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Carly O'Brien
Written by Carly O'Brien 28th August 2015

A lesson in ‘back to school’ properties

It’s that time of year again. Not Christmas, but back to school season. And although whoever coined the phrase ‘school days are the best days of our lives’ was having a nostalgic moment, we think the saying reflects the current strong appeal of schools as residential properties. They often feature high ceilings, airy rooms and charming history, making perfect family homes.

If you are searching for this kind of property, we’ve done the homework for you. Here are four renovated schools are worth studying in detail…

1. Starting, of course, with a home in our own portfolio: The Old School House, in Willen, Milton Keynes (pictured above). Yes, it may be located in the urban sprawl of the new town, with great access to CMK train station and modern amenities, but this Grade II-listed 1847 property boasts its own charming, village-like setting. It has been renovated extensively and beautifully, retaining many unique period features. Outside is a private courtyard and landscaped walled gardens.

2. Built in 1845 and used as a school until relatively recently, is this home in Ribble Valley, Lancashire. According to Period Living magazine, the owners have renovated and furnished the property with careful flair, using their expertise as antique dealers. The kitchen, for example, features a teak laboratory table and stools rescued from the school, and the original paintwork on the staircase has been left unchanged, respecting the property’s history.

3. Featuring the original open fire that heated the school hall, the living room of this Grade-II listed former school has even greater appeal now that autumn beckons. Presented by House to Home, and like many other renovated schools, this home features extraordinarily high ceilings, large beautiful windows and a fascinating history.

4. Not all school renovations call for Provencal-style furnishings. Across the pond, this Pennsylvania home demonstrates how more modern or multicultural design can be blended with vintage styling, as shown in the Country Living feature. A stark, industrial bar cart, for example, sits below an old chalkboard and next to a classroom chair. Clean-cut Ikea kitchen units surround an antique bakery table, while an Ethiopian throw adorns a bright and airy bedroom.

What do you think of these homes? Would you live in a renovated school – and what are your memories of your own school building? Let us know through our social channels…