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Emily Escaped: reviews and photos of holiday homes for design lovers

Emily Escaped

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Written by homes journalist Emily Brooks, this blog is dedicated to seeking out UK holiday rentals that are all about great design

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The Mission, Isle of Wight

This late-Victorian tin tabernacle church has had a modern architectural update inside, but it’s mostly about embracing a gloriously kitsch vintage vibe 

Perhaps better known for its fleet of airstream trailers for rent on the Isle of Wight, Vintage Vacations also has this property on the books, a Victorian tin tabernacle church built in 1895. Its new owners have converted the place with appropriately missionary zeal, and from the jolly red, green and yellow paint scheme on the outside to the kitsch retro interior, you know you’re in for some fun staying here.

Ecclesiastical buildings are notoriously hard to convert – how do you keep that sense of a tall, open space while providing for all the different functions of a home? Here, the solution (by Coast Architects) is to place a whitewashed structure in the centre of the original nave, which leads up to two open bedrooms, which cantilever over the living space below. Another two, more private bedrooms are in the former Sunday School.

Despite the contemporary nature of the ‘internal extension’, with its glass and steel balustrade, the decor is mainly mid-century retro: curl up in a rust-coloured swivel chair under a crochet blanket, get the bacon butties on in the English Rose kitchen or admire the 50s and 60s art on the walls. The mellowed timber cladding and floorboards give an nice enveloping feeling, while original features make it really special – the bath is sunk into what was once the original baptismal font.

Oh and if you fancy some rather un-Christian pursuits, the Wight Mouse Inn is just round the corner. Praise be.

Nearby: Nothing’s very far away on the Isle of Wight, but slightly bonkers theme park Blackgang Chine is on the doorstep; classic seaside town Ventnor is six miles away; and there are plenty of coast and countryside walks

Essential details:

  • Chale, Isle of Wight
  • Sleeps 8
  • Available through Vintage Vacations
  • From £750 a week

More photos:

The Mission, Isle of Wight

The Mission, Isle of Wight

The Mission, Isle of Wight

The Mission, Isle of Wight

The Mission, Isle of Wight

Photos via Vintage Vacations

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