When Gillian and her family decided to buy a derelict farm in North East England, she could only dream about the property she might eventually be able to enjoy. Fast-forward eight years, and Gillian has successfully converted and extended the former granary building to create a beautifully appointed and light-filledforever home’ that brings her joy every day.

In 2009, Gillian and her husband pooled resources with Gillian’s parents and her sister to purchase an entire farm. The 72-acre plot of land came with a series of run-down buildings that no-one had lived in for 40 years – but the family had big plans…

Gillian explains: “We converted the Dutch Barn into garages and the stables were converted into a home for my parents. My sister and her husband and children had the farmhouse, but they had to knock it down and start again. Because of strict planning permission requirements, they had to build it exactly as it originally was. We took the granary – and were subject to the same planning restrictions.”

As the director of a large construction and demolition company, Gillian is no stranger to the often-unforeseen challenges of any type of building work, and she wasn’t phased by the task of re-building the granary. The whole project took 18 months to complete. 

The building was previously adjoined to the neighboring barn by a simple corrugated shed. This ‘non-traditional’ aspect allowed Gillian to push through planning consent to replace this section of the house with a new link structure that isn’t subject to the same rigorous restrictions.

“For the whole of the rest of the house, we had to use the old local stone to re-build the granary. But in this one space I was allowed to do something a bit different, because it was a completely new structure,” explains Gillian. And she had a very clear idea of what she wanted to create…

“We loved the
obvious quality
of these doors."