We were asked to unify the space and update the aesthetic to take advantage of the views overlooking the Duchy of Cornwall estate and create a modern family home.
Specifically, the owners wanted to be able to see their kids when on the ground floor, have a kitchen and dining area to accommodate 30 guests and for the house to still be cosy and comfortable with only five people living there. They wanted a master suite with a dressing room and an ensuite bathroom, guest facilities for two visiting families, and three childrens' rooms with a dedicated bathroom separate from adult spaces.
The refurbishment had to blend in with the landscape, incorporate multimedia and communications and be a contemporary, comfortable space, displaying family portraits and antiques and a few ‘wow’ factors.
We proposed a two-story extension to the rear elevation, in order to unify the space both horizontally and vertically and make use of a traditional, cottage-proportioned fenestration flanking a contemporary glass-slab atrium. The country views could then be seen from the master bedroom through the double height-glass atrium.
The immediate curtilage at the rear was blurred into the fields by removing portions of the hedges and fence. Augusto Colinder, the Swiss landscape designer, was commissioned to design the immediate landscape.
Openings on the ground floor were considered to allow site lines from the kitchen to the kids' play areas.
The first floor is zoned with a childrens' wing, which is separated from the master suite by the two guest rooms.
The traditional dining room opens into the kitchen/breakfast room through double doors and a fold-away wall so the tables can be extended to sit 30 people for dinner.
Contemporary panelling was used in the corridor and under the stairs to disguise storage whilst preserving some idiosyncrasies of the building.
A TV is hidden behind a picture in the living room and a large swivel chair re-focuses the room.
The boot room/utility space with storage, toilet, shower, bench and drying space provides an ‘airlock’ to change and clean (and is also a home for the dog).
A hinged bookcase gives three times more shelving space in the study.
Double-glazed Crittel-styled windows emphasise the traditional cottage look. Ceiling heights have been amended to re-proportion the rooms.
Contemporary Cole & Son wallpaper in the main bedrooms reflects the surrounding countryside without being quaint or retro.
Dark-painted traditional-style panelling is used in the formal dining room as a background for antiques and paintings.
Stone floors in the kitchen and hallway flow into the patio, creating and inside/outside feel. The neutral colour palate was inspired by the colours found within the dry stone boundary walls.
Glass and steel sections were used for the atrium and balustrading, along with circle LED pendant lights, to reinforce the modern look.
The building delivers an intimate space for a family of five as well as social space for larger family gatherings, allowing for both private and social interaction.
Technology and multimedia is discreetly hidden so it does not become the focal point of the space.
The ground floor can be opened or closed to allow for different activities.
The home office has a sound-proofed glass wall; it can be private whilst being visually connected to the family spaces.