Blending soaring ceilings with middle-eastern furniture finds, the success of Lorraine Kerr’s barn conversion lies in her ability to inject a little quirkiness into a traditional, beamed interior to create a stunning family home.

The family/breakfast room divided by a structural beam supported by one of the cast iron pillars that once held up a roof in Tenterden’s Victorian railway station

The family/breakfast room divided by a structural beam supported by one of the cast iron pillars that once held up a roof in Tenterden’s Victorian railway station

“I saw something similar in the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace and decided to do something similar – although perhaps in a slightly less grand scale – in my own kitchen.”

“I saw something similar in the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace and decided to do something similar – although perhaps in a slightly less grand scale – in my own kitchen.”

A cosy seating area gathers around a white Moorish fireplace and chimney

A cosy seating area gathers around a white Moorish fireplace and chimney

Centrepiece of the heavily timbered dining room is a truly spectacular industrial steel dining table and chairs, made from reclaimed metal by Le Grenier in Lille

Centrepiece of the heavily timbered dining room is a truly spectacular industrial steel dining table and chairs, made from reclaimed metal by Le Grenier in Lille

Part of Lorraine’s collection of crosses hangs above a metal trolley, “I’m not religious in the slightest,” says Lorraine, “I just like crucifixes.”

Part of Lorraine’s collection of crosses hangs above a metal trolley, “I’m not religious in the slightest,” says Lorraine, “I just like crucifixes.”

The wall between the dining room and drawing room is glazed open studwork. At the touch of a button blackout blinds from Bell House in Cranbrook descend between the studwork separating the two spaces

The wall between the dining room and drawing room is glazed open studwork. At the touch of a button blackout blinds from Bell House in Cranbrook descend between the studwork separating the two spaces

The drawing room soars up through the first floor and its gallery and then up again into a vaulted ceiling. The central oak coffee table was made by her brother-in-law. The big L-shape of sofas is in charcoal

The drawing room soars up through the first floor and its gallery and then up again into a vaulted ceiling. The central oak coffee table was made by her brother-in-law. The big L-shape of sofas is in charcoal

Lorraine’s louvre-windowed bedroom is filled with Afghan finds including a carved cabinet and two carved doors that now form a headboard. Above the bedroom is an elegant galleried dressing room with wall-to-wall mirrored cupboards

Lorraine’s louvre-windowed bedroom is filled with Afghan finds including a carved cabinet and two carved doors that now form a headboard. Above the bedroom is an elegant galleried dressing room with wall-to-wall mirrored cupboards

“I’ve travelled in Andalucia a lot and have always liked Moorish design,” says Lorraine

“I’ve travelled in Andalucia a lot and have always liked Moorish design,” says Lorraine

“I wasn’t looking to create some wonderful show home that would merely be admired – I like a home to look lived in and perhaps a little quirky,” she says

“I wasn’t looking to create some wonderful show home that would merely be admired – I like a home to look lived in and perhaps a little quirky,” she says

With the superb timberwork one of the great features of the building, Lorraine decided that it should be placed centre-stage by painting every wall and ceiling white

With the superb timberwork one of the great features of the building, Lorraine decided that it should be placed centre-stage by painting every wall and ceiling white

Mood would be set by furnishings, furniture and personal possessions

Mood would be set by furnishings, furniture and personal possessions

The family bathroom is a balance of contemporary and period – plenty of timbers and complementary woodwork but also items like a great Fired Earth hand basin carved from a single piece of stone

The family bathroom is a balance of contemporary and period – plenty of timbers and complementary woodwork but also items like a great Fired Earth hand basin carved from a single piece of stone

Up a pretty white painted staircase to the second floor is daughter Holly’s room

Up a pretty white painted staircase to the second floor is daughter Holly’s room

Lorraine has papered the vaulted wall in daughter Holly’s room with Designers Guild Bergamasque Turquoise from Bell House

Lorraine has papered the vaulted wall in daughter Holly’s room with Designers Guild Bergamasque Turquoise from Bell House

When Lorraine took over the property a huge amount of great work had already been done by its previous owner. Her challenge was to take over the taming of this wonderful monster of a building and make from it a stylish but warm and welcoming family home

When Lorraine took over the property a huge amount of great work had already been done by its previous owner. Her challenge was to take over the taming of this wonderful monster of a building and make from it a stylish but warm and welcoming family home

There are some reminders of the building's original purpose

At the top of the barn, reached by its own staircase, is the ‘crash room’ which used to be used largely by the children’s friends for sleepovers and which has a dramatic glazed open studwork wall which overlooks the drawing room.

At the top of the barn, reached by its own staircase, is the ‘crash room’ which used to be used largely by the children’s friends for sleepovers and which has a dramatic glazed open studwork wall which overlooks the drawing room.

Maggie the Labrador bathes in sunlight flooding into the entrance hall

Maggie the Labrador bathes in sunlight flooding into the entrance hall

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming & Helen Barton

17th Century Sandstone Farmhouse

Stella Hayes initially fell in love with the property's glorious garden. She has gone on to create a beautiful home.

60s Themed Seaside Holiday Home

I’m sure we’ve all thought about buying a house by the sea – perhaps after an idyllic holiday, or a bracing walk, even just a drive along the coast. On the morning we visit James Rourke’s house, as the sullen...

A Butterfly Unfurled

When Sally Harrington opens the huge front door of her Kentish weatherboard home I assume that the 1950s bungalow that once stood here was demolished to make way for the new house. “No,” she says, “it’s still in here somewhere,...