This rustic barn – with its blend of color and pattern – proves that good things come in small packages

When interior designer Sarah Vanrenen and Grant Barker were married seven years back, they moved in a 17th-century farmhouse which had belonged to Grant’s family for generations.

A part of an active working arable farm, a home is encircled by a number of outbuildings, including a classic flint and brick barn. ‘It was almost derelict and hadn’t been employed for years,’ states Sarah.

Being an interior designer and co-founding father of Vanrenen GW Designs, Sarah saw the chance to transform the barn right into a farm office on the floor floor, having a flat for visitors above.

‘We loved a choice of extra accommodation – for overflow from your house, possibly for any nanny eventually, in order to book when we wanted,’ explains Sarah.

The pair have three children together, so existence is busy with buddies and family visiting regularly.

The very first task ended up being to convert the barn. They installed electricity and water, laid a concrete floor for that farm office, then added a maximum floor to produce the apartment.

Your kitchen cabinets are colored in punchy eco-friendly and handle with brass flower handles bought in India.


Restoring the initial timber beams would be a priority. ‘It made sense to make use of the beams as the easiest method to divide in the space within the dining area,’ explains Sarah. ‘Distinct areas permitted me to help make the most of each and every inch of space, without them appearing cramped.’

Living Space

Sarah managed to slot in double doorways to split up the family room and bed room spaces.

As the walls and wooden floor were colored inside a gentle shade of white-colored to improve a feeling of sunshine and space within the barn, Sarah’s passion for color and pattern then happened.

Because the daughter of interior decorator and style doyenne Cent Morrison, Sarah states, ‘I was literally weaned on decorating. As lengthy when i remember, I’ve been visiting antiques shops to see my mother’s projects, that is most likely the main reason I really like designing and revel in getting color within my existence.’

Unafraid of mixing furniture from various periods and fabrics in a variety of hues and patterns, Sarah’s goal would be to create interiors that appear to be as should they have evolved with time.

‘Rooms should be functional, with considered lighting and practical storage, however i also believe they ought to express personality, with finds which have been collected through the years,’ she states.

The emerald eco-friendly lamp within the family room would be a twenty-first bithday present from Sarah’s grandmother. Cushions produced from vintage fabrics add comfort towards the sofa.

Bed room

I needed to produce a really cozy flat with room to twist in security in a deliciously big bed, somewhere that will work nicely for an individual, a few on the romantic getaway or perhaps a small family, as in addition, there’s a settee bed within the living space,’ Sarah states.

‘I like putting unusual things together because that produces character and constitutes a house seem like a house.

‘Be bold, and not simply when it comes to using splashes of vibrant color and pattern, but additionally when deciding on only a couple of oversize pieces, for example lamps and headboards, which may be a lot more effective than plenty of small things.

‘Lay fabrics out on the ground or on the big table, combine all of them with trimmings and paint swatches, and find out what looks good together,’ advises Sarah. ‘Keep going before you feel good out on another worry if things don’t match – actually, that may stop an area searching too contrived.’

The beautiful form of the oversized headboard within the bed room results in a dramatic focus.


The tub is hidden like a relaxing place.


Sarah could fit in a tiny walk-in bath tucked underneath the eaves. She added wondrous color and pattern and among her very own wallpaper designs.

Using The Nest, because it was dubbed, complete, Sarah and Grant spent a while living there, while work ended by themselves house.

‘It believed i was on vacation so we loved its cozy feel,’ she states.

Then, around the eve of lockdown, their first tenant moved set for a brief stay. ‘In the finish, she loved it a lot she remained for nine several weeks so we grew to become great buddies,’ states Sarah.