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House on the river

Words by Dan Warden

Readers of DRIFT will be familiar with the work of Woodford Architecture. The company’s holistic approach to architecture, home and interior design is responsible for some of the region’s most beautiful homes, and speaking with Gavin and Sarah who own and run the company, I’m excited to be shown to one of their latest projects.

Positioned in a beautiful riverside location, this quintessentially Cornish cottage is typical of the county’s architectural heritage. In need of a remodel on the inside, with beautiful original features on the outside that had unfortunately been painted over, Gavin, Sarah and their team were charged with the property’s full restoration and refurbishment. Granite quoins to the rear were stripped of their paint and exposed, restoring the home’s original character and adding real appeal to the rear terrace.

It’s really on the inside, however, that the refurbishment came into its own. As well as ensuring original features were restored, such as the ceiling beams on the ground floor, Woodford set to work on maximising the amount of storage and capitalising on the waterside locale. “Cottages like these are typically modest in terms of space,” says Gavin, “so to maximise storage, we worked with a local joiner to specify furniture around the home. Both the master bedroom and children’s bunk room, for example, had beds especially made to incorporate storage; a new open timber staircase was installed with maximum under-stairs space; even the kitchen was bespoke, designed in partnership with the family and catering to their love for cooking and entertaining.”

In terms of living and dining space, the newly designed interior features a fabulous dining table overlooking the water. A banquette seat provides the perfect place to sit and read a book; also overlooking the river, says Gavin, “you feel like you’re literally on the water.” Other touches that celebrate the locale include a small circular window, and an overall clean, coastal design palette. “It’s tiny details like this that can bring so much to the design of a home,” adds Gavin. And it’s true. Flicking through the pictures of this gorgeous home makes for enviable viewing, and it speaks volumes of Gavin and Sarah’s ability to not only see a client’s vision, but to bring it to life.

In terms of remodelling, the property received a second shower room on the first floor – making light of those summer visits from friends and family – and to help the owners enjoy time on the water without dragging sand and salt through the house, Woodford introduced a utility area, including storage for water gear and a place to rinse off sandy toes. “We also installed rooflights to the first floor, above the new open staircase and in the new shower room,” says Sarah. “This transformed the previously dark interior spaces, flooding both the first and ground floor with natural light.”

What Woodford have done is help their clients match the quality of their living quarters with that of the location. Benefitting from incredible natural light, proximity to the water that’s so close you could skim a stone, and in a spot that’s far from the madding crowds of summer, with Woodford’s holistic approach to home design, this home on the river epitomises the very best of coastal living.

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