looked at sev­eral others be­fore agree­ing this was the one we loved the most,’ Ju­lia says. ‘ We es­pe­cially ad­mired the beau­ti­ful land­scaped gar­den, which the pre­vi­ous own­ers had cre­ated. We’re both keen gar­den­ers, and re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated how much thought and care had gone into it over the years, and were keen to de­velop it fur­ther.’

Ju­lia and Mark were un­der no il­lu­sions, how­ever, that the house it­self would not need a con­sid­er­able over­haul in or­der to cre­ate the home that they en­vis­aged. While the bones of the prop­erty were in ex­cel­lent or­der, the decor it­self wasn’t to their taste, and the lay­out didn’t make the most of the space.

No time was wasted in set­ting plans in place for a full-scale ren­o­va­tion, and the pair wisely de­cided to stay in their rented

kitchen The new Shaker-style units were painted in a soft, ethe­real blue-grey to re­flect the sky above the or­angery. be­spoke units by John Mackay of griggs & Mackay; painted in bor­rowed Light es­tate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball. For a sim­i­lar pen­dant light, try the orig­i­nal btc hec­tor, from £125, hol­loways of Lud­low

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