into thier beautiful dream home .....
Interview with Tracy Jones
(full house tour below)
1. what made you take on the huge job of converting a barn yourselves? (it must have been a long job)
it has always been our dream to do an unusual conversion, we had a stunning new home in Scarborough, but one day decided to look on the internet for a barn. i have two older children who both live and work in saffron walden and although my mother lives in Scarborough we started to look to be central to visit both.
we found this barn with cattle sheds, stables and tractor sheds all adjoining with a courtyard in the centre, an acre garden to the rear with a 2 acre woodland area to the front, situated 2 miles at the end of a fen just outside the hamlet of howell, nr. sleaford, i rang the agent, who these happened to belong too and he suggested, after a long list of questions, we travelled down to view. well, it was love at first site, we both clearly saw the potential.
we put our home in Scarborough on the market and managed to find a buyer within six weeks. our dream came true.
we moved on 1st Sept 2010 and started work immediately, we lived in a two bed static caravan onsite, with no water, no sewage, no electric for the first two weeks, which was horrid, to say the least, but we survived.
we completed the conversion of the tractor sheds, cattle shed and the stables in may 2011, which gave us a very large open plan kitchen/living area, three large bedrooms and three bathrooms.
2. Where you very involved with the architects plans for the building, did you have a good idea of what you wanted & where yourselves.
our intension was to do the main barn first which had full planning and architect drawings for an open plan kitchen/living area downstairs with a mezzanine with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the architect worked closely with Steve and myself to put our ideas into a working plan, but when the BBC came involved we favoured the presenter Jules Hudson's idea of converting the other parts first, because these were in a much worse condition. The thought was that structurally, the big barn was ok, but the smaller barns would deteriorate further if left and may not be viable to put right, which was what we did. Steve gave up work for six months to work along side the builder as a labourer which worked extremely well. We didn't use an architect for the smaller barns, just used a building notice and worked with the local building inspectors, they were most helpful in giving advise on how to do certain aspects like strengthening the pillars between the folding doors. This also allowed us to 'go with the flow' and come up with changes and solutions as we went along which might not have been so easy to do with full plans as every time we wanted to change something, the council would need to agree to amendments which took time (and sometimes another fee). The downside of this is that it was difficult for a novice to budget. We still have the barn to do, and the drive through the wood, however this is a five year plan and its great to be out of the caravan and enjoying what we have achieved.
3. You clearly have a good eye for colour & style what were your inspirations for your finished look
my passion is interiors, I adore white and wanted that crisp clean and very modern look throughout, with the occasional colour.
4. the kitchen & bathrooms are beautifully designed (coming from a kitchen & bathroom designer these are fantastically put together)did you have a general idea about the look you wanted or where you swayed by the designers
I clearly knew what I wanted with regards to the kitchen and bathrooms and spent an awful lot of time finding the one i wanted, all designs were done by ourselves. in our bathroom, i fell in love with the "pod" design suite and although it was extremely expensive, it looks absolutely stunning.
5. what are some of your favourite features ( I love the fish tank) & tell me a bit about what made you choose them
I can honestly say that I love everything about the whole conversion, I love the open plan living, especially when friends are round, it is a great entertaining space. the fish tank is amazing and has become my hubby's passion. it is so relaxing been able to relax in the bath watching the fish or laying in bed watching them, beats tv anytime. We decided on marine fish after always having tropical and although it is harder to maintain correctly, and we made some mistakes, my hubby has now managed to achieve the correct balance and the fish and corals we have are stable and loving there new home.
6. it must feel fantastic to have people want to feature your home you have been on the telly how did this come about
we feel extremely honoured to be offered a feature of our home, it really makes all the hard work worth while when you receive so many compliments. we contacted the BBC at the very start of our project in the hope we would get some professional help, as we had never done such an enormous project before. it was quite scary been filmed for three and a half days for the first series and three days for the second series, don't think we would want to do it again though,
7. is there anything else you would like to add about your beautiful home.
(from Steve) , my task was to work with the buildings limitations such as walls and room sizes and to make the building 'work', the great thing was because there was nothing there, it was a blank canvas for us to use how we live our life, I know everyone is different, and might have laid thing out differently, but for us, this is perfect. But full credit needs to go to tracey as she came up with all the little 'finishing touches', which have turned this once derelict place, into 'our amazing home'.
Tracy shares some before shots of the barn
(before guest bedroom)before of kitchen/lounge area
before of master bedroom
(before of master un-suite)
lets take a tour of what the barn looks like now..............
A stunning open plan living area with kitchen & dinning
A beautiful & stylishly designed bathroom & guest room
A swoon worthy & spacious master bathroom complete with fish tank
The master bedroom is contemporary & sleek & sophisticated
Tracys son has a stunning statement room too
A huge thank you to Tracy for sharing these wonderful images of her home with us & for kindly taking the time to tell us about the makeover. An absolutely beautiful home x