The Barn at Port Farm

Last summer, my wonderful friend Najette took us all down to Kent for our bestest friend Amy’s hen-do (a very civilised hen-do as the bride was six months pregnant). The converted barn we stayed in was just too beautiful to keep to myself.  The combination of old barn and ultra modern interior make this place unique. If you are looking for a large beautiful house with all the mod cons to rent check out their website The Barn at Port Farm. This house has made me realise that the hard, cold surfaces that I associate with modern interiors can be made to feel warm and comforting if done right.

Take a peek…

Kent barn conversion

New windows have been installed in the barn, which is the first sign that it has been modernised.

Kent barn conversion

The problem with the design of a barn is the lack of light as they were never intended to be houses. The architect solved this problem with very large windows and doors wherever possible.

Vaulted ceiling with beams

The entrance to the barn is truly impressive. The exposed beams are beautiful.

Converted barn

As you enter the barn there is a cosy group of low seating. The double aspect of this room allows precious light in.

Concrete staircase

Modern hanging lights are used to ensure there is no darkness in the barn.

Concrete floor

The concrete floor runs throughout the ground floor of the barn. Underfloor heating keeps it warm, which is essential in order to make the barn feel cosy, yet still cutting edge.

Leather retro chair

Amazing leather mid-century chair. Give it to me!

Bespoke book cases

On the galleried landing, bespoke bookcases make effective use of the space and look stylish. The owner displays books and personal possessions, which softens the modernity of the build.

Bespoke bookcases

A mix of old and new is very effective.

Converted barn

On the ground floor there is a further open-plan sitting room/kitchen/dining space.

Converted barn with hanging wood burning stove

The wood burning stove acts as a room divider and instantly attracts attention.

Converted barn

The view of the garden softens the the hard lines of this modern space.

Concrete and stone kitchen

A concrete and stone kitchen blend in with the industrial concrete floor.

The stone work top reflects light.

Swedish chairs add to the contemporary design.

Concrete floor

The concrete floor reflects light, which stops it feeling dull and heavy.

Modern chimney wood burner

Unique hanging wood burning stove. A real design statement.

Converted barn and chaise longue

The master bedroom looks out onto the garden and is sparsely furnished so this chaise longue makes an impact.

Converted barn

Imagine waking up to that every morning!

The ensuite bathroom to the master bedroom has a glass wall that allows the light to reach into every corner of the barn.

Each of the four bedrooms is furnished very simply with crisp white bed linen, white walls and white linoleum floor.

The honey colour of the wood-clad walls in each bathroom stops them feeling cold. The white linoleum floor is bright and the modern-shaped loo and sink are very minimalist.

The green view from every window lights the barn with colour.

The juxtaposition of original beams and modern bathroom is very effective.

old sleepers

To one side of the barn there are old sleepers to make a terrace that falls off to fields as far as the eye can see.

Amazing views.


Reclaimed doors have been used to make this outdoor seat.

The barn is surrounded by green with metal sculptures.

These metal sculptures are eye-catching and the rust colour works well against the old barn.

The garden.

Looking up to the barn from the garden.

Happy memories and a beautiful house x

P.S. Amy and Joe’s wedding was way too much fun and Keir (the baby bump that was) is beyond cute!

The beauteous bride, Amy.




My home

The beautiful, creative and amazingly talented Katharine Peachey of came to take some photos of my apartment (very exciting). My apartment is in Bermondsey, which has recently become quite a trendy spot right next to the river Thames, east of Tower Bridge.  Bermondsey itself used to be an industrial area and a rail track runs through it with amazing arches, which is the home to Maltby Street Market.  There are also lots of perfectly restored factories and warehouses, which is my dream home.  However, my apartment is one of the many brand new developments in this area.  Whilst new homes have their advantages, one of the major problems is that they can end up feeling soulless and clinical due to the hard edges, white walls and box-like rooms. I have loved the challenge of trying to fill my home with furniture and possessions that reflect both the newness of the building whilst also combining the old and the longed for period home I desire.  I have also had to work with limited funds as moving house is so expensive; I’ve used furnishings from my old studio apartment, updated them or picked up bargains where I could. Hopefully, you will like the results.

My apartment has lots of windows, which is a rarity in new builds. I have tried not to include any furniture that absorb too much of the light otherwise an already smallish property becomes very small, very quickly. I decided to use the large teal loveseat as a basis for the colour scheme.

Lloyd Loom chair

I’ve tried to fill the sitting room with a combination of old and new. This antique chair was an ebay bargain at £20 and helped to emphasise the teal colour of the loveseat but this looks more incidental than planned as these pieces of furniture are from toally different periods.

School trunk

I upcycled my mum’s school trunk to make a coffee table.

Habitat lamp

This Habitat spindle lamp is one of my favourite purchases of all time. It can be used in any room because of the colour and style. The silk shade emits a beautiful soft light, which is so important in a stark, white apartment.

Balcony planting

I have filled my balcony with potted plants and they sit in vintage crates to add to the old and new theme I have in my apartment. I always think of my balcony as an extension to my sitting room so it is important I style it as I do the interior.

Ercol dining chairs

I picked these Ercol dining chairs off the street (so lucky!) and the nineteenth century table is from a French flea market. Mid-century furniture, like Ercol, can blend with older furniture, as well as new. Ikea cushions on the chairs don’t even seem out of place.

Postcards on mirror

I bought this antique mirror from Camden Passage and this also picks out the teal from the chairs in the room. I use postcards to add interest.


I’ve tried to soften the hard edges of a new, modern kitchen with vintage finds like the Bush radio, old tins, saltcellar and glassware.

Old jelly mould and glass bottles are perfect to sit on the kitchen window sill as they still allow the light to come through.


Whilst wanting to display vintage finds it’s also important to not overcrowd a small kitchen and valuable workspace.

A collection of different storage pots breaks up the uniformity of a modern kitchen.

Bush radio

I love vintage tins and and this one makes a perfect vase.


I removed the kitchen cupboard to show off the crockery that I love.

Framed family photographs are hung above an antique writing desk that I was given for my seventh birthday.

work space

I made the pinboard above the desk for inspiration and I made sure the computer is the only sign of modern technology as I didn’t want this to feel like an office with a bed in it.

Old books, flowers and childhood pots personalise the room.

Bakelite telephone

A functional Bakelite phone ensures modern technology is not overbearing in this room.

I have used duck egg blue as the accent colour in the master bedroom. It is picked up in the stripes of the bed linen, the mirror, the cushion, the framed print and the stripes of the curtains.

I can get away with using £6 Ikea steps as a bedside table because the Roberts radio and my late grandmother’s 50 year old silk lamp draw all the attention.

The bed was one of the new purchases I made. It is a clever mix of old and new from Loaf, which I love.

My late grandma’s chair that she covered in Sanderson fabric sits proudly in the window of my bedroom. The tailor made curtains were one of my splurges (I don’t think I can admit how much they cost!) but they tie in with the colours of the chair perfectly. An Ikea cushion looks as old as the chair itself.

Pine antique chest of drawers

I bought these antique Victorian pine drawers from ebay for £100. The family photographs and my parents’ old mirror add to my bedroom’s antique feel.


I always cover mirror in photos or postcards as this makes them more personal.

Fresh flowers in a house are transformative.

I removed the door from this cupboard and put up shelves. I stuff these with all my knick knacks which adds character to a new build.

TIPS to help you make a new home feel old:

1. Don’t be afraid to combine styles e.g. modern, mid-century, Victorian.

2. Add colour as a totally neutral palette adds to that ‘brand new’ feeling.  However, try not to to colour coordinate in an obvious way e.g. buy one new item and an antique item in the same colour so they don’t ‘match’.

3. Personalise your home with photographs, postcards, possessions, paintings.  Without these things there can be no soul in your home.

4. Use vintage finds and vintage textiles to soften the hard edges of a new home.

5. Make the most of any outside space to prevent your home feeling soulless and sterile.

6. Use soft lighting to help warm up stark white walls; always use table and standard lamps rather than ceiling lights.



Chateau love

Last summer we went on a road trip through France.  We ended up at a vineyard called Chateau de Claribes near Bordeaux, that makes delicious wine.  It was French heaven and our gite was a beautiful example of sympathetic restoration.  I hope this post shows you how a very old building can be modernised without losing any of its charm or character.

French gite

The gite at the Chateau de Claribes.

French gite and chateau

Surrounding barns ready for restoration.

Our trusty mode of transport.

French gite with wood burning stove

The sitting room has exposed stonework and beams, a wood burning stove and a cool tiled floor. The warm but neutral colour palette allows the original features to be the main focal points.

French gite with wood burning stove

The open-plan layout downstairs enables light to flood in. The furniture and curtains have been kept minimal and simple so as not to take away from the wonderful interior.

Ikea kitchen in french chateau gite

A simple Ikea kitchen, though modern, works well in this old building as the wooden work top ties in with the exposed beams and old wooden dining table and chairs.

Fireplace in French chateau

Beautiful exposed fireplace and stone wall with vintage jugs as ornaments.

Fireplace in French chateau

The exposed beams add character to the kitchen.

Fireplace with wood burning stove in French chateau

Wood burning stove looks lovely but also very functional in the cold, French winters.

Simple furnishings and wall sconses let the beautiful building shine.

Fireplace in French chateau

The warm, neutral colours create a wonderful ambience.

Exposed beams in French chateau

The bedrooms are just as characterful as the downstairs due to the vaulted and beamed ceiling.

Exposed beams in French chateau

The Ikea furniture is simple with clean lines.

Exposed beams in French chateau

The exposed brick of the chimney comes up from the kitchen into the bedroom creating a wonderful original feature.

Exposed beams in French chateau

With such wonderful period features you can get away with a simple Ikea bedframe.

This wardrobe tones in with the paintwork so it doesn’t dominate.

French garden

The house looks out over a valley of vineyards.

French vineyard

The vines continue at the back of the house, which is perfect for barbeques.

French vineyard

The delicious wine at Claribes is well worth a taste!

I wish I was there now…

French exterior goodness

This post is not so much about interiors, but exteriors.  Our trip to the amazingly beautiful Ile de Re and then south west France gave me the opportunity to photograph breathtaking French architecture that has been a constant inspiration to me. I love the simplicity of French architecture rather than the more fussy, opulent aspects of some French interiors.  I hope these images inspire you as much as they inspired me.

The Ile de Re is absolutely stunning.  We stayed in a hotel called La Baronnie, which was nestled right next to the bustling harbour of St. Martin.

St. Martin Ile de Re

The symmetry of these coastal houses is so appealing. The light render, window shutters and terracotta roof tiles are all synonymous with French architecture.

St. Martin Ile de Re

The back entrance of La Baronnie lies off this little street.

French chateau with window shutters

I love the look of windows with shutters; they frame these beautiful tall, slim windows.

Vintage metal garden furniture

Wonderful antique metal furniture in La Baronnie gardens that just look so ‘French’.

French chateau garden

Although each part of La Baronnie is a different shape and size they are all tied together by their colour and roof tiles. This cohesive look is another aspect of French architecture that appeals to me.

French chateau with window shutters

Paint work on a lot of French buildings always looks so tasteful as a limited colour palette is used that includes grey, sage green, verdigris and duck egg blue.

French chateau terrace

Simple, cohesive outdoor furniture.

wood clad french chateau bedroom

Our room was clad in wood with exposed beams and painted floorboards. This style reflects being next to the sea and the light. The typical French toile de jouy bed linen is palatable (usually far too fussy for me) as this is the only print used in the room.

wood clad french chateau bedroom

The furniture in the room is sparse and simple, which makes the room feel more modern.

The pretty windows are framed with internal shutters and floaty white curtains to ensure the light can reach every corner of the room.

Small details like the sheer curtain across this door and the door handle instantly create the unique French style.

By using glass between the bathroom and bedroom it means the window-less bathroom is as light as possible.

wood clad french chateau bathroom

The bathroom is also clad in white wood with painted white floorboards.

We then travelled on to the Chateau de Lalande, whose architecture is as French as can be.

French Chateau

A beautiful example of an original French Chateau.

Ivy covered French Chateau

The ivy covering is very French.

Ivy covered French Chateau

The grandness of this Chateau is softened by the ivy and wisteria.

Hydrangeas at French Chateau

Hydrangeas line the entrance to the chateau and they reflect the blue of the shutters.

Ivy covered French Chateau

White, metal garden furniture would be more appropriate in this garden.

Swimming pool at Ivy covered French Chateau

The effort that has been put into this pergola absolutely covered in wisteria adds to the style of this Chateau.

French wallpaper

This is not to my taste but the chateau is decorated in opulent, old fashioned French style throughout.


I will be back as soon as I can be!