Victoria Jenkins at home in worcestershire

00:18 14 February 2011

Main Bedroom:

Main Bedroom:

Once a Victorian stable block, the Stockley's lakeside house near Malvern has been transformed into a beautiful, rustic home.

Something out of a fairytale

Once a Victorian stable block, the Stockleys lakeside house near Malvern has been transformed into a beautiful, rustic home.

Linda and Mark Stockley were enchanted when they found charming Lake House near Malvern. Although the town was not far away the location made them feel they were deep in the countryside.

The house, formerly an early Victorian stable block to a nearby mansion, stood in beautiful grounds surrounded by trees.

Just beyond our house was a small lake alive with ducks and moorhens and giant carp, says Linda, who runs a babywear shop in Ledbury. It even had its own little bridge and a rowing boat and it was all very quiet, as though miles from anywhere.

However, the Grade II listed house was less inviting as it had been rented out for years and had been very much neglected. There were purple carpets and orange walls in both the sitting room and the main bedroom and underneath the purple carpet downstairs was cheap laminate flooring, says Linda. The kitchen was a dated Ikea, the bathroom was truly grubby and the general effect was dark and dingy.

However, it had some charming olde worlde features, particularly the oak beams everywhere, both vertical and horizontal (and even some diagonal), and exposed rosy old brickwork. Mark and Linda felt they could definitely make something of it.

We did much of the work ourselves as luckily my husband is very much a DIY man, says Linda. But first we had mains gas laid and installed gas central heating and a new Worcester boiler. Then Mark began by gutting the house which included stripping out both the main kitchen and a second mini-kitchen (now our breakfast room). He also did some replastering, laid all the new flooring downstairs which consisted of new French oak floorboards in the sitting room and new stone tiles in the kitchen and its three little adjoining rooms which have since become our breakfast room, cloakroom/ utility room and a study.

He also plumbed in the washing machine, sanded the floors upstairs and redecorated. but this house was hard work as at the same time we were bringing up our four children, running our own businesses and renovating three other smaller properties which came with the house.

It took six months in all but fortunately the family could live in their little flat above Lindas shop in Ledbury.

We didnt do anything structural as the house is listed but we did take out a horrible shower from what is now the cloakroom/utility room and put in a loo and basin, says Linda.

Linda redesigned the layout of the kitchen then put in new handmade units from deVol painted in Pigeon by Farrow and Ball; they cleaned both the chimneys and replaced the broken Rayburn with a new gas-fuelled Aga.

As for the unattractive pot-bellied stove in the sitting room it had to go after it billowed smoke out over everything so we put a new Charnwood log burner in its place, says Linda.

Finally they were able to decorate and used either Fired Earth or Farrow and Ball colours. We wanted soothing neutral shades which are peaceful to look at, says Linda. Our cottage could have looked dark as it is old with typical smallish windows and is surrounded by trees. So we decidedto paint the house in as many lightand muted soft tones as possible and chose subtle shades such as blue-greys, green-blues, grey-browns and creams. They reflect the colours outside in the grounds and Ive been told the effect is quite magical.

They painted both walls and woodwork including some of the newer beams put in at the time of its conversion some years before they arrived but they left the original oak beams in their natural state.

Then Linda also hunted auction houses and reclamation yards for old furniture which had a nice shape that could then be brought to life by being painted or recovered with soft linen fabrics. For instance, their settle is from a Ledbury auction which Linda painted in French Grey by Farrow & Ball, while their oval coffee table is made up from old floorboards.

At last the couple could move in with Lily (17) the youngest of their four grown-up children plus their Jack Russell Harry.

The nicest thing anyone has ever said about our house is that its so
pretty it looks like something out of a fairytale with a lovely tranquil atmosphere, says Linda. It nestles among the trees beside the lake and is unique as far as its setting goes.


Whitecross Farm, Bridstow,
near Ross on Wye HR9 6JU.
Tel: 01989 563015;
Bylaw Furniture
Tel: 01989 567756;
deVOL Kitchens
38 Jubilee Drive,
Loughborough LE11 5XS.
Tel: 01509 261000
Mandarin Stone
Unit 1, Wonastow Industrial Estate East, Monmouth, NP25 5JB.
Tel: 01600 715444;
Roger Oates
The Long Barn,
Eastnor HR8 1EL.
Tel: 01531 632718
White Hall Fabrics
36 Owen Street,
Hereford HR1 2PR.
Tel: 01432 376810


More from Homes & Gardens

Monday, October 10, 2016

We look through the keyhole of some of the Cotswolds’ most luxurious houses on the property market

Read more
Friday, August 19, 2016

From seaside escapes to eco-friendly self-builds, take a tour of three motivating and beautiful renovations that will give you serious house envy

Read more
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

From beautiful barn conversions and Georgian mansions to fairytale cottages, we take a look at the inspirational interiors of three stunning homes in England

Read more

Sixteen years ago, a young couple drove along a remote country track to discover their Cotswold fairytale home, with its 23 acres of wild countryside, lying at the end

Read more
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

There is so much availability on the market for windows and door manufacturers with a variety of materials, the thought of replacing them can be nerve racking to say the least. These top tips will help to ensure the company you choose will produce a good job at a realistic rate

Read more

Have you ever wondered what the pretty thatched cottages of the Cotswolds look like inside? Well now you can find out...

Read more
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As part of the National Gardens Scheme, Broadacre will be opening its gates to the general public on 17 April.

Read more
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Whether you're an avid gardener or a lover of all things outdoors, we pick some of the most beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds we think are definitely worth a visit.

Read more
Thursday, April 7, 2016

From the best flowers to plant in spring to inspiring cottage garden style – we reveal 10 things to do this month in the garden to ensure an awesome outside space

Read more

Ad Feature: JLT Personal Risks

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

No ordinary possessions, no ordinary insurance broker.

Read more
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2016 welcomes a pedigree of show garden designers competing for prestigious RHS accolades including Gold medals and the coveted Best In Show.

Read more
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Where better to draw inspiration for heavenly scented candles than the rolling hills of the Cotswold countryside?

Read more
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Clearview Stoves have been manufacturing wood burning stoves for 29 years

Read more
Monday, February 29, 2016

RHS Malvern is all set to bring spring and the new show season alive

Read more

Topics of Interest

A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad
subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Worcester's trusted business finder

Planning Finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search