Inspired by the landscape, the beachcomber owners of this coastal home mixed fresh creams, slubby linens and sunbleached timber to embrace a new kind of seaside chic
This cool coastal home is a converted net loft by the beach in Cornwall, built in the 1800s. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the ground floor, and a living room and kitchen on the first floor. It also has an adjoining self-contained, one-bedroom holiday let flat. ‘The bones of the house were good,’ say the couple, ‘it just needed bringing back to life.
The owners, who have restored many properties over the years, like to work to a theme with each home. For this house ‘The Sea Captain’s lookout’ inspired their nautical design style. They removed existing ceilings to reveal the original A-frame beams and installed old scaffolding boards for floors and walls in the living room. The boards have a lovely aged patina thanks to a tried-and-tested paint method of layering a light shade over a dark shade, then sanding so the underneath colour is subtly revealed.
The kitchen with its newly uncovered pitched roof is a relaxed mix of items the couple have bought locally, or acquired on their travels. The ceiling lights above the table were found in a workshop in Russia. ‘We negotiated with the owner and they cost us four packs of fags and 20 dollars,’ they say. The colour palette of the kitchen, along with the rest of the house, is inspired by the ever-changing landscape of sky and sea outside. ‘In our previous homes we’ve gone for an all-white aesthetic, but here we’ve added tones of grey and stone too so it’s not too clinical or urban.
The owners have created inspiring vignettes of found and favourite objects throughout the house. They made the bell jar lamp and white-washed the old wooden bench and storage trunk to fit their colour scheme. Their style may be ‘form over function’ but the house is practical too with old chests, dressers and free-standing cupboards used for storage. Their log store in the living room is a good example of form and function working happily together.
The window in the master bedroom overlooks the harbour. You can just make out the window seat the couple have created. ‘It’s a great place to sit first thing in the morning as the view changes all the time with the light and tides,’ they say. ‘It’s the perfect way to connect with nature.’ Natural linens and slubby textures have been used in rugs and furnishings throughout the house to echo the coastal vibe.
During the renovation the couple exposed the original granite support in what is now the guest bedroom. Left raw it adds extra character to the space. Old fashioned items have been utilised in inspiring ways: an old wooden peg rack for hanging clothes, a wooden crate as a bedside table and an industrial style suspended lamp made by the owners.
A clawfoot bath with soft grey painted sides contrasts with the painted old boards and tongue and groove paneling. The owners’ quirky finds continue into the bathroom – the ampersand is from an old cricket scoreboard, while the tea-light holder is from Spain.