Lengthy prior to the beginning from the railways, dads and moms of horse-attracted carriages and stagecoaches, many a weary traveller may have damaged their journey with what has become Wendy and John Bunyan’s home. The couple’s home is an old coaching inn, a well known resting point on the major highway between Hastings and Chatham on England’s south coast. A home is challenge in the old Roman road and it was one of several such inns along the way if this was built-in the 16th century.
What sets it apart today, however, is John and Wendy’s careful restoration of the treasure. Indeed, it had been their sensitive method of renovating their Grade II-listed home that won them Best Listed Property in Period Living’s 2019 Home of the season awards. The pair have balanced essential repairs with new additions and classic style, producing a space where anybody would gladly rest some time.
Restoring that old coaching inn is a lengthy journey by itself. John bought the home in 1990 and started its renovation in 1994. The oak frame needed to be strengthened in places where it’d moved through the years, along with a new roof was needed.
John altered the rotten weatherboarding in front of the home for tiles to safeguard the oak frame against further water damage and mold and set in new wood-frame home windows. Setting the once-dilapidated house to legal rights grew to become a genuine personal challenge for John, who labored plus the builders.
‘By time I met John in 1995 he’d done all of the untidy structural repairs. I ultimately moved along with him and began to consider the furnishing and décor – quite good timing from my perspective,’ adds Wendy having a chuckle.
While John’s focus have been to help make the house structurally seem, Wendy’s would be a more aesthetic input. ‘When I moved inside were magnolia walls and blue heavy domestic carpet everywhere, and also the kitchen only agreed to be tossed together,’ states Wendy, ‘I progressively altered the shades and carpets to inject a little bit of personality. John required it perfectly.’
With the aid of their architect friend William Howe, planning permission for any sunroom extension at the rear of the home was granted with no problems. Additionally they guaranteed dwelling permission for any small barn beside the home. ‘We were lucky with this local council,’ states Wendy. ‘They’re pretty flexible supplying that you’re doing things consistent with the initial building, not to mention we didn’t need to make changes that will jar.’
The sunroom as well as an updated kitchen helped to change the home and each room now exudes the type of warm welcome connected using its earlier days like a coaching inn. Because of Wendy’s discerning eye for the perfect vintage and antique pieces to accomplish the appearance, there’s now character by the bucket load.
‘I don’t really ever think I’d a sense or plan on how to decorate and furnish,’ states Wendy. ‘I such as the French-vintage look and colored furniture but there’s some learning from mistakes too. It’s as if the home foretells you,’ she adds. ‘I sometimes bring things home and only the home doesn’t like them or I do not like them, however when that occurs I simply pass them on.’
Within the master bed room, a classic gold coin is lodged in to the mortar across the hearth, its surface so smoothed through the touch of numerous hands through the years that it is impossible to see its date.
Treasure hunting isn’t just Wendy’s domain, John also offers form in this region. ‘He’s an excellent bargain-hunter, and a hoarder,’ states Wendy. ‘One day he came home with a few fence stakes and a few old home windows and doorways from the skip. I wondered what he would use them.’