The Househunter: Room by Room

For anyone who has spent the first full working week of the decade wishing they could retreat back into peace and quiet I present this gorgeous former chapel near Aldeburgh in Suffolk. The single room building is on the market with The Modern House for £95,000.

Continuing the fantasy getaway theme the garden is full of shrubs, honeysuckle and hops as well as sage for adding to the cooking pot. The room is lined with wood panelling and the original hooks, put there for the congregation to hang their coats, still line the walls.

This is the Shaker way of decorating and means you can hang, not just coats and clothes, but also pictures and chairs – either folded or not, to keep the floor space clear.

Yes the bathroom does sort of stick out into the middle but it was the only way of doing it in the space so you’ll just have to keep the door shut when not in use. I don’t know if it would be possible to extend so that could be stuck on the side as it were.

There is a woodburning stove and a second set of doors leading out to the garden which is full of mature trees. The ceilings are also high enough to accomodate a mezzanine level although remember that stairs take up more space than you think. The previous owners had a pull down bed to save space, or you might just want to have a sofa bed.

And there is one other restriction;  as a result of its conversion from a chapel, the building is subject to a covenant that ensures it can only be used for holidays. It cannot be a primary residence, and although there is no restriction on the time that one spends there. It cannot be rented for more than three months at once.

But it was also for the simple decor that I wanted to show you this room. It’s calm and restful and full of natural materials that would translate well to any country kitchen or city home.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Lovely restful space. Yes… I’d change the table too… for me it would be round or oval… much softer in that angular space.

  2. Not sure I would have put the bathroom door there. Renders that length of wall unusable. Maybe a slider on the wall by the kitchen?

    1. Totally agree! I also would swop that lovely wooden table for something a bit smaller perhaps as you can only sleep two (+ a cot?) there. Replace with an equally lovely, but smaller table which could be used for dining, working and prep

  3. I’m amazed no one has snapped this up yet, wrong side of the country for me, I love it.

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