Aimee and Rick Mearkle by Rachael Smith

Aimee and Rick Mearkle

Photographs Rachael Smith

Words Amander Meade

American couple Aimee and Rick Mearkle were house hunting in the neighbouring county of Lincolnshire when, by chance, they decided to explore Rutland – England’s smallest county.

Charmed by the picture perfect villages, they discovered a local developer was in the process of converting the grade II listed outbuildings of an old hall into five family homes. Aimee and Rick jumped at the chance to buy The Groom’s Cottage – the former stables and ‘bachelor’s quarters’ of the hall which was left fully plumbed, with new electrics and restored windows but essentially a blank canvass from which they have created their home.

The couple’s kitchen and dining rooms are converted from three stables and the sitting room is the former tack room. Aimee and Rick have taken great care to decorate and furnish sympathetically as all these rooms retain original features including the original panelling, stone stable floors and pitch pine parquet.

Classically and tastefully furnished with cherished family heirlooms and carefully sourced antiques, Anglophiles Aimee and Rick have swiftly managed to absorb all that is great about English country style and incorporate that tradition into their design scheme. The result is a unique interior which cleverly combines a great sense of the building’s history with very contemporary comfort.

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