From Co-op to country home
PUBLISHED: 12:24 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 20 February 2013
With a country house in a village setting on their shopping list, Kay and Kevin Sach were delighted to discover this converted shop in Coggeshall which was once the village Co-Op
WHEN Kay and Kevin Sach came across this country house in Coggeshall it ticked all the boxes.
'We had been looking for a family house in a village setting for some time,' explains Kay. 'Ideally we also wanted to be within travelling distance to London. When Kevin and I saw this place we instantly felt that it would make a perfect home for us and our children.'
The property dates back to the 1600s, so has wonderful features including high ceilings and panelled walls in most rooms. The building had been a shop until fairly recently when it was bought by a builder who sympathetically transformed it back to its original beauty as a three-storey home.
'When we moved here in February 2005 we had no idea that most of the local residents had been inside regularly for their weekly shopping,' Kay says with a smile. 'It's quite a charming thought really and we don't mind one bit.'
The only reminder that the house was once a commercial property is in the kitchen were the large windows and the glass-paned door offer a reminder of an old-style grocery store.
'We have, a couple of times, had people open the kitchen door thinking that the house is still a shop,' explains Kay, 'but they soon realise when they see the girls enjoying their breakfast.'
The large family kitchen had been completely re-furbished by the builder who chose traditional fittings that were in keeping with the age of the house. 'As the kitchen was already done for us, we just needed to accessorise it to make it a more personalised room,' explains Kay. A solid wood console with baskets helps to maintain a country look in the room along with a round farmhouse kitchen table.
'We tend to eat most of our meals in the kitchen,' says Kay, 'but I was keen to decorate the dining room so that it had a romantic atmosphere for special meals and entertaining.'
The dining room, like most of the rooms in the house, is panelled with deep coving around the ceiling giving an impression of grandeur. 'We left the floorboards stripped as we like the contrast with the cream panelling and white walls above.' Again Kay's dedicated eye for detail has meant that the room has the desired effect and has become a pretty room with the atmosphere of making any meal special.
'When you have a house like this you can't help but be influenced by its history so a lot of the larger items of furniture have been specifically chosen to work well and enhance the overall look of the house. Even the conservatory has a classic style with rattan chairs from Ikea and an elegant marble table. With five bedrooms to decorate, Kay and Kevin had their work cut out for them. 'When designating bedrooms we knew that our eldest daughter, Gabby, wanted the top floor of the house as there is quite a large bedroom with living space as well,' explains Kay. 'Our son, Elliot, spends most of his time away from home now, so it was down to our youngest daughter, Emily, to chose a room for herself.'
The master bedroom and another bedroom adjoin and it was this room that Emily claimed. 'My room is decorated in my favourite colour with my bed in between the two big windows,' says Emily. The other side of Emily's large bedroom door is her parents' room and with huge dimensions it definitely is the master bedroom.
Again it has Kay's romantic trademark of subtle colours and feminine accessories. 'As in Emily's room, we painted the walls and panelling in the same colour, this time a Venetian red. The couple also bought a new bed that was more in keeping with the luxurious look of the room along with a two-seater chair that completed the period look.
In one of the spare bedrooms, Kay has used a wooden four-poster bed that she bought from their previous home and painted it a Regency cream to be more consistent with the style of the rest of the house. 'We decided to leave the fifth bedroom as an office, saving us space downstairs.'
This just left the family bathroom. 'Again we had the advantage of the sanitary ware being in place when we came here, it was a matter of buying a few bits and pieces for the room to make it more welcoming.
'We love the house and the village is such a lovely place to be. Being in the centre of a village is very different to living in town, but now we are settled in the house we wouldn't change it for the world.'