Updated barn conversion with a modern design

Delia and Scott Phillips have given a traditional barn conversion a stunning modern makeover

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When couple Delia and Scott Phillips viewed the barn conversion for the first time, they were immediately attracted to the remote location, tucked away from the main road, not overlooked by the neighbouring properties, and with outstanding views across farmland. ‘Despite the rustic, dark interiors, we could see the potential for transforming the property to create large, light, contemporary spaces,’ recalls Delia.

Buying the barn privately meant the sale went through smoothly, as the couple could liaise with the owners directly, and they moved in six months after the first viewing. They began by updating the property; ‘Scott and I did all the decorating ourselves, painting and wallpapering over the walls and updating every room.’

After four years of living in the barn and seeing how they used the spaces, the couple decided to tackle the kitchen. ‘It’s a large, sociable room, so we wanted to maximise this by adding a central island with bar stools and a sofa for relaxing on,’ says Delia.

The biggest challenge the couple faced was finding the right company to deliver the floor finish they wanted over such a huge area. After a year of research, they finally found Luxury Coatings, which specialises in commercial spaces.

With three-quarters of an acre to look after, the couple had to do most of the landscaping themselves, including the formal courtyard in the centre of the barns, where they removed all the existing planting, reshaped the grass areas and beds, rotovated the soil and removed hundreds of agricultural stones.

Recently, the couple employed the services of landscaper Hendy Curzon and had a new patio area built to connect the house with the paddock, which includes sunken seating and a pagoda.

Fact file

The owners: Delia Phillips, a fashion buying director, and her husband Scott, a senior project director, live here with son Jay, 13, and daughter Amber, nine

The property: Grade II-listed pig barns that were converted in 2000 to create a four-bedroom home

The location: Leckhampstead, Buckinghamshire

What they spent: The couple bought the barn for £800,000 in 2006 and have spent £186,000 on renovations. It has recently been valued at £1.2million

‘We love living in our country retreat,’ Delia, homeowner

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An elegant Poggenpohl kitchen with a central island and sleek appliances replaces the previous dated dark wood units. Secto Octo birch pendant lights from Skandium complement the original roof beams.

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Colourful artwork by Graham Rounthwaite, and Tom Dixon, mirror-ball pendants provide a contrast to the high-gloss Ligne Roset table. The polished concrete floors, by Luxury Coatings, took three weeks to install throughout the ground floor. The dining chairs are from Twentytwentyone.

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Built-in Miele ovens are positioned side by side at eye-level for easy access. Granite work surfaces give the kitchen an industrial edge.

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A collection of quirky and metallic accessories from stores such as Skandium and Twentytwentyone complement the mirrored splashback.

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The rear wall in the kitchen is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe. A Ligne Roset sofa provides comfort, while gold prints add a hint of lustre.

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Delia and Scott inherited the suite from the previous owners and updated the space with Sheera slate floor tiles from Topps Tiles. For a similar light fitting, try Murano Glass Shop, and for a similar chandelier print, try Zazzle. The chair is from Twentytwentyone.

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Delia had the Lily wallpaper specially reprinted from Cole & Son’s archive. It’s the perfect backdrop to the subtle Exclusif sofa by Ligne Roset, with Kristjana S Williams cushions from Liberty. A Womb chair and footstool by Knoll at Skandium offer a relaxing spot next to the Yeoman Exe wood-burner. The mustard rug is from Stepevi and the Eero Saarinen Tulip table is from Skandium.

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Cranes wallpaper by Florence Broadhurst provides a glamorous backdrop for the aubergine-covered bed from Ligne Roset. Gold accessories, such as the Vitra tripod desk clock from Heals, add to the luxurious style.

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A modern bunk bed by The Kids Window makes the most of the compact space and provides an extra bed for sleepovers.

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A concrete plinth, built by Duo Property Maintenance, is flush with the garden room floor, creating a seamless flow from inside to out through bi-fold doors from Sunflex. Delia and Scott landscaped the formal courtyard garden attached to the Grade II-listed former pig barns, and planted a mix of trees and shrubs. With views across the courtyard being the main focus, the room is kept minimal with the striking Bubble chair from Eero Aarnio. The Heaven garden furniture set is from Made in Design.

The contacts

  • Landscaping: Hendy Curzon, 01993 886915, hendycurzon.co.uk
  • Concrete floor: Luxury Coatings
  • Concrete plinth: Duo Property Maintenance
  • Bi-fold doors: Sunflex
  • Kitchen: Poggenpohl
  • Wood-burning stove: Stoves Are Us
  • Tiles: Topps Tiles
  • Paint: Farrow & Ball

Author: Louise O’Bryan