Interior Design

Bring the Outside In

With intricate detailing and unique, luxurious finishes, this Oxford based interior architectural design project perfectly showcases Katharine’s passion for bespoke designed joinery. Here’s how she did it:

Luxury Interior Design for a rural property in a historical setting.

The complete renovation of this vast and uninhabited country barn (for an English family I have designed many properties for over the years) was a challenge I could not refuse.

The immediate surroundings inspired me from the moment I first saw them. Contained within a leafy estate dotted with impressive specimen trees and various properties belonging to the family, its immediate setting is a beautiful flower-filled cottage garden typical of this corner of the Oxfordshire countryside.

The barn is a Grade II listed and was originally built in the 17th century as an outbuilding from when the estate originally housed a working mill.

The design brief was to create a luxurious and flexible space that could be used for large gatherings, parties meetings and guest accommodation. The client required a designer specialising in Luxury Residential Interior Design to mastermind a sophisticated and complex renovation.

Together with an experienced team of structural engineers & architects, I endeavoured to create a luxurious, contemporary home that wows on the first appearance and was light, fresh, elegant and very comfortable.

Transforming an old barn into a contemporary home is a difficult task in and of itself, adding a modern twist while retaining its old-world charm required a great deal of technical know-how and creative original thought.

There is a timeless charm to the original Cotswold limestone, stone slates and oak beams, and to see them contrasted with precision engineered metal and glass gives an ‘old meets new’ feel that I love.

The historic warm honey stone walls and timber trusses in the main living space add character and warmth and were the starting point for the design. I added soft, light colour accents in the furnishings to balance the new bespoke glass mezzanine and contemporary limestone fireplace.

The stand out design highlight has to be the mezzanine suspension bridge, which spans the entire width of the home to connect the two bedrooms on the second floor. The double height central section of the barn reaches up as high as 26 feet, we specified glass and steel to ensure the walkway did not detract from the gloriously high ceilings.

The overwhelming feeling on first entering this property is, I hope, of an open and spacious home flooded with natural light. New windows and skylights have been thoughtfully positioned in the barn walls and roof to instil a feeling of openness. From the floor-to-ceiling windows in the main living area, to the skylights in each of the guestrooms and the bathroom each opening floods the space with light and creates an ambience that is both serenely relaxing and uplifting.