Leaving behind an Arts and Crafts house to move nearer their boys’ school, the Smith family were faced with a huge, unfinished shell of a building – but one that was surrounded by wild-flower meadows and incredible rolling hills. This was all the inspiration they needed to transform the house into their home.

TEST The Smiths’ light-filled home, decorated in white and grey, is the perfect backdrop for artefacts, paintings, sculptures and junk finds that the family have collected during their travels. The dining chairs are copies of a classic 1960s Robin Day 365 design, bought from Habitat many years ago

The Smiths’ light-filled home, decorated in white and grey, is the perfect backdrop for artefacts, paintings, sculptures and junk finds that the family have collected during their travels. The dining chairs are copies of a classic 1960s Robin Day 365 design, bought from Habitat many years ago

TEST The marble floor tiles were the only feature of the kitchen in place when the Smiths bought their home. They added minimalist off-the-shelf kitchen units and a clever, mobile kitchen unit which can be moved to create more space if necessary

The marble floor tiles were the only feature of the kitchen in place when the Smiths bought their home. They added minimalist off-the-shelf kitchen units and a clever, mobile kitchen unit which can be moved to create more space if necessary

TEST The other side of the kitchen features bespoke stainless steel units which complement the striking black kitchen area

The other side of the kitchen features bespoke stainless steel units which complement the striking black kitchen area

TEST One end of the vast drawing room-living room is filled with original art works including a bronze sculpture by Nicola Godden and a painting entitled ‘Crowd Surfing’ by Julian Bell.

One end of the vast drawing room-living room is filled with original art works including a bronze sculpture by Nicola Godden and a painting entitled ‘Crowd Surfing’ by Julian Bell

TEST Bright oil paintings and a rich pink blanket add colour to the simple but comfortable living area

Bright oil paintings and a rich pink blanket add colour to the simple but comfortable living area

TEST The opposite end of the living room-cum-drawing room has a different feel; perhaps more ‘rustic modern’, with luxurious sheepskins and retro leather sofas

The opposite end of the living room-cum-drawing room has a different feel; perhaps more ‘rustic modern’, with luxurious sheepskins and retro leather sofas

TEST Contemporary built-in shelves run the entire length of one wall, and create the perfect space for displaying family photos

Contemporary built-in shelves run the entire length of one wall, and create the perfect space for displaying family photos

TEST The central oak staircase was only half built when the family bought the house but is now an intrinsic part of the four-storey home – linking three of the four floors. A glass cupola over the stairwell throws light into all of the rooms that lead off this impressive space

The central oak staircase was only half built when the family bought the house but is now an intrinsic part of the four-storey home – linking three of the four floors. A glass cupola over the stairwell throws light into all of the rooms that lead off this impressive space

TEST The master bedroom is painted in a very pale, restful grey and is delightfully simple

The master bedroom is painted in a very pale, restful grey and is delightfully simple

TEST The en suite bathroom has a free-standing bath in the middle of the room and a to-die-for walk-through shower along one side. Ceramic tiles that look just like limestone (but are much easier to keep clean if you live in a hard water area) have been used and look great

The en suite bathroom has a free-standing bath in the middle of the room and a to-die-for walk-through shower along one side. Ceramic tiles that look just like limestone (but are much easier to keep clean if you live in a hard water area) have been used and look great

TEST The couple’s three boys are also avid collectors of exotic artefacts, including this original Iraqi flag – on display in one of the boy’s bedrooms

The couple’s three boys are also avid collectors of exotic artefacts, including this original Iraqi flag – on display in one of the boy’s bedrooms

TEST Rooflight windows mean that the children’s attic rooms are anything but dark and dingy

Rooflight windows mean that the children’s attic rooms are anything but dark and dingy

TEST Throughout the house there are oak floorboards covered with antique rugs and kelims, a look that works particularly well on the landing from which all the bedrooms lead

Throughout the house there are oak floorboards covered with antique rugs and kelims, a look that works particularly well on the landing from which all the bedrooms lead

TEST Every wall in the house is bathed in light, making it the perfect ‘gallery space’ for works of art

Every wall in the house is bathed in light, making it the perfect ‘gallery space’ for works of art

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Helen Barton

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