How would you feel about living in a former church? Would you love the sense of stillness and peace that its history might bring? Or would you feel uncomfortable with the prospect of gravestones in the garden?
Over the last 30 years some 20,000 churches have been sold off for conversion. By 2020 a further 10% of the approximately 40,000 remaining churches and chapels will be privately owned.
As a nation we seem to love them and a past survey from Property Finder put chapels and churches as our favourite conversion, even ahead of the ever popular barn. One estate agent confirmed that a converted church will attract over double the amount of viewings a conventional home might have when it goes on sale. Although in the end many of those viewers don’t end up making an offer because they feel that the houses are just too unusual.
What do you think, would they be great places to live?
There are certainly many who believe so. Proponents cite the natural light streaming through the tall windows or the large open space inside. They are also distinctive buildings externally, often with stained glass windows and original features. Churches and chapels were built in enviable locations and the continued sense of tranquility within these buildings offer respite to their owners whether located on a busy street or in a rural retreat.
But like all old buildings, they’ll most likely need renovation and as listed buildings the rules around what can and can’t be done will hamper conversions. The height of the ceilings will make the space difficult to heat and if there are graves in the grounds, public access must be granted.
However, these problems aren’t insurmountable and once tackled, a converted church or chapel can make a beautiful and unusual home...
...Or yoga studio
...Or art and crafts centre:
They're clearly special places, but what if you don't really fancy a move or a hefty renovation bill? What if you'd love the look and feel of a converted church in your own home without actually having to live in one?
Stained Glass Windows
These are integral to a converted church and can completely alter the atmosphere of the rooms inside. Luckily, you can easily incorporate stained glass, or coloured window film is a great alternative, into your own home.
Front doors are the obvious choices, but be brave and think about bathroom windows, living room windows and back doors.
The height of the ceilings in converted churches and chapels is usually vast! Sadly, modern houses can’t really compete. However, if you long for high ceilings, there are tricks you can employ to fool the eye into thinking a room’s ceiling height is higher than it is…
1) Choose furniture which is low and horizontal
2) Introduce diagonals
3) Paint your ceiling in high gloss
4) Accentuate the vertical with your soft furnishings and accessories
Churches and chapels are filled with original objects, including beautiful clocks, bells and pews. These are wonderful things to source from antique shops, salvage yards or modern reproductions from high street stores and they can look lovely in a modern home.
Has this changed how you initially felt about church conversions? If you want to explore more, consider staying in one. This former coastal chapel in Cornwall will let you enjoy all the benefits of a conversion while you consider if you'd like to live in one permanently!
beautiful foundations claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog (beautiful-foundations.com) are copyright to their respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please contact me with details of which image you refer to and it will be promptly removed. Any image on this site is here because it is thought to be beautiful.