Worlds Best Homes

This beautiful Cotswolds country home was once two rundown cottages

Nestled in the UK countryside this home's reconfiguration has resulted in a light and airy family space

Cotswolds country home
(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Searching for the perfect out-of-London home had become a labor of love for the owners of this property. So after four years, and looking at 50 houses in five counties, they knew they had finally struck lucky when they came across two extremely run-down cottages and derelict outbuildings. 

The location and plot offered everything they had hoped for. There was potential for the two cottages to be linked as one home, plus the creation of a self-contained ground-floor guest suite, 
home office and children’s den. 

See how the transformation took shape by taking the tour, below, via video tour or by scrolling down. For more of the world's best homes, go to our dedicated page.

Working as architects, interior designers and landscape gardeners, the couple considered every inch of space over the whole property, planning the reconfiguration of rooms, the lifting of ceilings, practical storage requirements and bespoke design features before any work commenced. 

’A friend drew up the plans for us and we worked with a great local building team,' says the owner.

The owner's interiors style mixes Scandinavian, industrial, vintage 
and the homemade. Original architectural features have been respected and bare stone walls and beams have been stripped as a nod to the property’s past. 

The house has a tranquil feel, painted in a selection of Atelier Ellis paints in earthy hues. ‘Designing schemes and finding the right pieces has been very rewarding,’ says the owner. 

With the house complete, the owners got the development bug and have moved on to their next project, which means for the time being their cottage is available to rent. ‘The move has been more than a house renovation for us,’ says the owner. ‘It has enabled a new lifestyle and new way of thinking for us all.’ 

Mud room

neutral boot room with a stone floor and a coat hook and bench

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

This practical space is perfect for outdoor life. The owner's husband, a skilled carpenter, made all the units in the boot room, as well as the utility.

Living room

cosy modern country living room with exposed stone walls and inglenook fireplace

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Thick stone walls, an inglenook fireplace and a painted ceiling bring cosy ambience to this stylish space.

modern country living room with grey sofa and exposed stone walls

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

A window seat offers a wonderful view of the garden. 

See: Living room ideas – inspiring ways to decorate and furnish your space


Grey Shaker country kitchen with stone floor

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

The priority was to create a spacious open-plan kitchen, living, dining and utility area that opened out onto the same level as the garden. ‘We wanted a large room where family and friends could hang out – whether inside or outdoors in the garden, office or hot tub,' says the owner.

A large kitchen island, with an old scaffolding board worktop made by the owner's husband, forms a hub here.

See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens

Living area

Open plan kitchen living area with large windows overlooking the garden

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

A woodburning stove and 
pared-back feel create a Scandi vibe in this open-plan space. 

See: Living room ideas – inspiring ways to decorate and furnish your space

Dining room

classic country dining room with an Aga and Windsor chairs

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

The extension has transformed family life and links back to the original kitchen, now the dining area. 

The Aga, which came with the house, is brilliant for making garden vegetable soups and drying copious amounts of sports kit, and has become a much-loved feature of this relaxed family space.


green country bedroom with tongue and groove and beams

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Soft green tones create a calming and cosy backdrop for simple bed linen.

country bedroom decorated in an earthy palette with a rattan bed

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Soft pink and earthy tobacco tones evoke 
a restful retreat.

country bedroom with painted panelling

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Painted panelling adds an earthy base to this more colourful room.

country bedroom with vaulted ceiling

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Contemporary pieces bring elegance to original features. 

See: Bedroom ideas – designs and inspiration to decorate and furnish your space stylishly

Family bathroom

Country bathroom with grey roll top bath

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

A roll-top bath works well in this rustic space.

Ensuite bathroom

country bathroom with exposed stone wall and wooden washstand

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

The owner has worked hard with the wonky original architecture to create an elegant space. A bespoke vanity unit has been created from a repurposed chest of drawers.

To enquire about renting In Clover, visit Unique Home Stays

Photography/ Brent Darby

Text/ Ali Heath

Vivienne Ayers
Houses Editor

Interiors have always been Vivienne's passion – from bold and bright to Scandi white. After studying at Leeds University, she worked at the Financial Times, before moving to Radio Times. She did an interior design course and then worked for Homes & Gardens, Country Living and House Beautiful. Vivienne’s always enjoyed reader homes and loves to spot a house she knows is perfect for a magazine (she has even knocked on the doors of houses with curb appeal!), so she became a houses editor, commissioning reader homes, writing features and styling and art directing photo shoots. She worked on Country Homes & Interiors for 15 years, before returning to Homes & Gardens as houses editor four years ago.