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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > November 2019 > Rural retreat

Rural retreat

Inspired by the far-reaching views from their rural farm in Perthshire, David and Pia England embarked on a self build journey to create a stunning bespoke home for their family
PHOTOS PHIL WILKINSON

David and Pia England’s self build journey began in 2007, when they purchased two rural cottages and a rundown steading on a 23-acre sheep farm. The pair had been on the lookout for a conversion opportunity for almost three years when they discovered this site near Aberfeldy in Perthshire. “My wife had just given birth to our second child when I heard about the farm. It was a bit further north than we’d looked before,” says David. “We bundled the baby up and piled into the car; it was one of those beautiful blue-sky days. When we arrived, my mother-in-law immediately told me I had to try and buy the place.”

The vendor was keen to sell the property in one block, which comprised the steading, two cottages and a farmhouse. But fate was on the Englands’ side. David raised enough finance to buy everything except the farmhouse, which another buyer put in an off er for. “The owner decided to go ahead with splitting the farm, but it was a nervous couple of days waiting to hear whether it had gone through.

Ongoing project

Fast forward almost 10 years, and the Englands had accomplished the refurbishment of both cottages and the conversion of the steading. However, by this time, David was keen to tackle a self build project that would allow him to work with a completely blank canvas. “It was the excitement of creating a new dwelling where I’d be able to decide exactly how I could have the shape, the design, the glazing and everything else,” he says.

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About Build It

Plan, design and build your dream home with practical advice and inspiration from Build It magazine. The November 2019 edition includes: - Britain's Best Homes of 2019 - The Build It Awards Nominations! - The Build It Education House - The Ultimate Guide to Heating Your Home - Expert Design Ideas to save you £100,000 - How to Win Planning Permission ...And more!