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Before and After: Devon Dining Room and Library

Design Popular

Amidst Dartmoor’s awe-inspiring ancient landscape and craggy hilltops stands this beautiful Grade II listed, farmhouse. Surrounded by enviable views, this period thatched property has undergone a transformation turning it into an exceptional family home.

The professional couple who own this charming farmhouse wanted to leave the hustle and bustle of London behind, swapping it to live ‘off-grid’. Located in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park which stretches across 368 square miles of Devon moorland, it’s a landscape that is dotted with secluded cottages, quaint villages and open spaces. Driving up to the property itself is truly breathtaking, wild Dartmoor ponies stroll through the grounds while the only sounds that can be heard are the tweets of birds and grass blowing in the wind. It’s this that gives you a true sense of escape.

The Design Process

Since purchasing their dream home, the couple has been gradually updating the building while still keeping its English character and traditional granite features. The first stage of more significant renovations included the transformation of the library and dining area.

Space is usually at a premium in traditionally thatched farmhouses; however, this property had a beautiful open layout with impressive apex roof and rustic oak beams. The couple wanted to explore various ways to expand on the rooms potential and fitted furniture was the perfect way to increase storage opportunities and boost the aesthetic, fully maximising the height and awkward proportions.

a farmhouse in dartmoor national park

When it comes to the initial planning of an open plan space, you need to think about function, how will the area be used? Are there any features you would like to highlight? The couple wanted to enhance the original stonework and window that allows natural light to flow through the space. They were also keeping their marble dining table which would act as the rooms central focal point.

a farmhouse in dartmoor national park

A library solution was chosen and designed by our expert to work around the rooms unique shaping, keeping the feeling of openness and light. By incorporating a combination of different sized bookshelves, storage and display units it instantly transformed this dining room into a dual purpose place to sit, read, eat and relax. Whatever type of space you are looking for, bespoke furniture can be designed and tailored to your exact specifications.

Precision Fit and Finishes

Considering the angles and shapes of internal walls is essential when it comes to bespoke furniture. This project began with an added obstacle in the form of it’s original granite rubble walls that are naturally uneven. For our expert craftsmen, this was easily overcome using precision scribing techniques. Scribing allows the back of the furniture to sit flush with the uneven walls or awkward angles creating a seamless, clean look. You’ll be able to see this technique in the video above. To create a real talking point we made the most of the extra height in the room by taking the open storage right up to the base of the vaulted ceiling.

The use of matt oak, our Arctic white paint colour and simple square edge flat inset doors create a timeless look that works with both the modern and traditional elements within the space. As they wanted to keep their marble dining table, oak was an obvious choice as it complements the warm hues within the natural veins of the material.

The library wall makes an attractive feature out of the existing window looking out onto luscious views of the Dartmoor countryside. The combination of the natural light and wood finish creates a bright and welcoming feel, ideal when entertaining guests or simply relaxing with a book.

It took our expert installation team around four days to skillfully craft and install this stunning library. Every detail fitted with millimetre precision from the scribing and integrated lighting to dovetail drawers and seamless push front doors.

The Reveal


Dining Room and Library

The couple had a clear idea of how the space would fit into their lifestyle. From sitting down with our expert designer to discuss plans and ideas, to the precision fit of the library furniture the finished result certainly ticked all the boxes when it came to their specifications.

The natural oak finish and white painted doors work hand in hand with the existing floor tiles and natural tones of the statement table, while the window set back into the furniture breaks up the furniture offering a picturesque glimpse of the outside landscape.

To allow access to the highest shelves, we included a playful and practical ladder. Enhancing the library design, the ladder is crafted to hook over a brushed steel rail that runs the length of the furniture. This space offers a complete sense of escape, from mornings when natural light floods the room inviting you to sit and relax, to nights when the mood lighting comes into its own offering a romantic backdrop while dining.

Get The Look

The bespoke cabinetry can store dining items as well as everyday essentials that the couple doesn’t want on show, while the individual shelves are display centres for artworks, photos and plants. The room has a soft, minimal feel with details such as hanging plants to mirror the green views outside and iconic woven wishbone chairs that offer a natural element.

Dining Room and Library
Create a similar look in your home with our top interior picks below:

Faux potted string of pearls, Cox & Cox

Large pale green glass vase, Trouva
Black watering can, House Doctor

Botanic urban print, My Deer Art Shop

Black dinner candle holder, Habitat

Wishbone wooden dining chair, Cult Furniture

This stunning example proves how a large or small space with unique challenges can be transformed with multi-functional bespoke furniture. With careful consideration and precision fit our designers, craftsmen and fitters breathed new life into this traditional property with stunning end results. An initial consultation or glance through a brochure can spark an idea that may set the tone for your next project. Book your free design consultation today or request our free 2019 brochure to discover more inspiring designs.

View more fitted library furniture here.

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“Effortless from start to finish”

From the moment the brochure was delivered, I was optimistic that we were buying quality. I wasn’t disappointed. All contact made was courteous, polite and clear, with phone calls confirmed by email. In short, we’re really thrilled with our library and it was effortless from start to finish.

Alison Cole, Swinton

“I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone”

A real easy process, I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone. From the first phone call through to a very skilled fitter (who had to go above and beyond with our old house not having one straight line in it) it was all so easy. We couldn’t be happier that we chose to use Neville Johnson.

Richard Smith, Surrey

“Impressed by the whole process”

From contacting the company to the point where the cupboards were fitted I was impressed by the whole process. The initial salesperson that visited was knowledgeable and helpful. I would certainly use Neville Johnson again and highly recommend this company.

Mrs S. D, Lincolnshire

“The staircase has transformed our living space”

From our initial enquiry to the completion of our staircase, we have found all the members of the team at Neville Johnson to be very helpful, courteous and professional in all our dealings. The staircase has transformed our living space. We have been very impressed with this company from start to finish and would not hesitate to recommend them.

Pauline Treston, Northumberland

“The craftsmanship is superb”

From the outset of our contract with Neville Johnson, we were supported with design choices, given expert advice and all deadlines were met. Everyone was courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. The craftsmanship is superb; our staircase is now an outstanding feature of our open plan lounge.

Judith Scorer, Stockport

“I cannot recommend this company enough”

I cannot recommend this company enough. From first contact we received very high quality service. We were informed as to everything that was going on, which was backed up by the necessary paperwork, plans and phone calls. The fitter was competent and the work he did we can’t fault.

Mrs K Holroyd, Wrexham

“Hugely admired by family and friends”

The room is transformed and has been hugely admired by family and friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the attentive and courteous client care – everything went according to plan and nothing seemed too much trouble. They were in regular contact before and after the installation. I would highly recommend Neville Johnson to anyone wanting to transform a room.

Cherry Murdoch, London

“We would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation”

From the initial meeting with the senior designer to discuss our needs, to the surveyor and then the installer, we were extremely delighted with the end result. The installation process went without any problems. All the staff were very professional and we would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation.

Rosalind Tunnicliffe, Solihull

“Our new staircase looks fantastic”

Our new staircase looks fantastic. We’ve had lots of compliments and it has transformed our hallway. The whole experience was great from beginning to end, from discussing our requirements to the finished article.

Mr & Mrs Begbie, Hampshire

“Utterly professional”

From the initial contact with the company to the completion and installation everything was utterly professional; we have no hesitation in recommending the company to anybody. We are so pleased, that Neville Johnson is returning to install a new staircase!

Mr and Mrs Thorpe, Radcliffe

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Home Design Visits Available Throughout the UK

Design Visits Available Throughout the UK

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