Deciding to leave hectic city life and the long commute from Surrey to London behind them, the owner and her husband moved to the artistic town of St Ives in Cornwall for a slower pace of life.
‘Since I was a child, when I used to cry on the way home from our seaside holidays, I’ve always longed to live near the coast,’ says the owner.
They initially rented a house in St Ives before looking for a place to buy.
‘We try to be environmentally friendly, so when we saw this house which was part of an eco-build development, it really appealed. There are solar panels for providing heating and hot water, triple glazing, a wood-pellet fire and a heat exchange system. This draws hot air around the house via vents in the ceiling, so we have no need for radiators.’
The three-storey, four-bedroom real home provides more than enough space for the couple and their cat. So they decided to occupy the top two floors, and transform the ground floor, previously an artist studio, into a guest suite.
The kitchen had to be completely redesigned to suit the needs of the owners. ‘We joked that the kitchen must have been designed by someone who never cooked, as there weren’t worktops to speak of, the upper cupboards were too high for me to reach and there wasn’t space for a fridge.’
A transformative new kitchen layout created a space that works for the new owners perfectly.
To give them more work surface space and cupboard space, the owners bought two freestanding cabinets with drawers and aluminium tops, which stand in the window. They opted for a freestanding fridge-freezer in show-stopping lime green, and this colour has been picked out in other accessories throughout the house.
‘After living in a rather small Victorian cottage, it was quite odd to find ourselves with a generous, open-plan living area. We brought the furniture from our previous house with us. At first, we had difficulty deciding on where to put it all, but in the end we pushed it back against the walls to emphasise the feeling of space. We love a clean, unfussy, Scandi look, so that’s what we’ve tried to create.’
Bright yellow accessories brighten up the black sofa, and the statement living room colour scheme is echoed in the curtain pattern.
The owners weren’t keen on the yellow lino on the bathroom floor, so they replaced it with a more subtle grey waterproof laminate flooring. Subtle coastal accessories reflect the house’s seaside setting.
Guest studio apartment
‘We found an amazing handyman who fitted a small kitchen idea in the studio and we added sofas and a double bed. We had not planned on renting out the studio when we moved here, but it has given us an extra income.’
The owners went with a seaside-inspired theme in the guest apartment. Walls have been kept white, while coastal colours have been introduced on upholstery, rugs, bedding and art work.
The end-of-terrace home sits on a hill, and the incline means that the garden is accessible from the first floor. The combination of wooden decking, a stone wall and pretty plants works beautifully with the surrounding trees. ‘In summer I bring my laptop outside and work at the table.’
So what do the owners make of their life on the coast compared to their life in the big city? ‘We find it really peaceful here – we wouldn’t return to our old lives.’
This house tour originally appeared in Style at Home, August 2017.