Sometimes, no matter how hard you are looking, the right house for you just doesn’t seem to be available. Sophie Hall, chairman of Oak Park Landscapes, had been house-hunting for some time when a friend mentioned a converted barn that had been on the market for a while.

TEST Stubble the Border terrier reclines on the sofa in the sitting room; the portrait in the background was painted by one of Sophie’s sons as part of his GCSE coursework

Stubble the Border terrier reclines on the sofa in the sitting room; the portrait in the background was painted by one of Sophie’s sons as part of his GCSE coursework

TEST the view from the flagstone floored kitchen into the sitting and dining rooms; the oak doors have been carefully made to fit the curves of the centuries-aged walls

the view from the flagstone floored kitchen into the sitting and dining rooms; the oak doors have been carefully made to fit the curves of the centuries-aged walls

TEST Sophie added extra oak units to the kitchen when she installed the Aga above

Sophie added extra oak units to the kitchen when she installed the Aga above

TEST the worktops are antique leather-finish granite

the worktops are antique leather-finish granite

TEST a keen art enthusiast, Sophie was given the Border terrier sculpture (table shelf) by a friend; the painting on the right is by Kate Minoprio, whose work is featured by the Rhapsody House gallery in Tunbridge Wells

a keen art enthusiast, Sophie was given the Border terrier sculpture (table shelf) by a friend; the painting on the right is by Kate Minoprio, whose work is featured by the Rhapsody House gallery in Tunbridge Wells

TEST Sophie painted the beams in her bedroom white to add height and lightness bottom

Sophie painted the beams in her bedroom white to add height and lightness bottom

TEST the Tintin duvet cover was discovered in Heals

the Tintin duvet cover was discovered in Heals

TEST the downstairs bathroom has a charming period feel

the downstairs bathroom has a charming period feel

TEST the garden studio was reputedly slept in by Admiral Frewen’s batman when the Admiral himself lived in the house next door

the garden studio was reputedly slept in by Admiral Frewen’s batman when the Admiral himself lived in the house next door

TEST the decking in the beautiful garden is the perfect place to keep an eye on the ducks who occupy the adjacent natural pond

the decking in the beautiful garden is the perfect place to keep an eye on the ducks who occupy the adjacent natural pond

TEST the tranquil pond is a haven for wildlife

the tranquil pond is a haven for wildlife

TEST the perfect spot for reading in the early-morning sun

the perfect spot for reading in the early-morning sun

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Julie Simpson

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