House Tour: Oak Apple Decor brings indoor style outside

This week’s Style Note takes a tour of an inspirational barn conversion designed and decorated by Marisa and Chris Lumley-Holmes of Oak Apple Decor. Marisa shares the process behind their skilful creation of a cohesive link between indoor and outdoor space that ensures year round enjoyment of the garden. 

Vichy Lounge SetVichy Lounge Set

Marisa, what made you fall in love with the house originally?

Our Yorkshire home was a barn that had originally been converted in the mid 90s. When we bought it, not much had changed since then and it was in need of renovation. But, the original features of the farm buildings had been thoughtfully restored throughout the house and that’s what attracted us. There was so much potential to create a beautiful unique home.

Thoughtfully restored original features provide the perfect backdrop to contemporary wall art.

Where did you start?

The kitchen was originally at the front of the house, which was so impractical if you wanted to eat, drink or entertain outside. Another unconverted barn which had just been used as storage by the previous owners led straight out to the garden, so we were able to change the layout to suit our lifestyle. Moving the kitchen/ living space to this part of the house means the space we use the most leads directly out to the garden, allowing us to make the most of indoor outdoor living.

Talk us though your choice of materials 

We have designed and decorated the house in a style that is sympathetic to the building and its original features such as the exposed beams and brick, while introducing some modern elements. We’ve used lots of reclaimed wood, natural materials such as marble, rattan and terracotta, and also added velvets, boucle, wool and linen fabrics to add a sense of luxury and cosiness. Using wall finishes such as lime wash and microcement, as well as the existing exposed brick has kept a textural feel throughout.

“Using wall finishes such as lime wash and microcement, as well as the existing exposed brick has kept a textural feel throughout.

Marisa has styled their home with accessories that mirror the natural material of the building.

The colour inside your home is so welcoming - what leads your choice when it comes to putting a scheme together?

The palette is mostly neutral but I like to add natural earthy colours to add personality and warmth while still maintaining an overall neutral feel. The barn had some beautiful arched windows and doorways, to echo this we have added some curved and arched features and furniture to reflect the history of the building in a modern way.

How have you achieved that easy transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces?

There are lots of large windows where the original openings were when the building was a barn and cattle shed and these provide a natural link to the outside spaces. Like the house we have used natural materials with modern elements. We opened up the space by removing the broken down farm building walls, however we kept one wall which acted as a starting point for our outdoor kitchen. We added a large patio, which made the space more useable, due to existing walls and features this naturally splits up into areas: dining, sunbathing, a sunken lounge area and cooking. The outdoor kitchen has really helped us make the most of the garden, allowing us to prepare and cook food outside, with easy storage for everything needed.

“Several layers of outside lighting, including wall lights and lighting in the borders means we are able to use the space at night and view it from inside the house when dark. ”

And beyond the outdoor kitchen?

Down at the end of garden we built a garden room to allow us to enjoy the garden even when the weather might not be so great. We styled the interior of this room in a very similar way to rooms in the house, using microcement, terrazzo patterned tiles, rustic wood shelves and lots of lighting options, reflecting the interior of our house, with summery Ibiza styling.

Summery Ibiza styling makes the garden room a joy on even the dullest of days.

What further plans do you have for the garden?

We’ve now created a new space in the garden. We moved the location of the garden shed to the back of the garden where there is little light (nothing will grow there!) and built a new shed using black timber and reclaimed roof tiles from some of the old farm buildings. Moving the shed allowed us to open up that side of the garden and we have added a gravelled area and built a large planter from reclaimed oak sleepers. This area will be a lounging and relaxation area, it is south facing so gets sun for most of the day, dappled in the afternoon by nearby trees. We have added some low maintenance potted yuccas and cypress ferns to bring greenery to the area and the water feature adds a feeling of tranquility.

Cascading Bowl Water FeatureCascading Bowl Water Feature
A water feature and the comfort of our Vichy Lounge Set add tranquility to this area of the garden.

How does your garden design mirror your indoor style?

We have large bifold doors going out to the garden from the kitchen and double doors looking out to the garden from our bedroom upstairs so it was important to make the garden feel cohesive with the interior of the house. We have used many of the same materials as inside the house: Brick walls and edging to the borders, tying in with the exposed brick walls inside, microcement in the garden room and dining table, as used in many areas inside; curved elements such as the dining table and sunbeds, oak on the outdoor kitchen and planter and rustic terracotta planters would all look in place inside our home also.

We have added lots of evergreen plants so the garden looks good all year round, providing a nice view from inside even in winter when we are not out there so much; including grasses, olives trees, buxus and euphorbia, with some subtle flowering to add colour during the summer months, trying to stick to palette of mostly white and purple. Inside the house we have lots of house plants and large floor to ceiling windows bringing the outside in, combined with the similar use of materials and styling, it all feels part of one large space.


Interior and garden design by @oakappledecor.


If you are feeling inspired by Marisa’s home, take a look at our Outdoor pages or discover more House and Garden Tours here.



2024-02-22 08:48:00
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