Heather Nevay and John Burke had been looking for both a project and a lifestyle change when they decided to take on the conversion of a cow byre, a small, dilapidated cottage, and 1.5 acres of woodland in Argyll. At the time, the couple were living in a Victorian flat in Glasgow. ‘A lot of our friends have children,’ says Heather. ‘We’d chosen not to, but we still wanted a change of pace. Coming to this stunning location was exactly what we needed. It is secluded but we do have a couple of close neighbours, so it’s a nice balance.’
Heather and John had such clear ideas about the conversion from the outset and they felt there was no need to commission an architect since John was a structural engineer. The original building had three chambers, all on different levels, and while Heather wanted a fluid, open-plan space, she thought keeping the split levels would add definition and interest.
One of the original chambers now houses the kitchen while the other two are guest bedrooms. The upper floor, which comprises the master bedroom, en suite and Heather’s studio, and the downstairs living and dining areas, where the couple have merged the woodland vistas with the interior through huge picture windows, are new additions.
Heather Nevay, a figurative painter at heathernevay.net, lives here with her partner John Burke, a structural engineer
A stone barn conversion with three bedrooms in Argyll, west Scotland
The total project cost was £261,000 including landscaping and external work