When did you buy the property and what first attracted you to it?

Peacock Blue was a very derelict barn that came as part of the parcel when we bought our much longed for farmstead on beautiful Dartmoor. We had been looking for another project specifically on Dartmoor for some time and although the property as a whole was in need of considerable renovation we fell in love with the location immediately and that it was one of the last remaining farmsteads in the area. It was a crumbling ruin when we arrived and we fully converted it from an agricultural building in November 2014.

Can you talk me through the renovation process?

We employed the help of fantastic local firm (Woodford Architecture) and they secured planning permission for us along with planning permission for two further barns - watch this space! We had to work to lots of planning constraints such as a 3 metre long head-height stone wall having to be retained which seemed to cut the barn in half at an awkward point. However, we have now clad the top of the wall with old grey barn siding and added LED lighting which makes a fantastic feature shelf with vintage artwork.

What was your inspiration for the interior?

We always wanted to retain the feel of a traditional Dartmoor farm building but have the luxury feel of a designer hotel suite. As an Interior Designer I like to work with different themes and they sometimes take a while to come to light, but this one was easy as Peeky (the Peacock) - so named by our children Coco (7) and Fizzy (5), was the inspiration for the projects. Whilst we were renovating our farmhouse Peeky showed up one day and has decided to live with us ever since. He used to roost in the barn during bad weather and so we took a great deal of inspiration from him, not only from the name of the property, but also for the internal decor and theme. Peeky still lives very happily here, but we luckily have another barn nearby which he now resides in. 

We like the colour pops and the striking look you have chosen. Can you talk us through the process?

Working with colour is one of my loves and strengths. As we were creating somewhere for guests to come and stay for a few days I feel you can get away with being a bit bolder than you would be if you were creating a home for someone to live in all the time. Obviously as I was designing the theme based on a vibrant peacock there were many colours that could be included in the scheme, so we included all the dark and lustrous colours you would expect like deep blues and greens but also vibrant yellows and golds that are flecked within his feathers. Then we found complementary artwork and vintage signage and complemented these with matching colour pops in lots of different ways - lampshades, lighting flex, objects from antique stores and old artwork framed with bright red wooden frames.

Does the property have any unique quirks?

Yes, many! It’s a rustic stone barn which has been styled up to the max. The ceilings are five meters high, it has rustic exposed stone walls, different levels throughout the property, high shelves and layer upon layer of lightning. We had lots of fun with the lighting doing unusual things like putting desk angle poise lights fixed to the wall, which made the electrician think we were slightly bonkers (“you know you can get wall mounted ones of these” he said). 

Can you talk me through some of your favourite items in the house?

I love everything from Rust and The Wolf they do a great selection of tables made out of Cola and Pepsi crates in amazing colours, and they also do a fabulous peacock feather lampshade. With help from Rust and the Wolf we sourced and made lighting out of vintage items, but I also love the ‘Hooked’ lights from Buster and Punch which we use in the bedroom. The artwork was sourced from a fabulous local photographer - Toby Strong, and when it came to adding the finishing touches I love Abigail Ahearn’s range, her cushions go beautifully with the bright sofa. 

How does Peacock Blue make you feel, and what does it do that other houses don’t?

When I come home from a hard day in the office, I see the smoke curling up to the sky and the lights glowing in the darkness, I can’t help but think how truly magical it is. I wish I could live in this cosy and stylish home, but so pleased I get to share this little secret on Dartmoor with others!

Interior Designer - Siobhan Hayles

Rust and The Wolf -