Through the keyhole of a Shackleford period home
PUBLISHED: 12:40 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:01 29 January 2018
Andreas von Einsiedel 2015, All Rights Reserved
Experienced renovator Cassia Bardoe transformed this lacklustre rectory in Shackleford into a stylish family home while retaining its integrity
With her clear vision for creatively restoring character properties and passion for interior design, the moment Cassia Bardoe stumbled across a tired Victorian rectory, she relished the opportunity to enhance the period features with her signature look.
“I realised this would be my most ambitious project to date but, given time and patience, I knew the end result would be worth it,” Cassia says.
At the time, interior designer Cassia and her solicitor husband, Tim, were living with their three children, Bianca, Jack and Dylan, in a coach house in Guildford that she’d completely transformed.
“I adore the challenge of renovating properties and landscaping gardens,’ says Cassia. “I’m always keeping my eyes out, and an ear to the ground, for inspiring projects. Keen to move to a more rural location, when I discovered this rectory, nestling in four acres of land during an online search, I couldn’t resist setting up a viewing at St Mary’s.”
During her visit to the pretty village of Shackleford, Cassia discovered that the house was steeped in history, having been built by the Reverend Buttemer, the rector of St Mary the Virgin, who also built the nearby church and school. She was told that the property remained in the ownership of the Buttemer family without extension or alteration until 1987, and had only changed hands once since then.
Although the owners had retained the delightful character features and essence of this handsome home, Cassia could see that it was dated and in need of a fresh, more contemporary look.
“The layout was all higgledy-piggledy,” says Cassia. “It was typically Victorian with too many small spaces and corridors. The pulpit-type structure in the hallway was rather puzzling and the flow of the house wasn’t right. On the plus side, I loved the beautiful setting, and the fact that, although the house is in the countryside, it’s just 15 minutes away from central Guildford.”
With vast potential to weave her individual stamp of sophistication, warmth and homeliness into the very fabric of St Mary’s, the property was purchased and, in June 2010, the family was on the move.
During the next year, Cassia focussed her attention on familiarising herself with every inch of the property, while formulating the master plan of how to rejig various rooms and create a much more practical family home. Outside she redesigned the garden so that work could begin on landscaping straightaway.
“Thankfully, the house isn’t listed, so I’d the freedom to make the necessary structural changes, such as knocking down internal walls to enlarge various spaces,” says Cassia.
Having liaised with a structural engineer, Cassia’s plans for a charming new porch and dressing room area, plus master en suite above the rejigged pantry and bootroom, were swiftly passed by the local authorities.
In the summer of 2011, Cassia’s tried and trusted team of builders arrived on site to start the renovation, while the family shipped out into rented accommodation.
Over the next 10 months, Cassia popped in regularly to oversee the project and watch excitedly as the new-look home gradually took shape. Behind the scenes, she spent hours painstakingly sourcing everything from the right flooring to fittings and fixtures for the stylish home she craved.
“Apart from a slight delay while waiting for materials to arrive, everything went smoothly,” adds Cassia.
Choosing colours, furniture and home accessories to enrich the home was a breeze for Cassia, who runs Cassia Bardoe Design.
“I find that I’m drawn to certain shades of grey and taupe which often work well in my interior design projects,” she says. “I instinctively knew that this subtle palette would create a cohesive feel. However, in certain rooms, such as the guest bedroom, I experimented with bolder tones.
“We love St Mary’s, which is a relaxed, welcoming home, ideal for all our family get-togethers and parties. It’s a very special place during every season but, at this time of year, when the buds open up, heralding spring and the coming summer, it is just glorious.”
Property: A six-bedroom detached Victorian house
Redesigned rooms: Porch, hall, sitting room, drawing room, dining room, kitchen-diner, pantry, bootroom, gym, laundry room, cloakroom, office, six bedrooms, five bathrooms (four en suite)
Purchased: June 2010
Owner/designer: Cassia Bardoe Tel: 07775 522377
• Artisans of Devizes 01380 720007, artisansofdevizes.com
• Cassia Bardoe Design 0777 5522377 cassiabardoedesign.com
• Farrow& Ball 01202 876141, farrow-ball.com
• Hampton Court Interiors 020 8941 4521, hamptoncourtinteriors.com
• IJ&L Brown 0207 7364141, brownantiques.com
• Jim Lawrence 01473 826685, jim-lawrence.co.uk
• John Lewis 0345 604 9049, johnlewis.com
• Oka 0844 815 7380, okadirect.com
• Paint Library 020 7823 7755, paint-library.co.uk
• Susanne Winter 0781 4812047
• Thomas Ford & Sons 01483 211337, thomasfordandsons.com
• Victoria & Albert 01952 221100, vandabaths.com