An English Church Gets Converted into a Comfy Modern Home

This quaint church conversion has been carried out by the Swiss firm, Evolution Design. The church now serves as a holiday home that can sleep up to seven people. Located in Durham, England, it features uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside.


Chapel on the Hill - Evolution Design - England - Exterior - Humble Homes

The original structure dates back to the 1880’s and had been left vacant and in a state of disrepair prior to the renovation. The project allowed both architects and engineers to evaluate the chapel aesthetically and structurally so as to provide a plan for moving forward.


Chapel on the Hill - Evolution Design - England - Kitchen and Dining Room - Humble Homes

The first floor is contains a large open plan kitchen and dining area that flows into the living room. In the kitchen/dining room the original timber trusses have been left exposed, allowing the church to maintain its identity. The trusses also help to provide character as well as a sense of history.


Chapel on the Hill - Evolution Design - England - Living Room - Humble Homes

Opening up the ceiling in places has allowed the rooms to feel large and spacious, particularly when coupled with the tall Gothic windows. In other places lower ceilings are employed to change the atmosphere and intimacy of the room, for example, the living room ceiling helps to create the feeling of a cozy private space.

Chapel on the Hill - Evolution Design - England - Staircase and Study Nook - Humble Homes

The second floor contains four bedrooms, along with the main bathroom. The interior design at times almost lends itself to being kitschy. A mix of modern and traditional furnishings are used to create an environment that complements the historic nature of the chapel.

Chapel on the Hill - Evolution Design - England - Bedroom - Humble Homes

From the designer, Paul King: “All materials and design had been considered in the context of the character and appearance of the existing building and the teesdale vernacular. traditional materials were proposed to ensure the scheme respects the character of the landscape and the existing buildings.”

For more small houses check out this windmill conversion to a three bedroom home. Or, this historic Korean farmhouse that gets a modern makeover. See all small houses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Chris Humphries

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. I definitely like this place a lot. It is open and cosy at the same time. I definitely would enjoy it. The only problem is that there should be another railing on the stairs going up. I have several accidents through out the years and I have had to walk with crutches and walker and canes, so another railing especially on the window side would be appreciated when climbing up the stairs.

    I moved recently myself and had to ask the landlord if they would install a railing on the right side of the stairs so that it would be easier for me to walk up in the stairs and I am finding out that I use that railing more then the other. I also like it better also.

  2. Any time I come upon a church or other house of prayer that has been abandoned, I am saddened. One wonders why that happened. Nevertheless, it is a joy to see the once-loved old church resurrected into new life as this charming home. Many thanks to those who have designed and established this beautiful little dwelling. This comment is respectfully submitted.
    Stephan of Arkansas