A cemetery in the back yard?

  • A greener society

The people of the world are becoming aware of the need to reuse things that might have once been thrown away without a thought.  A greener society that cares about a sustainable planet has become a trend that will hopefully stay alive.  The need to refurbish, reuse, and repurpose items has become the battle cry for people that are thinking about the future of our planet.

The amount of garbage that is created daily by one family is enough to put people to shame with the plastics, paper, and eco trail that is left behind their journey through life. Throwing away items that are still usable seems to be even a bigger offense. 

Driving through any city will show a wealth of empty buildings, abandoned houses, warehouses, and other big spaces that aren’t being used for anything. Many have taken to revamping some of these structures for housing in various ways.  Sally Onions and Ian Bottomley took this idea to a different level when they bought an abandoned church.

The transformation of the St. Nicholas Church in Kyloe, Northumberland, England has taken this concept of renewal and grounded it much closer to home. The church was originally built in 1792 but had been abandoned since the 1980s. It was in poor condition and needed loving care to bring it back to life, but converting this church to a home could be a challenge.

Its gardens are full of gravestones and the church hasn’t been maintained for over 20 years when it was shut down. The renovation started in 2002 and is now complete.  The new owners strived to keep the architectural integrity of the old church by fixing damaged areas instead of replacing them or upgrading to a newer look.

The cathedral ceilings, stained glass windows, stone floors and the ground layout of the church were not changed.  The couple chose to incorporate a home within the church instead of turning the church into a conventional home.  They have even chosen to honor the graveyard that is on the one acre property.

Inside the church, there are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living rooms, two kitchens and an open construction plan. The original altar has been transformed into an open master bedroom.  The super king size bed is surrounded by eight tall, stained glass windows, and sits on the stone pedestal that was once the altar.

You can see the long dining room table through the arched opening of the master bedroom. The kitchen has upgraded cabinets and appliances in it and yet maintains the original style and walls of the church.

The church is still an open floor plan and while sitting in the living room you can see straight through to the dining hall and beyond that into the master bedroom.  Privacy was not part of this open concept renovation.

I’m not sure if this would be my greatest idea of a new home, but it is certainly a unique idea and has come together nicely for this couple.  It is a novel concept that will surely withstand the test of time even longer now that they are taking care of it so well.  Would you live there?

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