Home visit: A relaxing farmhouse in the country


Life in the countryside has a different kind of pace. Discover how natural materials and conscious choices give this renovated farmhouse its sense of slow living.

Airy, light-filled and finished with a mix of naturally aged and new pieces, Natalie and Dug’s extension is their sanctuary. “This space is our antidote to the modern world,” says Natalie. “We’ve made it a device-free zone, so instead of looking down at our phones, we’re looking up out of the skylights. Our village has dark-skies status because there’s so little light pollution. Sometimes you can see the Milky Way.”

“Making a home is more of an evolution than buying everything immediately. So much of ours is re-sourced and reclaimed. We never want to be wasteful.”

This traditional, country-style kitchen supports modern values. Natalie and Dug’s intention was to soften the look of closed cabinets by adding open storage. The unexpected emotional benefit was a fluid and sociable kitchen: “When we have guests over, I love that I’m never really the host in my own home. My family bring their own guests, get involved and help themselves,” says Natalie.

After living with walls and doors “where walls and doors shouldn’t be”, Natalie and Dug knocked through to open up the living, kitchen and dining areas. They hoped that reconnecting the rooms would reconnect them. “We’ve made a habit of eating together at the table and then migrating over to the sofas,” says Natalie. Using a bench for seating saves space as it can be pushed under the table when not in use.

IKEA Ideas - Home visit: a relaxing farmhouse in the country

Choosing the right color scheme for your sleep habits can be just as important as choosing the right mattress. Natalie found that too much white in the bedroom was keeping her from getting a good night’s sleep. “I did a lot of research about relaxing spaces,” she says. “Natural tones and textiles calm the senses rather than dull them.”