Vicky and James have converted a cluster of former farm buildings into a superb, eco-friendly 21st century family home that won them the Ashford Borough Council 2009 Design Award for Building Conservation.

A wonderful vaulted kitchen/dining room lies at the heart of the house. Three walls are of exposed ragstone and the fourth composed of three sets of bi-folding doors that open into the garden

A wonderful vaulted kitchen/dining room lies at the heart of the house. Three walls are of exposed ragstone and the fourth composed of three sets of bi-folding doors that open into the garden

An arched door leads into the playroom

An arched door leads into the playroom

At one end of the kitchen, a staircase leads to the guest bedroom and en suite shower room

At one end of the kitchen, a staircase leads to the guest bedroom and en suite shower room

Perpendicular to the kitchen, a short corridor leads to the sitting and dining room

Perpendicular to the kitchen, a short corridor leads to the sitting and dining room

The informal sitting room leads into the second phase of the build: a cowshed donated by James’s father Michael. It is now a wonderfully spacious and bright dining room and formal drawing room with a staircase in one corner that leads to the master bedroom suite

The informal sitting room leads into the second phase of the build: a cowshed donated by James’s father Michael. It is now a wonderfully spacious and bright dining room and formal drawing room with a staircase in one corner that leads to the master bedroom suite

Standing proudly in the centre of the room are a Regency dining table and matching blue and white upholstered dining chairs – the former repro though you’d never guess – and the latter the real McCoy courtesy of Richard Tozer

Standing proudly in the centre of the room are a Regency dining table and matching blue and white upholstered dining chairs – the former repro though you’d never guess – and the latter the real McCoy courtesy of Richard Tozer

Above, the master bedroom and en suite nestles in the eaves of the building

Above, the master bedroom and en suite nestles in the eaves of the building

Accessed only from the formal sitting and dining room, the master bedroom enjoys privacy from the rest of the house

Accessed only from the formal sitting and dining room, the master bedroom enjoys privacy from the rest of the house

The family bathroom

The family bathroom

Children Katie and Harry’s rooms are both vaulted

Children Katie and Harry’s rooms are both vaulted

Katie has her own bathroom, accessed through a tiny child-sized doorway in her room. The floors are oak with – as elsewhere – underfloor heating powered by an air-source heat pump

Katie has her own bathroom, accessed through a tiny child-sized doorway in her room. The floors are oak with – as elsewhere – underfloor heating powered by an air-source heat pump

The traditional 16th century Kent threshing barn covers an area of some 350 square metres and features a soaring vaulted interior and truly breathtaking timberwork

The traditional 16th century Kent threshing barn covers an area of some 350 square metres and features a soaring vaulted interior and truly breathtaking timberwork

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

17th Century 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,...