When we go away we always do the self-catering thing so that we can pretend we live in the area while we’re there; we like to do the every day things but in a different place and somehow that really does feel like a break, you know? And I’m picky as hell too when it comes to choosing somewhere to stay. I want to be wooed by an architectural home. I mean, I actually annoy myself when we’re looking as, unless it’s a serious minimalist holiday home I will end up rejecting a lot of places. Then I found The Chickenshed and sheeeeesh-it was like someone picked all the plus points out of my head and made it happen, in the Wye Valley, Monmouthshire.
Where do I start? Maybe the fact that it was once indeed a poultry shed and a derelict one at that, until owner Sue Peacock bought it at auction and transformed it into a holiday let with award winning architects Hall & Bednarczyk. Staying true to its agricultural roots, the space is largely open plan with high beamed ceilings using industrial materials such as concrete (polished) cedar wood cladding and a corrugated roof. Nothing so fancy for the chickens, but in its new form it has become a design lovers dream.
As you’ve probably noticed, its been lovingly furnished with pieces some of the major players in ‘New Nordic’ design – Hay, Muuto, Northern Lighting and combined with the work of local craftsmen such as the beautiful beds, dining table and additional furniture handmade by Barnby Design. The owners clearly have an eye for design and I love their carefully considered choices and how they’ve allowed each piece to breathe.
Carefully zoned into living areas using furniture rather than walls, the main living space looks out onto the valley through a wall of glass doors from a cosy green sofa. Cleverly, the use of vibrant green picked out in the ceiling struts and furniture connect to the outdoors and the views beyond, so it feels much more a part of its surroundings. A sleek and stylish wood burner awaits for colder evenings and there’s a spacious kitchen behind as the perfect backdrop for slow breakfasts each morning. Coffee and pancakes anyone?
The Chickenshed has room to sleep eight across four bedrooms and has all the comforts you need for a home away from home. You’re booking already, aren’t you?