A sophisticated, modern country barn in the Cotswolds

An old barn in the Cotswolds has been recast as a unique and beautiful home with the help of interior designer Pippa Paton.

The interior of the Old Hay Barn at Bibury Farm is so luxurious and comfortable that its agricultural background may not at first be obvious. Upon closer inspection, hints of its previous life, such as barn doors, can be seen. The farm has been in the the owner’s family for generations, and the couple felt that a handful of buildings needed a new function. Tucked away from the main farm, five of these, including the barn, a bull pen, a grain store, a cart shed and stables, became the objects of the couple’s renovation.

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Modern country Cotswold barn

Image credit: Davide Lovatti


‘Due to larger farm machinery and a need for bigger grain stores, these buildings were no longer fit for purpose,’ says the homeowner. ‘We realised that turning them into residential properties would give them a new lease of life.’ The homeowners were adamant about preserving the character of the farm and enlisted the help of interior designer Pippa Paton, who has received wide acclaim for her sympathetic Cotswolds renovations. ‘I had planned to do the interior design myself,’ says the homeowner, ‘but during a trip to a flooring shop it became clear I didn’t have the expertise, in addition to which I fell pregnant. Pippa had an amazing portfolio.’

See: A stylish and serene country retreat in the Cotswolds

Modern country Cotswold barn

Image credit: Davide Lovatti

Designer and client worked closely together. ‘For the interior, we decided on a scheme that I would call artisanal industrial,’ says Pippa. ‘I achieved this through a combination of chunky steel furnishings, concrete pendant lights and a worktop from Corian’s Concrete range on the kitchen island. Layered on top are natural materials such as wool, leather, hessian and sheepskin.’ This design direction offered the opportunity to commission artists to create one-off pieces such as pottery and baskets.

All of this is set against a palette of pale greys that invite relaxation, accented with darker walls in the bedrooms. To retain the aura of a working farm building, the couple chose to expose beams and stone in many of the rooms. Alongside references to the barn’s original functionality, comfort and luxury were key, with Pippa choosing deep sofas as well as generous beds bedecked with throws.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Image credit: Davide Lovatti

Outside, the black steel-framed windows hint at the industrial touches within. ‘The views are truly unbelievable,’ says the homeowner. While the couple currently rent out the properties as holiday homes, it is their dream to one day move here permanently. ‘In winter, with the Christmas decorations up, it’s so cosy and festive,’ says the owner. ‘And in the fields an ancient herd of cows graze. They’ve been in the family for many years and are the progeny of the original bull they kept.’ Proof that even the view is an example of the Old Hay Barn’s rich farm heritage.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Image credit: Davide Lovatti


The geometry of the hexagonal tiles acts as a deliberate contrast to the organic look of the exposed wood and artisan craft pieces.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Xylem grey hexagon tiles, Mandarin Stone. Fairford Slate Grey units, Howdens. Roest vertical pendant lights, Karven.


Polo blankets across the chair backs soften the bold, contemporary feel.

Modern country Cotswold barn

The Argentine pampa saddle blanket, Roxtons, is similar. (On console table) frosted pine mini trees; white damask snow scene glass night lights, all Gisela Graham.


A deep sofa encourages a focus on socialising by the woodburner.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Sofa, Pippa Paton Design. Christmas tree, Christmas Tree World. Green baubles; street-scene tea-light pot, all Gisela Graham.


The rustic workbench vanity is a nod to the house’s barn heritage.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Zenith copper aluminium tiles (on splashback), Original Style. Small industrial round wall mirrors, Graham and Green.


The en suite is behind the dark grey wall, which also puts a strong focus on the inviting bed.

Modern country barn

Wall behind bed in Paris Rooftops; rest of the room in Slate IV, both Paint & Paper Library. Hooked pendant, Buster + Punch. Bird and tree snow dome, Gisela Graham.


A sleek console doubles as a dressing table.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Table, Pippa Paton Design. Industrial desk lamps, Cox & Cox.


Pink tiles are a playful and vibrant touch.

Modern country Cotswold barn

Astrid Pink porcelain tiles, Mandarin Stone. Antiqued silver pendant mirrors, Graham and Green. Walls in Salt IV, Paint & Paper Library. Freestanding bath, Tissino.

Bibury Farm, biburyfarm.com; Pippa Paton Design, pippapatondesign.co.uk; architecture, Blake Architects, blakearchitects.co.uk.

Photography/Davide Lovatti