From the exterior, the picture perfect Cotswold Barn blends seamlessly into the idyllic village setting. Weathered stone walls, sage woodwork and a quaint stepping stone path leading to the old barn doors, would have you believe you were entering a classic conversion. Yet inside, this unique home is filled with one-off bespoke pieces that delight and surprise the eye in a harmonious dance of meticulous design and ingenuity.
Renowned Interior Designer Pippa Paton, was tasked to create a ‘minimalist haven’ within this glorious nineteenth century barn with the added stipulation that any new items brought into the dwelling must reflect the buildings former agricultural heritage. The result is a glorious mix of industrial, antique and natural ephemera that crafts an ambience of sincere narrative, and whispering calm.
As you enter through the large French windows facing the original barn doors, the creative and intelligent bespoke pieces begin to emerge. A unique cast iron chandelier commissioned and designed by Pippa, features a set of wooden skittles used by the Visual Artist Man Ray in his 1920’s surrealist photography. Set between two floors, the chandelier casts geometric shadows onto the hall, transforming the space into an ‘immersive art installation’. Beautifully simple industrial features reflect the buildings utilitarian past with an understated presence that conceals the complex design process beneath. The large custom made pressed-steel staircase frames the mezzanine hall and unites the industrial elements that appear throughout such as the iron grid mirror and black stone floor, all softened by a neutral, soft backdrop of pure white walls and bare Cotswold stone.
Using a neutral palette throughout the barn, the entire project seamlessly interconnects from one space to the next crafting continuity through tone, while the use of natural simple materials adds warmth, comfort and rural nostalgia. A bed made from a single tree that grew on the land nearby, with a floating mezzanine bathroom above complete with glass walls, allows the eye to glide up towards the very apex of the building in a glorious commandment of height and space. Whilst from the shower, the window presents a flowing view out across the entire Windrush Valley. Using a restored stable door as the facing wall, the pure copper William Holland handcrafted bath and basin create luxurious touches that stunningly refract the light. By placing these elements against a neutral background it allows these ‘star pieces to shine’ and the prevalence of natural stone and wood contrasting the statement copper bath creates an ‘unpretentious ambience that belies the high-end design work behind its exacting composition.’
Primarily a mix of vintage and antiques, occasional flashes of contemporary flair create interest and intrigue, adding sleek surprises to this predominantly rustic interior. The pure white sofa within the monochrome themed sitting room and custom made glass coffee table encasing a piece of nineteenth century wooden threshing machinery inset with flint stone teeth’ are a classic case in point. History and contemporary living blend in one ingenious creation along the continuum of the buildings industrial narrative. As if in reflection, the room itself fades from contemporary to rustic. The minimalist modernism of the monochrome design is softened by the golden tones of the facing Cotswold stone feature wall that frames the raw open fireplace, whilst the cogs and ammonites lined across the mantel and tan leather armchairs complete the transition to rural heritage.
The secret to this enigmatic barns success is Pippa’s extraordinary ability to utilise stunning statement pieces and tactile delights within a minimalist and pared-back setting. Crafting narrative, history and emotion into interior design from the very foundations through to the tiniest detail, this peaceful Cotswold Barn is indeed a true minimalist haven full of rural heart.