The small, dark rooms of this 1850s cot­tage near have been opened up to cre­ate space

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - WORDS: Vic­to­ria Jenk­ins PHO­TOS: Wil­liam God­dard

Pat and Jake Wil­liams, with their two small daugh­ters Rose (8) and May (13), have al­ways liked the idea of open-plan liv­ing. So when they found an 1850s cot­tage near Tet­bury they asked ar­chi­tect Gareth Hughes for ad­vice. “It had lots of small dark rooms which is not at all what we wanted,” says Jake. “But Gareth rec­om­mended we buy it and later we had per­mis­sion to ex­tend it and re­con­fig­ure the in­ter­nal lay­out.”

The cot­tage was also very dated – “Very 1970s,” says Jake. “The pre­vi­ous own­ers had been there for 42 years. And the gar­den was a jun­gle.”

“But the lo­ca­tion is great as it’s on the edge of the vil­lage, re­ally quiet and we of­ten see foxes and pheas­ants,” says Pat. “At the same time it’s re­ally easy to get to other places.”

The fam­ily had been rent­ing a place in Tet­bury and, when faced with all the work their new home needed, they stayed where they were for an­other year. “It was go­ing to be vir­tu­ally un­in­hab­it­able,” says Jake. “In 1906 – to go by the date stone in the mas­ter bed­room – pre­vi­ous own­ers had added a two-storey ex­ten­sion,” says Pat. “But it wasn’t a great use of the space and didn’t re­ally flow in our opin­ion. Also we wanted a much more open-plan de­sign for the cot­tage. Plus it also needed com­pletely rewiring, re­plas­ter­ing and re­plumb­ing so that meant gut­ting it back to the stonework.”

One of the big­gest jobs was to raise the roof so that they could move the whole of

the front wall to the left of the front door for­ward by two me­tres. This was to cre­ate more space in the small sit­ting room. They also had to partly re-roof so they took some of the orig­i­nal tiles at the back of the house to use at the front. Then they bought re­claimed tiles for the back.

“They don’t quite match but they will even­tu­ally with weath­er­ing,” says Jake. Then two storm porches were built over the front and back doors by Chris El­liott of El­liott Broth­ers of Tet­bury.

Down­stairs the builders knocked down a num­ber of walls, re­mov­ing a larder room in the process, to cre­ate a large bright and airy kitchen-sit­ting room with sep­a­rate din­ing room. They also turned an ex­ist­ing down­stairs cloak­room into a util­ity room and cre­ated a new w.c. next to it.

Then they took out the old stair­case and put in a new one made of oak in a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion. New match­ing oak floor­ing was laid through­out. “We wanted to save money by buy­ing un­fin­ished oak boards and stain­ing them our­selves,” says Jake. “But in the end we had to ask a com­pany to fin­ish the job for us.”

Up­stairs a cor­ri­dor was tak­ing up too much room and the bed­rooms were too small so they re­designed the lay­out, adding an en suite shower room to the ex­ist­ing

‘The lo­ca­tion is great on the edge of the vil­lage and we of­ten see foxes and pheas­ants’

‘We in­her­ited some nice ma­ture trees and have now cre­ated a wild­flower meadow at the end of the gar­den’

sin­gle bath­room.

”We in­stalled un­der­floor heat­ing in the bath­room and shower room,” says Jake. “We have a gas combi-boiler for the cen­tral heat­ing and hot wa­ter. How­ever as there’s no gas sup­ply to our cot­tage we’ve had to bury a huge tank for propane gas in the front gar­den.”

One bonus was the house came with a cel­lar which the cou­ple had damp-proofed. “It’s made a lovely wine-store,” says Jake. The cou­ple then chose Wood­ch­ester Cab­i­net Mak­ers to de­sign, make and fit their new kitchen which con­sists of Shak­er­style cab­i­netry painted in Am­monite by Far­row & Ball with work­tops of Nero Africa Impala Antique gran­ite from the Bris­tol Mar­ble & Gran­ite Com­pany.

RIGHT: The newly-built oak stair­case is in a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion from the orig­i­nal and was built by the El­liott Broth­ers. The Wil­liams bought the un­fin­ished match­ing oak floor­boards and stained them be­fore the builders in­stalled them. The chan­de­lier came from Wil­low Mun­roe in Tet­bury, and all the fam­ily pho­tos were taken by Jen­nifer Henry

TOP: Wood­ch­ester Cab­i­net Mak­ers de­signed and made all the kitchen units which are hand painted in Far­row & Ball’s ‘Am­monite’. The Nero Africa Impala Antique gran­ite work­tops are from the Bris­tol Mar­ble & Gran­ite Com­pany. The pen­dant lights are from Ocean Light­ing, and the clock from French Grey in Tet­bury.

ABOVE LEFT: Wood­ch­ester Cab­i­net Mak­ers hand­made the large oak ta­ble and cab­i­netry for this room. The ta­ble has a maple top with a hand-ap­plied Dan­ish oil fin­ish, and the cab­i­netry is hand painted in Paint & Pa­per Li­brary ‘Mar­ble II’. The din­ing chairs are from Nep­tune, two in a Hen­ley de­sign and six in Shel­drake.

ABOVE: All the blinds, cur­tains and many of the cush­ions were de­signed and made by fam­ily friend Sarah Har­daker, and the wood­burner is from El­combe Fire & Wood in Stroud

BE­LOW: The bed, the tall white but­toned head­board and the side ta­ble are all from The White Com­pany. Fam­ily friend Sarah Har­daker painted the flower pic­tures as well as de­sign­ing and sup­ply­ing all the blind and cur­tain fab­ric, the wall­pa­per and many of the cush­ions in the house. The lime bed­spread is from Christy, and the pil­low­cases and cush­ion are from House of Fraser.

LEFT: The cou­ple had the height of the orig­i­nal fire­place raised, then ex­posed the old stonework on the chim­ney breast. The arm­chair is from Laura Ash­ley

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