Gallery: Dilapidated 18th Century Church Transformed Into a Private Hom...


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.”

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.


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  1. keriann70 August 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I like everything except the “living room” area. The sofas & chair does no fit into the ambience at all.

  2. bofarr November 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    By canon law \”Sacred places lose their dedication or blessing if they have been in great measure destroyed, or if they have been permanently made over to secular usage, whether by decree of the competent Ordinary or simply in fact.\”

  3. Tonita July 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I don’t like the idea of transforming a sacred building into a private home.

  4. andre_70 February 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Althought I absolutely praise the general idea of restoring the church as it was, I think that the interior design is a big missed chance comparing to the amazing space they have…
    It would have been much more interesting and elegant to adopt a much stronger style in furnishing, be it contemporary (minimal or even extremely colourful and creative) or, for example, an early ‘900 art deco, or just about anything “personal”, but not to go along a folk-countryhouse style, which merges in an odd manner with the church’s own style and materials :(

  5. January 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I like your content. Very interesting. The house look elegant.

  6. greenstreetinc January 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    A very inspirational example of “reuse” and the power of thinking outside of the box!

  7. vicky s December 31, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    my ancestors were baptized in this church around 1859 ( michael Gutherie )
    you can contact me at ” ” if you like
    Michael was my 8th great grandfather
    The place looks great.
    Thank you
    Vicky Smith-Pieksma

  8. Holcim Awards December 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I want to live in a space like that. Really beautiful. A fantastic job of merging the historic church with contemporary living spaces. This is exactly the type of project that should be entered into the Holcim Awards.

  9. gabsbags December 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Holy renovation! That is beyond heavenly…

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