The owners, an interior designer and a cardiologist, bought this three-bedroom semi-detached converted 19th-century barn in Cornwall in 2008. It was dark and drab with unappealing interiors and rotting windows when the couple viewed it five years ago. 'We knew we could completely change the look and feel of the rooms. And its Cornish location was ideal,' says the owner.
The couple and their three children had always enjoyed annual holidays in Cornwall, so finding a spacious, reverse-level property with sea views in such a great location seemed like an ideal opportunity.
Most of the homes wed seen were tiny cottages, but the barn had been arranged with a large open-plan living room and kitchen upstairs and bedrooms downstairs - which makes sense, because we spend most of our time up in the living area, which has the best views.
Structurally the roof and walls of the stone building were in good condition, but the seaside location meant that the existing timber windows had deteriorated beyond repair so needed replacing. The family didnt make any other changes to the property until 2012, when they added a balcony off the kitchen. The sun sets on this side of the house and we knew that a sheltered balcony would be lovely in the evenings.
Two years later the interior of the house was given a complete makeover, which involved replacing the kitchen, gutting the bathroom, laying new flooring and redecorating throughout.
'We didn’t want the interior to look too contrived but everything needed to tie together, which is where the blue and white colour scheme came in. It’s amazing how different the barn feels now - so much more light and welcoming - and having the balcony has really changed the way we use the space.
The freshly painted entrance hallway is now bright and welcoming with its muted colour palette of pale blue, soft grey and off-white.
Light Blue at Farrow & Ball
3/11 Living room
The couple chose new softwood floorboards, which were sealed and finished with white oil to give them a washed, timeworn feel. The soft blue and cream colour palette with weathered wood accents suits the coastal setting perfectly.
4/11 Reading area
Vintage shelving from an antiques shop has been teamed with a retro chair in this reading area in the living room. The shades, textures and open design of the shelving unit gives the space an easy-going, relaxed feel.
Simple cream Shaker-style cabinets, wooden worktops and blue wall tiles give the kitchen a relaxed country look. The kitchen island unit was made to measure and takes pride of place in the family space.
6/11 Kitchen storage
A collection of patterned and plain mugs is left on show on an antique drying rack, which makes an attractive display in the kitchen area.
7/11 Dining area
A corner of the living room is used as a dining area, with a round dining table that makes the best use of the limited space. The colourful wall art is from a local artist.
8/11 Dining storage
A painted cabinet provides handy extra storage for crockery and glassware in the dining room area of the home.
9/11 Main bedroom
A painted metal bed and wooden wall panelling make this room a calming oasis. Soft furnishings pick up on the coastal theme with a muted palette of pale blue and grey.
10/11 Twin bedroom
Painted wall panelling and chunky knitted throws give the room a cosy feel. Cushions in gingham checks and florals co-ordinate with the cheery red bedside table.
Patterned floor tiles bring interest to this white scheme. An old cupboard was stripped out to make room for the walk-in shower.
We hope you've enjoyed our tour of this seaside haven. Which space is your favourite?
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Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.
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