Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

Home Style: Beaming with Happiness

Lisa and Matthew Good wanted a property to add value to, sell and move on – but they ended up so enamoured with their renovation that they decided to stay put.

When interior stylist Lisa Good and her city consultant husband Matthew moved into a little period house in Kent, space soon became an issue because it wasn’t long before Oliver came along, joined a few years later by Lola. “We began looking for a bigger house but we wanted a project that we could add value to. We initially thought we would do a house up and live there for a couple of years before moving on but, as it happens, we love it so much we decided to stay,” said Lisa.

 
The house in question is a Grade-II listed six-bedroom farmhouse in the Sandhurst, Kent. The couple viewed the property during an open day and were won over by the proportions. “We put in an offer and the owner accepted on the proviso that we could exchange within six weeks. We had to move heaven and earth,” remembered Lisa. There was then a lull in proceedings over the Christmas period, so it was a further three months before the purchase completed.


 
A huge task lay ahead – the house was very dated, with no insulation and no central heating. Fast forward to the following year and the house had been completely transformed and the family were able to move in, with new addition, baby Willoughby. The external walls have been insulated, underfloor and central heating have been installed and the property has been rewired, refitted and redecorated. There has also been extensive roof work and half of the windows have been replaced.


 
The house has a predominantly neutral base palette, which Lisa chose to allow her to move furniture from room to room if required. She has added colour in her fabric and accessory choices. “You have to be sensitive to the building you are in. Our style is quite industrial but we haven’t implemented that in this property as we didn’t want it to jar,” she said.

The kitchen is light and airy with views over the formal garden area. “We opted for a dark painted island with lighter cupboards,” said Lisa. “We also replaced the Aga with a five-door version. I had to go to a cooking demonstration to learn how to use it!”


 
Upstairs, the six bedrooms and three bathrooms are split over two floors. A highlight is the luxurious and vast en suite attic bathroom. “The children aren’t allowed up there!” Lisa laughed. “In winter you can lie in a candlelit bath and look up through the sky light and see the stars.”


 
Meanwhile, the garden offers a symmetrical planted area, lawn, tree house, zip wire and swimming pool. “My husband had a strong idea of what he wanted,” Lisa said. They called upon a garden designer to put together a plan for them. The idea for the style of the pool came from a family holiday. “We took inspiration from a hotel in Mallorca where there was a swimming pool lined in slate. We discovered that slate tiles were unaffordable but we found a similar-coloured liner,” said Lisa.


 
The couple are delighted with the end results but there are more plans afoot, albeit on a much smaller scale. “We have planning consent for an oak-framed garage,” Lisa said. But, for now, the family are content to sit back and reap the rewards of their stunning transformation.


 

More from Homes and Gardens

  • Home Style: Pastures New

    The grass really was greener for this family, who left behind their recently remodelled London house for a new life in the country

  • Homes Extra: Let There Be Light

    Read on for the latest in home and garden lighting ideas for a bright and up to date space, says Sara Whatley

  • Blooming Times: Wisteria Hysteria

    With its exquisitely fragrant, show-stopping blooms, wisteria is the queen of spring climbers – yet it can be frustratingly sulky and thuggish. Flo Whitaker offers a quick troubleshooting guide to floral success

  • Home Style: Home on Wheels

    A plot on the family farm with stunning marshland views was the ideal spot for Freddie Pack and Katie McNie to build their new home – a cabin on wheels

  • Home Style: Modern Outlook

    Downsizing couple Pauline and Bill chose practicality over space, but didn’t compromise on their love of mid-century style

  • Blooming Times: Dahlia Mania

    Inexpensive, hardworking plants with blooms in a vast array of colours and shapes - no flower is perfect, but dahlias come pretty close, says Flo Whitaker

  • Home Style: Time to Heal

    After losing her husband, Tracy Nors threw all her energies into renovating a period terrace in the pretty town of Rye

  • Blooming Times: Spring into Summer

    Say the word ‘bulb’ and thoughts of spring immediately come to mind - but there are some bulbus characters to plant now for summer colour. Flo Whitaker selects a few of her favourites

  • Home Style: Farm Stay

    While living in a tiny cabin on the family farm, Freddie and Katie Pack saved up to build their dream house on a plot a few fields away

  • Home Style: Romantic Vision

    Tim and Jenny Backshall rescued a derelict timber-framed hall house, respecting its history while future proofing for generations to come

  • Homes Extra: Dining Style

    Sara Whatley is singing the praises of the dining table and looking at different styling options for it

  • Blooming Times: Spring Fever

    February is often labelled the cruellest month in the horticultural calendar. However, Flo Whitaker suggests there is still plenty of opportunity for growth

  • Home Style: Forest Idyll

    Moving the kitchen became the start of a much bigger project for the Buckinghams, as it created opportunities to change their new home

  • Blooming Times: What's in a Name?

    Botanical Latin may seem daunting, but it’s designed to be helpful and informative, says Flo Whitaker

  • Gardening: The Benefits of Hedges

    Gardeners are a flower-obsessed lot, greedily seeking out the latest, brightest blooms. That’s all very well, but ephemeral flowers need a stage to perform on. Plant a hedge - they add structure, benefit wildlife and look good all year round.

  • Home Style: Treasure Trove

    The interior of a quaint, white-washed cottage in Sussex has been transformed into a colourful home full of character by a couple of keen collectors.

  • Blooming Times: Awesome Alliums

    Easy-going and beloved by bees - now’s the perfect time to plant allium bulbs for a spectacular display next year. Flo Whitaker picks some of her favourites.

  • Homes Extra: Truly, Madly, Deeply

    Fall in love with your soft furnishings again this autumn and make it the season to snuggle up in style, says Sara Whatley

  • Home Style: Clear Vision

    Jacqui Elliott Williams has relished bringing this elegant Victorian house back to life with confident ideas, stylish choices and creative flair.

  • Homes Extra: Parasol Power

    Pretty parasols are enjoying their moment in the sun and making our outside spaces spin with style, says Sara Whatley.