We have all gone on holiday and fallen in love with the idea of living in our perfect idyll. For most of us, it remains an idle dream. But two years ago, Christopher and Linda Kilmurry drew a circle on a map of Cumbria and obsessively searched for their ideal house in their perfect location.

Today, Glen Bank in Brampton near Appleby is testament to their determination to find exactly what they wanted and also to their flair for interior design.

Christopher and Linda, who studied at London’s St Martins School of Art in their early 20s, have fused old and new in the large beamed village house which was originally built in 1755.

Glen Bank is a fascinating mix of ideas and styles which sit comfortably together. The couple, both 60, bought the house with a view to retiring to Cumbria where they holidayed at least three times a year. For the moment, they continue to live in Cheltenham and holiday-let Glen Bank, blocking out the weeks they covet for themselves.

The house has been furnished and decorated to the highest standard and has been awarded Visit England’s highest rating - 5 Star Gold.

Linda says: “I fell in love with the character and charm of Glen Bank with its part red sandstone exterior. The only downside was that it felt a bit dark but we thought we could do something about that."

She removed all the curtains, replacing them with shutters. It was an instant lift. Next, she took up all the carpets exposing perfect wooden oak floors. A clever palette of neutral paints from either Farrow & Ball or Little Greene also added brightness.

Christopher and Linda’s priority was to source an eclectic mix of furnishings that would enhance the natural character of the house.

Some things were already in their possession but Cumbria’s auction houses and shops were scoured for the perfect pieces, some of which were revived and painted by Linda.

Meanwhile, Christopher project-managed the renovation of the house. For 10 months, various teams of skilled local tradesmen worked on Glen Bank.

Warmth and cosiness are absolute priorities and most of the downstairs rooms have underfloor heating. There is also a library with a good collection of books and doors to a private courtyard. The sitting room with its log-burning stove and old range is quirky and cosy.

A downstairs en-suite bedroom was created from the former garage and a boot room added next to the kitchen.

However, the heart of the house downstairs is the orangery which is flooded with light in the summer from its magnificent lantern roof and warm in the winter with both underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove.

Two joiners based in Penrith made a long ash table specifically for the room and Linda sourced a French-style painted bench on eBay which sits perfectly alongside the table and then designed cushions to complement it.

Upstairs the four bedrooms and four bathrooms were put together with comfort as the priority. Each bedroom is named after a fell and boasts large beds.

You can lie in bed in Murton and look out at the fell with the same name while in Croglin, you view both Murton and Dufton Pikes.

The master bedroom has a Juliet balcony which looks across to the Lake District fells. The wardrobe and chest in that room are modern pine which Linda has cleverly disguised by rag rolling. The effect is shades of gold, pink and blue.

Much thought has also been put into the gardens which had to be as maintenance-free as possible. The garden is on three levels with lots of spaces to walk and benches to sit on. One area is covered in chipped Honister slate.

A practical but quirky feature is an outside dog shower with hot and cold water, dog shampoo and towels. Christopher says with a laugh: “We noticed Johnny Vegas made a joke about a dog shower when he opened a new shower complex on a camp site in Cumbria recently. We were ahead of the game as we installed it two years ago.”

For the moment, the Kilmurrys are part-time Cumbrians but they look forward to the day they are here permanently. And in the meantime they are congratulating themselves on finding that perfect location in their beloved Eden Valley.

Glen Bank is available for let through Lake Lovers (www.lakelovers.co.uk) and Rural Retreats (www.ruralretreats.co.uk). It also has its own website www.glenbankcumbria.co.uk.

This article first appeared in the award-winning Cumbria Life magazine.