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Real home: re-designing a grade II listed Dorset manor house

Historical elegance was paramount in this redesign
   Hannah Caton  |  written on: 12-07-2019 08:00am

The project in a nutshell

Location: Dorset

Property style: Georgian Grade II Listed Property

Designer: Sims Hilditch

Decade property was originally built:  Dates back to 1200



The home-owners of this beautiful historic build wanted a space that felt seamlessly classic, yet contemporary. In order to do this, designer Sam Hilditch decided to re-evaluate the existing configuration of the rooms – especially on the ground floor:

“Our clients didn’t want a formal dining room but longed for a large kitchen and open plan living area. By doing away with the formal dining room, we were able to relocate the drawing room into this stunning Georgian wing of the house. We then reconfigured the old drawing room into a large open plan kitchen dining room, which gave us further scope to create a beautifully functional laundry and boot room in what had been the old kitchen.”



When deciding how to furnish and decorate the interior, Hilditch opted to use inspiration from the natural surrounding Dorset area: “Colours such as warming beiges were carefully introduced whilst natural materials such as wool and limestone were key to the scheme to complement the original features.”



As in any historical property, crooked walls and uneven floors threw up multitudes of challenges – charming as they may be. The solution decided upon for this property was to design bespoke cabinets that fit snugly into each space.

When redesigning the rooms, the focus turned to the historic character of the beams: “The rooms on the first and second floors were reconfigured to create a beautiful master bedroom and en-suite bathroom that made the most of the open beams. The ceiling height is accentuated by the clever use of wallpaper to create an airy yet intimate feeling.”



The aim was to mix modern comfort and historical elegance to create a luxurious family home, “We collated a mixture of contemporary and antique pieces for this project. We wanted to create a gentle reminder of the home’s immense heritage but combining this with a modern aesthetic.”



And the designers top piece of advice for anyone considering a re-design? “Think carefully about the function of each room and what style you want for that space. Start looking at wall colours, wallpapers and fabrics and piece the schemes together. The inspiration should come from the atmosphere you want to create in that room.”

Also read:
For sale! A fairy-tale thatched cottage in Buckinghamshire

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Hannah Caton


Hannah is the online writer for KBBArk, providing the latest scoop on all things interior. She's always on the lookout for the latest trends and most beautiful re-designs.