Georgian farmhouse restored for family life

Alice and Harry Gates renovated a family-owned listed Georgian farmhouse to make it suitable for modern living

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When the chance came six years ago for Alice and Harry Gates to move from London to the Wiltshire countryside, they jumped at it, enticed by the amount of space on offer. 

Essential repairs

 The house was rewired and replumbed

Some windows were replaced with more sympathetic additions

The 1950s extension was renovated and linked to the house with a glazed roof section, which now houses a utility room and spacious hallway

French doors were added in the kitchen

Semi-derelict barns on site were converted into a studio, home office and a couple of guest bedrooms

 

Alice, who, as one half of the award-winning boutique paper and fabric company Barneby Gates, was also attracted to the idea of creating a spacious home studio to work in.

The property itself is a Grade II-listed, late-Georgian farmhouse, built in 1820, with a small 1950s addition to the rear. It’s set in 300 acres of glorious Wiltshire countryside, now used for raising beef cattle by the couple. ‘We were very lucky to inherit the house, which had been in Harry’s family for years,’ says Alice.

‘However, we knew it would take work to turn it into the rural idyll we wanted. The plumbing and electrics hadn’t been touched since the 1950s, the barns had become a dumping ground and

Georgian farmhouse traditional bathroom


 The bathroom walls are painted in Cupcake by Earthborn. Alice bought the bath from a reclamation yard in Devizes and painted it in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe. The mirror is from an antiques shop in Pewsey, and the hanging stars, originally bought as Christmas decorations, are from Cox & Cox 

The main goal for Alice and Harry was to ensure their four-square, traditionally laid-out home could function for their 21st-century family. Yet they also wanted to retain the period property’s original Georgian features and character. Finding that balance proved tricky, particularly given the limitations of listed building consent, which was required even for internal alterations.

Georgian farmhouse floral birds wallpaper


 The marble-topped chest of drawers in the corner of the master bedroom was made by Jack Harness at Arcadia Antiques 

Georgian farmhouse green shutter window


A mirror made from an old shutter, from The Cat’s Whiskers in Marlborough, creates the illusion of a window above the fireplace 

Georgian farmhouse bedroom with Hot Pink on Tea Stain wallpaper


 The wallpaper in the guest room – Hot Pink on Tea Stain – is also from the Barneby Gates collection. Alice bought the eiderdowns on Ebay and had the cushions made up from vintage Indian throws, while the bedding is from Cologne & Cotton 

Georgian farmhouse country exterior

 The front facade of the farmhouse, with a later addition of Gothic Revival windows on one side 

Traditional country kitchen Georgian farmhouse


 Alice had the kitchen cabinets made by Guild Anderson, then painted them in Georgian Grey from Dulux’s Heritage range. The old Welsh dresser came from Jack Harness at Arcadia Antiques, who also made the pine kitchen table bespoke for the family. 

Marc Wilson

Alice uses this charming room at the front of the house as a study. The wallpaper and fabric blind, in Barneby Gates’ Boxing Hares print in Stone, make a feature of the original bay window. Alice bought the chairs secondhand and reupholstered the small one in Deer Damask fabric 

(Image: © Marc Wilson)

 With a bespoke kitchen table in knotted pine, and reclaimed wheelback chairs, this room is representative of Alice’s approach to furnishing and finishing the entire house