Inside The Gorgeous Renovation of a Historic Former Rectory

In a quaint English village, renowned interior design firm transformed a historic rectory into a cottage-style weekend escape.

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Alun Callender

In a quaint English village, renowned interior design firm transformed a historic home that was once a rectory into a relaxed, cottage-style weekend escape. The structure dates to 1630, with some additions made throughout the following centuries. Emma Sims Hilditch, head of the design firm, wanted to bring together the house's various styles into one cohesive design. Caught up in the busyness of London life, Hilditch's clients were hoping for a restful retreat from the city that would also honor the home’s history. “They wanted the style to be sympathetic to the age of the building,” says the designer, “but still at the contemporary end.”

Read on for our tour of the refashioned rectory.

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Alun Callender

Peaceful and elegant, the dining room relies on a palette of blue-toned grays and warm woods. An oak dining table from Neptune serves as the centerpiece of the room; the chairs and glazed rack dresser are also from Neptune. The damask curtains in GP & J Baker fabric were cut and sewn by the Sims Hilditch team, while the dome wall lights are by Original BTC, and the oak fossil flooring, Havwoods.

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Alun Callender

Oriented around the flow of natural light, the kitchen design is simple, allowing unique, subtle details to elevate the overall aesthetic. Many of the kitchen fixtures were sourced from Neptune, including the lily-white cabinetry, Perrin & Rowe tap, sink, and willow basket, and the blinds were fabricated by Sims Hilditch using GP & J Baker fabric.

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Alun Callender

The worktop comes from Generix Stone Fabrication Ltd., and features a rich, textured color. Mandarin Stone created the lush limestone floor paneling. Originally designed as a coat hanger, the rack from Neptune serves a new purpose here.

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Alun Callender

From this angle, the kitchen reveals its cottage influence, with exposed wood and a beech paddle board from Garden Trading resting on the counter.

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Alun Callender

Organizing accessories from Neptune, including willow baskets, make this mudroom an elegant and functional space.

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Alun Callender

Tangerines and cerulean blues bring color into the sitting room. Neptune created the cushions, coffee table, lamp stand, and sofa, while the curtains were custom made from Lewis & Wood fabric. Framing the India Jane mirror, the gray wall sconces are from Original BTC.

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Alun Callender

Intricate print curtains, designed by Sims Hilditch using fabric from Colefax and Fowler, are a graceful finishing touch for the drawing room. The cushions, armchairs, and sofas are from Neptune. India Jane designed the coffee table, and the basket-weave rug is from Capitol Carpets. Beside the rear sofa, the Roman-inspired floor lamp was designed by Eichholtz.

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Alun Callender

An elegant half-bath is charmingly simple.

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Alun Callender

Sims Hilditch has a knack for selecting the perfect pattern, and the bedroom is no exception. Knowles & Christou wallpaper creates a beautiful background for Neptune pieces including a king bed, oak stools, and bedside table. Sims Hilditch designed the bed cushions from OKA fabric and the curtains from Libeco linen. The ceramic table lamps are by .

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Alun Callender

A small vanity, also serving as a workspace, creates an intimate setting for early morning and evening routines. Neptune designed the desk, mirror, and wall lights; a Robert Langford chair is paired here with the desk.

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Alun Callender

One of the home's original five bedrooms was converted into a master bath to provide the homeowners with more space and comfort. A sleigh tub from Clearwater Baths is the visual focal point. Porta Romana wall lights contribute to the soft, minimalist style, as do the shutters by the New England Shutter Company and bathmat by Balineum.

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Alun Callender

One of the home's original five bedrooms was converted into a master bath to provide the homeowners with more space and comfort. A sleigh tub from Clearwater Baths is the visual focal point. Porta Romana wall lights contribute to the soft, minimalist style, as do the shutters by the New England Shutter Company and bathmat by Balineum.

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Alun Callender

The style of the children’s bedroom complements the overall design, but it leaves room for a little playfulness. The trundle beds come from Tasha Beds; the bed cushions, from Neptune. Beside the beds, the dome wall lights are from Original BTC, and overhead, the star-printed lampshade is from Jim Lawrence. A Balineum laundry basket serves as a catch-all space for storage and dirty laundry.

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Alun Callender

The hallway is sparsely furnished but includes unique pieces, such as a twisted leg center table custom made by Sims Hilditch, box wall lamps from Eichholtz, and a nine-arm chandelier by Richard Taylor Designs. The textured carpeting is from Capitol Carpets; the roman blind was crafted by Sims Hilditch using GP & J Baker fabric.

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Alun Callender

Wallpaper from Pierre Frey provides cozy detailing in the study. Eichholtz designed the wood and glass desk, table lamp, and print featuring the Memphis Airport, while Neptune created the rolling chair and nickel wall lights.

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Alun Callender
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