Adaptive reuse projects generally call to mind industrial warehouses and factories turned into trendy studios, or shabby-chic restaurants and bars, but 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 purchased not too long ago by Sally Onions and Ian Bottomley, who went the unconventional route when scouting for their newest digs. Far from a Norman Foster style box, or even a classic and quaint Victorian house, the duo instead opted to transform an 18th century basilica into the sanctuary they now call “home.”

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The church was originally built in 1792, so the couple wanted to maintain as much of the building’s classic architecture as possible. Rather than undertaking a full-on renovation — which actually would have been cheaper — they opted to restore the key elements of the church, such as the vaulted ceilings and original stained glass windows.

While sofas and beds have replaced pews, the integrity of the architecture remains – you can even find the old cemetery within the churchyard. But don’t think the two are reading by candlelight once the sun sets — the former house of worship has evolved to accommodate contemporary living with modern appliances, fixtures, electricity, and other creature comforts.