Is this the West Country’s most stunning home?
Spoiler *yes!* Muddy had a peek inside this award-winning masterclass in rustic luxe style. Trust me, it's very you.
You know when you’re on a seaside walk and you glimpse an amazing clifftop house and think, “OMG, I want that lifestyle” or as I like to say to Mr Muddy, “That house is so us, darling, can we sell the children and live there instead?”
I recently had the privilege of taking a tour around exactly that sort of unique, sustainable and frankly off-the-scale property. And guess what? Inside it’s fully furnished, I have the key and you can move in today (jokes)!
So, knowing you love a nosey around beautiful homes – I bring you an in-depth nose around, and all the insider intel from the experts who designed it, Gavin and Sarah at Ashburton’s Woodford Architecture, along with tips on how to nail the property’s rustic luxe style.
If you’re not sure what rustic luxe is, think The Pig at Combe, aka posh but not showy, stuffed with top-notch materials that honour the rural location, incredible tech (this house switches itself off when you leave), a cohesive style and quality with a capital Q.
This breath-taking property won the regional award in the international property awards this year, and has just been announced as the best residential property in the United Kingdom 2020 -2021.
Do you agree? Have a look and once you’ve popped your eyes back in their sockets, let us know what you think in the comment box below.
For cooks and looks, you need a granite-covered island as big as a bar, a central hob so you can cook to your audience and not one, but two working-height Siemens ovens. What you can’t see (or hear) is the silent Gaggenau extractor fan which neatly pops up from the island when needed, and a second galley kitchen behind just for prep so you can hide all the mess while you entertain.
Nail the style: Getting a new splash back? Choose hand-crafted Moroccan tiles with built-in sparkle, like these iridescent beauties from Zellige.
Two entrances are better than one, don’t you think, especially when there is double-sided 1.8m wood-burner keeping you toasty (as well as underfloor heating) in between. Floor to ceiling glass optimises panoramic sea views, while exterior wooden brise soleil on the windows provides solar shading and extra privacy. Clutter-haters, check out those wall niches, perfect for curating all your pretty what-nots into neat collections.
Nail the style: If you’re re-plastering, evoke the charm of cob walls by rounding off sharp edges in the right angles where walls meet and in alcoves and niches.
A modern day eyrie, a three-sided glass sun room protruding from your home’s footprint means you can top up your Vitamin D on dull days. Plus, you can see the outside of your house from inside and I’d say that’s an essential when your home looks this good.
Nail the style: For a peaceful, cohesive feel, keep all the flooring the same throughout (Ted Todd since you ask), even in outposts such as these.
What every woman needs: a room devoted to Leonardo de Caprio. Not really! It’s even better, a cinema room with cool neon signage and a built-in, blow-your-head-off Bowers & Wilkins sound system with 75in screen (all the better for checking out Leo). Pop the kids in there and you won’t see them for days.
Nail the style: A squishy sofa and a mini kitchen for popcorn prep make it feel cosy and family-friendly.
Fancy a dip, m’lady? Slide open the weathered-looking Corten steel doors to reveal your sparkling 14m pool, with lighting designed for day and night. Three automated sliding doors, each weighing half a tonne and spanning 18m (one of only two sets in the country) peel back to access your sea-facing deck where you can dry off in the sunshine.
A rope swing suspended over the deep end adds a playfulness to the opulence and not a plastic slide in sight.
Nail the style: Okay, you might not have the pool but if you want to enhance light levels anywhere, opt for antique mirrored glass tiles which are less bling and more bang-on rustic trend.
I defy you not to get your best night sleep ever in here, with that giant velvet headboard, low lighting from twinkly chandeliers and a copper Hurlingham bath to slip into while drinking in the view of waves (and hopefully a glass of Champers).
Nail the style: Get curtains railings made bespoke by a local blacksmith or create a feature wall such as this stone-like wall behind the bed, actually made from warm-to-the-touch wood. Clever.
What child would not want two-storey wooden bunks connected by fun stairs leading to a wooden mezzanine for their gaming and scalextric track? The net above the window is strong enough to take the little monkeys’ weight effectively giving the room a second storey. No more tripping over everything, just chuck ’em up in the netting (and the toys)!
Nail the style: Want to enjoy those rural views? Glass-sided Juliet balconies let light and the feeling of outdoors in.
Bathrooms should be luxurious, cocoon-like and easy to clean, no? Just one of five en-suites individually designed to suit each room (naturally), the master bedroom has large format tiling on walls and floor so virtually join (and dirt-trapping grout) free. A vaulted ceiling above the shower creates the illusion of extra space.
Nail the style: Install rose-gold fittings: not as bling as gold but richer, warmer and way more exciting than ubiquitous chrome.
Now, where did I put my office? Oh yes, it’s behind that door masquerading as shelves! The stuff of romantic castles and Scooby Doo mysteries, said shelves need only a gentle shove to open into a hidden WFH office space. If only I’d had one of these to hide behind when the kids were little I’d have got sooo much more work done. Good for security too.
Nail the style: Open shelves work brilliantly as partitions to separate work and living spaces, while keeping a sense of space and letting light through.
Make your home a thing of beauty by night with down-lighting while by day, sunken guttering, Juliet glass balconies, a layering of brise soleil and, ooh, a sunken hot tub won’t go amiss either.
Nail the style: Upgrade wood cladding on outdoor buildings, or in this case the pool, to shou-sugi-ban, timber which has been charred in an ancient Japanese technique.
Fancy the look for your new build or home improvement?
I mean who wouldn’t? Get in touch with the uber-talented Gavin and Sarah at Woodford Architecture either at their Ashburton office on 01364 654888 or Truro 01872 248924. Alternatively, you can drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated September 2021.