New England style coach house with decks and open plan rooms

Ask Sarah Druce what inspired her most when she redesigned her converted barn house in Surrey, UK and she will tell you it was the time she spent away from it. So it’s not surprising that the finished home has a holiday feel that wouldn’t look out of place in New England, Mallorca or South Africa. All of these places inspired her and the renovation gave Sarah the opportunity to bring her global favorite looks into her one-of-a-kind home.

The result is a serene and welcoming retreat, with a serene atmosphere that blends perfectly with the peaceful woodland setting, and luxurious touches that truly make this hotel one of the the world’s best houses.

Open-plan eat-in kitchen

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

The property has been part of Sarah’s life for as long as she can remember. Built in 1858 as the original Victorian stable block and coach house for her childhood home, it was converted to residential use in the 1980s. It was renovated for Sarah’s grandmother and when she died the property was rented out to tenants until Sarah bought it from her father.

kitchen ideas Here on the ground floor with an open plan layout are fitted wardrobes and an island designed by Sarah and built by Handmade Kitchens of Christchurch and then painted in Little Greene’s Tea with Florence. The island and cabinets are topped with honed Caesarstone Cloudburst Concrete countertops, which doubles the edges to make it look more substantial and luxurious – a trick she learned from her mother.

Kitchen with blue island and light-colored cabinets with wooden bar stools

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

The cabinets are finished in Hardwick White by Farrow & Ball. Sarah added vintage handles. The double oven and hob are from Smeg and the pendant lights were the originals from her mother’s house next door.

dining area

Dining area with French windows, wooden table and chairs and chest of drawers

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

Dining room ideas In the coach house open space is a farmhouse table from Sarah’s old family home, which goes well with her relaxed mix of old and newer finds. The bentwood chairs are new and the old chapel chairs belonged to Sarah’s mother. Sarah found the Welsh chest of drawers for sale locally, restored it and added a new top made by her carpenter.

Alfresco dining

Outdoor dining table on patio with wooden benches and table pergola above and trees behind

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

The windows in all the main rooms of the property have been replaced with French doors leading to the covered area and pergola built by Matt Truseler of Surrey Hills Carpentry & Oak Framing. Sarah added springboard trim painted Farrow & Ball’s Hardwick White. During lockdown, Sarah had to source wood from wherever she could to complete the project – the carpenter built the table and benches from scrap wood used elsewhere in the build

Cozy living space

Living room with pale green and teal sofas with wooden coffee table and rattan pouffes

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

who looks for living room ideas find inspiration in this cozy corner. No need to coordinate sofas – the pale green and smaller teal sofas complement each other well. Built by a carpenter to Sarah’s design, the floor-to-ceiling closet is used to store household items. Sarah made the coffee table herself from a salvaged table frame covered with scaffolding boards. The colorful hand-blocked cushion came from Cape Town.

Bedroom with secret courtyard

Bedroom with patio French doors and patterned bedspread and paneled headboard

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

The bedroom on the ground floor is in the original brick stable front and has its own terrace.

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