Falling in love with an ancient farmhouse proved life changing for its new owners. Within moments of stepping inside they decided to buy it, leaving their existing home to take on this historic gem.
The beautifully preserved farmhouse was built in about 1520, so is an incredible 500 years old. Now sensitively renovated and furnished in a traditional style, this former dairy farm truly is one of the world's best homes.
Inspired by period dramas on TV, trips to heritage properties, and illustrations in history books, the owners have taken the farmhouse back to its Tudor origins.
We start our tour inside, at the heart of this very old home.
In the impressive double-height dining room you can see right up to the ancient roof structure with its galleried mezzanine. Dining room ideas for this home were about creating a look in keeping with the home's Tudor origins. Tapestry-style fabrics, richly colored rugs and dark wood furniture create the medieval-banquet inspired vibe that the owners wanted, and the perfect setting to entertain friends and family.
The roughly textured dining room walls, like those throughout the house, are limewashed to allow them to breathe. This natural finish also creates the perfect counterpoint to the home's original beams and dark wood furniture – farmhouse chairs, and an old dresser to store glasses and crockery.
The little kitchen at the back of the house oozes cottage charm. Anyone looking for kitchen ideas for a more traditional look, will be inspired by the simple green and white wall tiles, pine cabinets, and curtains hiding the under-counter appliances. The finishing touch, on a rustic wooden shelf, is a collection of copper kettles and pans that belonged to the grandmother of one of the owners.
Living room ideas are kept very traditional with velvet sofas, tapestry stitched cushions and curtains and traditional Welsh blanket designs. Dark wood coffee and side tables continue the historic look. This is the cosiest spot in the house when the wood-burner is lit and the curtains are drawn.
The living room's inglenook fireplace still contains the original bread oven. Carved into the beam over the fireplace are a series of witch marks, characteristic of the 17th century and believed at the time to protect the property and its inhabitants from evil.
These are not the only secrets of the past concealed in the fabric of the building. Dotted behind doors, tucked into chimney breasts, and hidden in high corners are various faces, dogs and other characters shaped centuries ago from the original lime plaster – all with a sense of fun, and adding to the warm welcome offered by this intriguing home.
Behind an old oak door by the fireplace are the steep stairs to the farmhouse’s upper level.
Mezzanine guest room
Above the dining room is a galleried space, created by the previous owners. It is home to the guest bedroom under the eaves, and more treasured furniture, such as this antique bed. The Welsh blanket is an antique.
Bedroom ideas for the main bedroom were chosen to complement the historic Tudor theme elsewhere in the house. So a baronial-style bed was sourced from an online auction, and dressed in William Morris’ Strawberry Thief bedlinen. The sideboard and mirror are antiques.
As the heavy front door opened on their first viewing of the house, its new owners say it was a real wow moment. If you're looking for hallway ideas for that kind of instant wow factor, enhancing existing a home's period features is a good way to go.
Everything here is original – the doors have got great chunks taken out of them, and the floors are wonky, but that’s what gives this house its incredible character and charm. Adding accessories and furnishings in keeping with the medieval look further honors the farmhouse’s heritage. The antique rugs were sourced from local antique centers and auctions. The velvet curtains are a William Morris design.
The terraced garden
At the back of the house is a steeply sloped garden with a view right across the valleys of South Wales from the top. Besides reworking the farmhouse interiors the owners completely redesigned and replanted the garden to make the most of its challenging, but very beautiful situation.
The farmhouse was built in about 1520. Its two-feet-thick walls are limewashed both inside and out to allow the ancient stones to breathe. The exterior limewash is reapplied every year to keep it looking fresh.
This intriguing home has stood on this spot for 500 years and its new custodians are doing everything in their power to ensure the house and its garden will bring pleasure for many more years to come.
Feature: Karen Darlow
Photography: Brent Darby (opens in new tab)
Styling: Pippa Blenkinsop