There must be those among you that occasionally, in a quiet moment, stroll through your homes and think that, yes, after all the planning, plotting and hard work, you’ve at last got it right – on a good day this place could easily feature in an elegant period drama, a cool fashion shoot, a glossy advert.

Books climb either side of the fireplace while across the room, above the sofa, is a huge gilded French overmantle mirror flanked by two strangely comical painted goat skulls from Foxhole Antiques in Hurst Green

Books climb either side of the fireplace while across the room, above the sofa, is a huge gilded French overmantle mirror flanked by two strangely comical painted goat skulls from Foxhole Antiques in Hurst Green

The largest single room in the house is the kitchen that runs the full width of the property. It’s a glorious room of white-on-white with warmth provided by glowing timbers and bare brick

The largest single room in the house is the kitchen that runs the full width of the property. It’s a glorious room of white-on-white with warmth provided by glowing timbers and bare brick

Recipe books and earthenware containers line a unit in the kitchen

Recipe books and earthenware containers line a unit in the kitchen

One of the only fixed pieces in the kitchen is the 1970s Rayburn that nestles in the sizeable inglenook

One of the only fixed pieces in the kitchen is the 1970s Rayburn that nestles in the sizeable inglenook

The second sitting room features painted hardwood floors and the walls and woodwork are painted a deep Farrow & Ball Down Pipe grey

The second sitting room features painted hardwood floors and the walls and woodwork are painted a deep Farrow & Ball Down Pipe grey

An aged ottoman and complementing oriental rug are positioned in front of a wonderful French roll-top-armed sofa which Bella discovered

An aged ottoman and complementing oriental rug are positioned in front of a wonderful French roll-top-armed sofa which Bella discovered

Nick and Bella’s bedroom is the one room in the house that is virtually unchanged from the day they walked in. An ancient Gustavian mirror bought in Liverpool is hung with old bunting from Foxhole Antiques

Nick and Bella’s bedroom is the one room in the house that is virtually unchanged from the day they walked in. An ancient Gustavian mirror bought in Liverpool is hung with old bunting from Foxhole Antiques

On the landing is a venerable glass-fronted cabinet displaying Nick’s old fly fishing kit. The walls of the staircase up through the centre of the property are of attractive accidentally distressed plasterwork

On the landing is a venerable glass-fronted cabinet displaying Nick’s old fly fishing kit. The walls of the staircase up through the centre of the property are of attractive accidentally distressed plasterwork

Family photographs cover the walls of the pure white bathroom

Family photographs cover the walls of the pure white bathroom

Daughter Flora’s room is painted a tranquil chalky blue

Daughter Flora’s room is painted a tranquil chalky blue

On the exposed brick wall opposite the Rayburn, interesting finds are grouped together on a table by the front door, including an old wicker beehive

On the exposed brick wall opposite the Rayburn, interesting finds are grouped together on a table by the front door, including an old wicker beehive

The idyllic kitchen garden offers a plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables and is home to the family’s quail and beehives

The idyllic kitchen garden offers a plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables and is home to the family’s quail and beehives

At one end of a wildflower meadow live Oxford Sandy and Black pigs

At one end of a wildflower meadow live Oxford Sandy and Black pigs

In the rear corner of the kitchen garden, a beehive is surrounded by bare earth that has been dug and sown with an annual wildflower meadow mix of Californian poppies, which will be a blaze of yellow and gold in the summer months. Nick and Bella buy huge quantities of wild flower seed each year from Nigel Dunnett at Pictorial Meadows in Sheffield

In the rear corner of the kitchen garden, a beehive is surrounded by bare earth that has been dug and sown with an annual wildflower meadow mix of Californian poppies, which will be a blaze of yellow and gold in the summer months. Nick and Bella buy huge quantities of wild flower seed each year from Nigel Dunnett at Pictorial Meadows in Sheffield

Nick’s outbuilding is crammed with vintage tools

Nick’s outbuilding is crammed with vintage tools

Resident stars of the show at Walnuts Farm are the couple’s two dogs, a wild turkey, guinea fowl, Welsummer and Cotswold and Cream Legbar chickens and sheep

Resident stars of the show at Walnuts Farm are the couple’s two dogs, a wild turkey, guinea fowl, Welsummer and Cotswold and Cream Legbar chickens and sheep

  • 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,...