The Pottery - From Retail to Home

From Retail
to Home

Words by Lucy Siddall. Photography by Trisha Ward.

How do you turn an abandoned, crumbling shop into an
inviting, luxurious home? The Condo looks at the restorative
nature of transforming heritage buildings into considered
elegant homes.

The Pottery - From Retail to Home - The Dining Room

A calming dining space. Furniture: Pierre Jeanneret 1950s Chandigarh collection, Lamp Shade: Akari Pendant by Vitra.

From factories, churches and barns to dairies, butchers and warehouses, many historic buildings across the UK once bustled with life from the surrounding community and now sit derelict and neglected. While some think renovating these properties is controversial, regeneration saves structures from collapse and complete disrepair by repurposing the spaces into usable, well-designed spaces. Fortunately, the demand for historic buildings is strong, and turning them into residential homes is one of the best ways to secure their long-term use.

On a recent shoot, The Condo team discovered an incredible property that was once an iconic pottery. It is now an exquisite residential space that has held onto its original charm and personality despite undergoing significant renovations. The Pottery, steeped in history, culture and art, sat empty for a decade and fell into disrepair before its current owners restored it to its original beauty and into a functional and stylish place to live. The building, which still features the original signage dating back to before it was a pottery, is the perfect example of how to turn a deserted, non-residential building into a modern family home.

Retaining the building’s character during the conversion was a nuanced process. Preserving its original features, such as the exposed beams that crisscross across the ceiling, while integrating modern conveniences, such as the highly functional kitchen, required sensitivity to the building’s inherent personality. The new features of the home, the high ceilings and long, wide spaces, the warm grey floors and cream-plastered walls that make the rooms feel spacious yet comforting, the herringbone wooden floors and the expansive windows that bathe the house in bright light ensure the transformation felt like a continuation rather than a disruption of its previous state.

Historic, non-residential buildings offer a home charm, nostalgia and individuality. Their unique features, large open-plan spaces and intricate details hold an untold narrative of a time gone by. Yet many historic buildings fall onto the ‘Heritage at risk’ register when facing the threat of decay or destruction. Heritage conversions offer a lifeline to these structures, preventing their loss and breathing a new lease of life into their weathered and neglected walls.

The Pottery - From Retail to Home - the Kitchen

A modern kitchen with all the original features of its former life as a pottery.

The carefully restored basement features iconic furniture from Pierre Jeanneret's 1950s Chandigarh collection.

The allure of historic buildings lies in what originally made them special – their architectural grandeur and cultural significance. Converting these structures into homes is a way of rekindling their magic, allowing their stories to continue within the framework of modern life. It’s about celebrating their historical context, recognising their contribution to the fabric of the community and offering buyers something extraordinary and unique.

The art of turning a historic building into a home centres on striking a balance between modern comforts and preserving the original fabric and character of the structure. Upgrading and improving the property doesn’t mean sacrificing the original features that once defined the building’s charm. Instead, restoration often involves meticulous research and skilled craftsmanship to ensure every intricate detail, from ornate mouldings to unique fixtures, is honoured.

The true success of transforming historic buildings into homes is achieving a harmonious blend of architecture, history, design and character. These homes are more than just shelters; they honour the building’s past, embrace the building’s features and preserve the space for the future.

The Pottery - From Retail to Home - Desk with Riley Uggla
The Pottery - From Retail to Home - Riley Uggla in the basement lounge
The Pottery - From Retail to Home - Detail
The Pottery - From Retail to Home - Detail
The Pottery - From Retail to Home - Basement Lounge

Neutral plastered walls, exposed beams, vintage furniture and handwoven rugs by Nanimarquina.