North Yorkshire: The Old Brewery Renovation Project

Tuesday 14th June, 2022 by hs-admin

Dating back to the 19th century, the Old Brewery is a beautiful Grade II listed Yorkshire stone property in the heart of the historic market town of Richmond. It’s been a big part of the community since it was built, as a pub first and then more recently a guest house for walkers and tourists alike.

Having become disused in recent years, new owners took over the building and, in January 2022, began work on restoring it to a prestigious holiday rental property, combining a nod to its historic past with some luxurious modern touches.

Wires and Water

Before the styling and decoration could take place, there were some fundamental elements to the building that needed addressing to not only make sure it was safe, but also that it had the kind of modern amenities that guests would expect.

The first major piece of work was to bring the electrics up to scratch. Rather than a painstaking job to open up the walls and chase new cables through the whole structure of the old building, a great solution was to use metal frames inside the existing walls. This not only preserved the integrity of the building behind, but also meant that wires, switches, sockets and all other hardware could be placed exactly where needed – rather than being limited to the old positions from its guest house days. This approach means all elements can remain accessible in the future if repairs are needed, and greatly reduced the time and cost of this stage of the project.

The next area to address was the property’s water supply. Inevitably the older pipes and heating systems meant low pressure upstairs. With the aim to make this a property suitable for large groups with multiple bathrooms, it simply wouldn’t be an option to have low pressure or limited hot water for guests with an outdated system. As a result, the water supply for the whole house was renovated inside and out to increase pressure and capacity, before separate systems were installed for each floor of the house. This work benefitted the hot water and central heating efficiency for the house, allowing guests and operate different temperatures on different floors and for the upstairs facilities to be independent from water and heating use downstairs.

Establishing the New Style

Inspired by the location and the property’s previous guises, a traditional and industrial-inspired theme was chosen that will give The Old Brewery a timeless style. Dark greens and greys were chosen as the foundation for the design, aimed at making a comfortable and luxurious setting for guests.

The existing country tiled floor for the hallway was retained and revamped, with a wood effect floor for the kitchen and dining room to give a traditional look but that’s also easy to maintain in a busy holiday rental property.

The plan was then to start complementing the style by adding some industrial ironmongery across the property, leaving in and revamping some of the house’s traditional features, like the decorative fireplaces, and re-using some of the old classic artwork. While this will be a modern property in many ways, the aim is to stay true to the traditions of the town and The Old Brewery itself.

Furnishings and Finishing Touches

The living areas combine an eclectic mix of individual furniture pieces, brought together in a warm and comforting style. This need to create a welcoming and relaxing space was essential for a holiday property such as this, where guests are here to get away from it all.

Having this theme of mixed complimentary styles also means that different replacement pieces can seamlessly fit in when wear and tear sets in, and the property is not dependent on one collection of pieces that won’t work without each other. This recognition of the durability required for a holiday property was also considered with the solid wooden table and industrial chairs for the dining area, as well as the flooring choices throughout.

The design was then topped off with some fantastic up-cycled art pieces from the history of the building, as well as some newer pieces to bring the interior style to life. There was also space for something a bit special too…

A Focal Point, the New Statue

The house now features a unique sculpture as its focal point, created by experienced sculptor Jonathan Clarke. An Angel in our Midst is a unique piece of sand-cast aluminium art, dedicated to the incredible work and support of the NHS through the UK’s lockdown. This one-of-a-kind piece was designed to match the industrial elements of the property’s design and will remain an inspirational feature of The Old Brewery for years to come.

Clarke is a renowned sculptor, bringing an emotional resonance to his abstract industrial pieces. His previous commissions include large-scale pieces for Ely Cathedral, Trinity Hall Cambridge and the town of Colchester. He now adds The Old Brewery to his resumé.

The Hidden Gem… The Annexe

But it’s not just The Old Brewery that has gone through a renovation and revamp. On the grounds of the property is another fantastic building, the Annexe, that will be available to hire either as part of a more substantial combined booking alongside The Old Brewery, or as a standalone property itself.

At only around 20 years old, the structure and utilities within the Annexe did not have the same requirements as the fundamental changes needed for the main Old Brewery building. The electricity, gas and water systems were all reviewed by specialists and verified. This meant the team could quickly move on to the design elements instead.

The Annexe is a stunning three-bedroom property, with living areas and a mezzanine top floor extra space. In keeping with the larger property, and undertaken at the same time, the redesign of the Annexe combined traditional and signature furniture pieces, with industrial and metallic style elements throughout. Renovations to key existing items such as a four-poster bed and classic lounge chairs and wardrobes kept the design fitting for the property and surrounding area. These were then complemented with contemporary art and soft furnishings that blend the classic with the industrial elements of the building itself. The end result was a beautiful getaway spot for holidaymakers.

The Future of The Old Brewery

After almost four months from the first sledgehammer and paintbrush, to the final touches, the two properties are now complete and ready for guests to enjoy. The Old Brewery can sleep up to 12 people (6 Beds and 6 Bathrooms) and the Annexe seven – working either as separate properties or one more substantial group accommodation. The privacy offered on the grounds, as well as the proximity to the beautiful old market town and all its amenities, means The Old Brewery is the perfect spot for families and friends to come together.

It’s also ideal for walking and cycling groups too, being at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales and its beautiful scenic routes. And what better place to unwind after a long day’s exercise than one of Richmond’s newly refurbished gems.

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