Explore an ancient folly, filled with hand-painted frescos, quirky modern furniture and unexpected bursts of color

This is a house with history, and you can tell from the first glimpse...

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays
(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Climbing roses cascade in front of doors, frescos adorn the walls, unexpected color bursts from ceilings and alcoves, styles meet and clash in every room – the Summer Folly really is a unique home. 

Hidden within the grounds of one of England’s greatest country houses this secret getaway, was once the estate's summer house, playing host to balmy evening parties and sophisticated summer picnics. It then became lodgings for workers on the estate and even hid an anti-aircraft battery during the Second World War, this property has quite the history. 

Now, it's a gorgeous holiday rental, with plush beds and a roll-top bath. But there's still that feel of a house that's seen a lot – the decor is a mismatch of contemporary and traditional, modern velvet sofas sit in front of hand-painted ancient walls and every room is a treasure trove of surprises and quirky pieces. Let's take a tour...

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Living room

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The first thing you notice about the living room are the walls. Hand-painted Fresco adorn the walls and ceiling, portraying the life of the previous tenant. The muted hues are the perfect backdrop for the deep rich blues of the velvet sofa and hints of mustard in the throw cushions. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The contemporary shapes contrast beautifully with traditional motifs on the walls, giving the room an eclectic but still very modern vibe. The colors of the ceiling and reflected in the large area rug, giving the space a cohesive feel despite the juxtaposition of styles. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Through an archway in the living room, there's an adjoining snug, with similarly painted walls. There's a very calming olive green scheme, warmed by the terracotta tones in the Frescos. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The small space is still filled with light from the large windows, and is the perfect nook for reading. A built-in bench adds extra seating and brings in more of those mossy green tones. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Kitchen 

Green and blue kitchen with tiled splashback and fireplace

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Styles also clash in the kitchen, with vivid green Shaker-style cabinets mixing with a colorful wall made up of Moroccan tiles. The tiles actually bring this bold kitchen color scheme together, reflecting the pale sky blue of the walls and the warm wood of the dining table and flooring. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Dining room

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Leading on from the kitchen is a more formal dining room. This traditional space is given an unexpected modern twist with the creamy yellow alcoves and matching beams. 

Dining room with yellow alcoves

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Library

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Through an archway in the dining room is a flash of red that is the library. With the walls, ceilings, and cabinetry painted in this enveloping, inviting shade, this is yet another place to perch with a coffee and a good book – take your pick. 

Snug

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

In the annex is a second, more cozy informal living room perfect for movie nights. There's a more cottagey feel in here, with a deep cumbersome corner sofa, buttoned back footstool and lots of squishy cushions.  There's also a small kitchen so you don't have to traipse back to the main house for refreshments. 

Master bedroom

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The master bedroom takes up the whole of the second floor. Painted all over in a lovely muted teal shade with paneled ceilings and a traditional cast iron bed. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The ensuite is equipped with a roll-top bath, strategically situated to make the most of the gorgeous views over the surrounded countryside and the stately home. 

Ensuite bathroom with large arched window

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Guest bedroom

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The second bedroom is back on the first floor. Mulberry tones run throughout the space, even the window frames and doors are painted in a pretty muted pink. The space feels cozy in a lovely traditional way – like a bedroom from an old childhood book. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The same pinky shades can be found in the ensuite, with the crimson roll top bath and matching artwork. Even the patterned tiles have hints of deep red within them. 

The Summer Folly by Unique Homestays

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

The Summer Folly is available to rent through Unique Homestays

Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.