Renovation Story: The Apple House

This wonderful building has received an award from the Salisbury Civic Society New Buildings Award Scheme. When reporting on the project, they commented ‘The imagination shown in re-using original features in the interior, and adding new details, was applauded as going well beyond the norm.’ One of the successful candidates, Stonehenge Visitor Centre, received The Lord Congleton Award for the most outstanding project.

We were intrigued to hear the story of how this amazing house was built with wonderful far reaching views over the Wiltshire countryside.

The beginning...

Situated high on a hill above our house was an old apple barn, full of history and hidden stories.

The Apple House

When Clare and Barnaby Faull finally came to dismantle the corregated iron barn, the stories unfolded. It had been used by the Home Guard in the Second World War, they found evidence of this in the shape of a large box with compartments which housed hand grenades. Not the dark green ones we’re familiar with from the movies, but glass hand grenades – apparently the War Office issued 100,000s so that every Home Guard had ammo.

The Apple House

The instructions for using the ammunition is clearly marked on the box, they were fascinated by this snippet of history.  Apart from the broken chairs, the rotten shelving for storing apples, there were also corn feeders for pheasants or chickens.  The derelict black iron building was held together with ivy.

The Apple House

The dream was to create a building echoing the original. One of Clare’s friends from London had moved to nearby Tisbury, her husband was an architect and had made a big impression in the area when he won a conservation award for renovating the house they live in with such care. Clare and Barnaby gave John Comparelli the task of designing the Apple House.  Clare had a vision, and knew exactly what she wanted and they worked together to create this unique house.

She wanted the bedrooms to be separate from the living space, she knew she wanted a long and low building to fit in with the landscape and it had to refer back to the original apple barn.

The Apple House

Clare wanted to keep the original barn in her creation so re used the stable floors outside the front door. She sourced the beautiful bricks from a supplier in Norfolk who was buying up Eastern European agricultural buildings and importing the bricks to the UK.

In clearing the area ready for the build, they had to fell a huge oak tree which broke Clare’s heart but she managed to use large pieces of wood in the kitchen, one huge beech slab became the kitchen island surface. Placing the panty on the north of the building made sure it keeps cool in summer and the utility/boot room continued with the brick floor and features a Victorian glazed sink, shallow and wide which Clare found in a reclamation yard.

The Apple House

Solar PV panels run the air sourced heat pump which in turn creates lovely warm underfloor heating. The windows came from a Velfac, made with consideration for functionality, durability and aesthetics. These windows are aluminium spray painted on the outside, you can choose from loads of colours, and they are timber inside which gives a much warmer feel.

The Apple House

The furniture was collected from years of visiting Salisbury Auctions and picked up at various furniture emporiums. Many of the bird paintings are from Barnaby’s sister, the artist Emma Faull. The four poster bed was made by the carpenter who created the kitchen units and Clare went to Soak and Sleep for mattresses and linen.

‘I now long for a London garden’ said Clare after planting out the 5 square beds alongside the Apple House, ‘it was so easy to choose plants and create an instant garden here, compared to the garden I have at home!’

The Apple House

Originally intended for Barnaby’s mother, it turned out that she didn’t want to move to Wiltshire, as was happy in Sussex, so what to do with this beautiful eco friendly building? Of course, it was ideal as a holiday cottage, the proximity to the wonderful cathedral city of Salisbury and the amazing countryside surrounding this stunning building makes a perfect base for exploring. Added to the fact that Clare has cleverly created this wonderfully quirky interior, the Apple House really is a great place to stay.

Find out more about The Apple House.