Nestled at the foot of Helsby Hills in Cheshire sits a cluster of converted barn properties named Rake House Mews, owned by husband and wife, Roger and Gill.
Built out of Cheshire bricks dating back to 1826, the properties are set around a cobbled courtyard adjoined to a Grade 2 listed Georgian Farmhouse built in 1807 – the couple’s home for 18 years, until recently. Now living in the largest of the three adjoining cottages, (renting out the other two) Roger and Gill needed to update the cottages, using a paint that would be breathable to suit the needs of these historic properties and prospective tenants.
First hearing about Earthborn 10 years ago at The Listed Property show, the couple learned of the benefits of using Earthborn Claypaint and have been using Earthborn ever since for their older property renovations. Roger tells us “For any older property that doesn’t have cavity walls, essentially pre-1920, it’s vital breathable paints, such as Earthborn Claypaint, are used in conjunction with sustainable and breathable materials like lime based plasters, mortars and renders. This allows moisture and condensation created by our everyday living to escape through the walls and protect the fabric of the building. Extensive damage to buildings can be caused by using the wrong paints and building materials.”
All their cottages have been lime plastered in-keeping with the original fabric of the building to ensure maximum breathability, preventing issues arising with mould and dampness. There are other benefits too, Roger explains “Although breathability is the number one requirement, the colours must be right to want to use them. It is the icing on the cake that Earthborn’s paints are eco-friendly and they don’t smell, which is beneficial when you’re turning a property around quickly for new tenants”.
Being free of oils and acrylics, Earthborn Claypaint is virtually VOC free, meaning it’s safer for the health of building occupants as well as the environment.
Expanding on the importance of colour, Gill (with a degree in colour psychology) explains “For the rental properties, it’s important to keep them quite neutral – but not magnolia! – so it has the widest appeal for tenants with different tastes, and they can then make the property their own. We chose White Clay for the ceilings and beams to keep it light and bright, Up Up Away for the walls and then used Muddy Boots below the dado rail on the stairs to be a bit more practical in helping to hide knocks and bumps. When choosing colours it’s important to consider how much daylight and sunlight each area gets as certain shades will work better than others to bring out the best of the character in the cottages.”
“In our home, we’re using bolder colours for feature walls like Bobble Hat, Toy Soldier and recently Hobgoblin to make the kitchen pop. The kitchen will be with us for many years so it’s easier and more cost effective to have neutral units and then enhance the look of the room by using bolder colours on the walls to emphasise the character which can be changed more often to get a fresh new look”.
When we asked how their decorator found using Earthborn Claypaint, the couple told us “Our decorator had never used Earthborn Claypaint before and was immediately impressed by the thick and creamy consistency which provided full coverage after only one coat. He also commented on the quality of the darker colours, Hobgoblin and Bobble Hat, which were enhanced by its flat matt finish.”
Earthborn Claypaint is available in over 70 stunning colours which can be ordered directly through our website or through our network of stockists. Need inspiration? Why not order a colour card or sample pot to get started.
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