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Client-Focused Approach

In talking to Gavin and Sarah Woodford, we find a reputation for quality and exceptional attention to detail. 

Woodford Architecture and Interiors, co-founded by Gavin and Sarah, has a reputation for delivering sensitive architecture and interior design solutions that transcends mere construction to create homes of exceptional beauty and functionality. With a client-led ethos and a passion for detail, they have become a beacon of quality in the South West of England, particularly in Cornwall and Devon.

Founder’s Vision

The core value that is at the heart of this practice is that of being homemakers, as Gavin explains: “We don’t just design buildings; we work in harmony with the surrounding landscape to design and build homes that realise our client’s vision.” Sarah adds: “The homes we create are a reflection of our clients, that’s what makes every project unique and so much fun, each project requires new ideas and creative input every time. We don’t have an in-house style, but there are definitely tried and tested suppliers and products that we love to work with because they are the best, and longevity is extremely important. We don’t want to be creating beautiful spaces that need upgrading in a few years’ time, that’s wasteful on resources and in the long term uneconomical.”

Sarah studied Fine Antique Restoration and Conservation at what was then the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design before working for Arnold Wiggins & Sons, historic framers to the Royal household and international art galleries. She attributes her attention to detail to this experience as well her appreciation of historical context, which is particularly pertinent when working on older and listed building projects. “I went on to complete my interior design training at the Inchbald School of Design,” explains Sarah. “I was given the opportunity to use my traditional decorative skills in a more contemporary way when I was invited to work on large-scale renovations with some leading interior designers. It was then that we decided to combine our talents to create Woodford Architecture and Interiors.’

The Move to Devon

Gavin and Sarah’s decision to base their practice in Devon was driven by their love for the region’s natural beauty and lifestyle. “We would spend our summer weekends escaping from London to Cornwall and Devon, to the beaches and countryside, where we would camp and live a simpler life,” Gavin reminisces. The couple felt that the serene surroundings of the area offered the perfect backdrop for their work and personal life. Now settled in Devon, they continue to draw inspiration from the landscape, creating homes that blend seamlessly with their environment.

Architectural Approach

Woodford Architecture’s approach is client centric, every home they design is as individual as their clients. “We want to create homes,” says Sarah “that reflect our clients and their lifestyles, capturing the things they love and that make them tick. So, whether it’s a painstakingly restored longhouse or a new carbon neutral home, it fits them perfectly. This philosophy starts with understanding the essence of the client’s brief through open and engaging conversations.” They both believe that early collaboration and thoughtful questioning can uncover hidden gems that enrich the project.

Functionality and aesthetics are equal drivers. Gavin emphasises that collaboration within their talented team of architects, architectural technologists, and interior designers ensures a seamless connection between the architecture, interior design and landscape. This holistic approach enables them to create homes that are not only beautiful but also work precisely for their client’s lifestyle. Whether that’s direct access to a kitchen garden, a training lane in the swimming pool, or a secret den for the kids, each is as distinctive as the family that will inhabit it.  

Sustainability and local inspiration

A significant aspect of Woodford’s practice is their commitment to sustainability and the use of local materials. Gavin explains, “For many of our clients, our projects in Cornwall are particularly about enjoyment with their families and a connection to the outdoors and their surroundings. It’s about relaxation and wellbeing, and a care for the environment and sustainability.” The practice integrates traditional techniques with modern materials, using local resources such as Delabole slate and reclaimed materials. In their projects they look to incorporate renewable energy strategies, high performance glazing, and green roofs and they see this as a responsibility that they take great pride in.

Notable projects and recognition

One of Woodford Architecture’s standout projects is the award-winning Coastal Retreat, which earned the title of ‘Best Residential Property in the UK’ at the 2020/21 International Property Awards. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Cornish coast, this home is designed to harmonise with its landscape, incorporating sustainable technologies such as ground-source heating, solar panels and high levels of thermal insulation. The interior spaces celebrate local materials and craftsmanship with dramatic volumes balanced by feature lighting and soft furnishings.

Another notable project is on Dartmoor, where the practice has secured planning permission for an outstanding carbon negative home. Once built, this stunning modern home will actually produce more energy than it consumes. Gavin enthuses: “We really couldn’t be prouder of this achievement, our dedicated team along with our fantastic consultants have really raised the bar as to what can be possible. When we first set up our practice this was the dream, it feels incredible to have realised that.”

Restoration and modernisation

Woodford Architecture also excels in restoration and modernisation projects, such as the refurbishment of Molesworth Manor in North Cornwall. Originally built in the 17th century and extended in 1854, the manor was transformed into a characterful home. The project involved restoring original features and rationalising the floor plan to suit contemporary living. The interior design combines Victorian heritage with modern elements, featuring bold colours, patterns, and carefully selected finishes. The manor now includes modern amenities such as a wellness suite, cinema room, and wine tasting room, making it an ideal holiday retreat.

Looking ahead

As Woodford Architecture continues to evolve, Gavin and Sarah remain committed to their core values of quality, detail and client-focused design. Their ongoing projects across Cornwall and Devon, including sustainable new homes and sensitive restorations reflect the practice’s  dedication to pushing the boundaries of architecture and interior design.

“We are extremely grateful and feel very lucky that our practice and our work attracts diverse clients who share our enthusiasm for design,” says Gavin. This shared passion for creating exceptional homes drives Woodford Architecture and Interiors to new heights, ensuring that each project is not just a house, but truly a home.


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