Interior Architecture

Remote Coastal Cottage

West Cornwall

The property: a traditional single-storey, three-bedroom cottage with a separate annex


The clients: a family of four plus dogs


Location: a remote coastal spot overlooking Mounts Bay, West Cornwall


The brief: living in the heart of London, this lively young family needed an escape. They knew they had found somewhere really special in their Cornish cottage. Outside there were dramatic, uninterrupted views of the sea but inside was a muddle of small rooms, awkward bathrooms and a long corridor, all in a sad and sorry state.

The layout needed a complete overhaul, but the clients wanted to work within the existing building envelope and were keen to upgrade the environmental credentials. It was clear that delivery would be complicated by the remote nature of the site in a Conservation Area.


Our response: the clients thought we should knock the cottage’s three reception rooms into one to make a large, sociable kitchen-dining-living space. This made sense, but we could see far greater potential by creating a vaulted ceiling. After a little hesitation, the client embraced this idea and appreciated the idea of new skylights, flooding the room with natural light.

A valuable utility room and playroom/study area were carved out of the wasted corridor space in one of the cottage’s 1980s extensions. Additionally, the layout of each of the three cramped bathrooms was dramatically improved. The restructuring included a compact plant room for a heat-pump and a high specification hot-water system.


Delivery: a careful balance was struck between creating a practical home for a modern family that feels fresh and up to date, whilst also respecting the humble simplicity of the original cottage. Furnishings were kept understated, so as not to detract from the ever-changing views.

This is a place where you experience the weather up close, as the builders quickly discovered. Tucked away down a long narrow bumpy track, organising deliveries was one of the biggest challenges of the project. But with a ground source heat pump and insulation in place, after a day running wild in the fresh air, the family can retreat to cosy warmth inside.


“We found Tanya via House and Gardens ’The List’. Tanya transformed the layout in a way we would have never thought of ourselves but it has made the house eminently more liveable.”


Project team: Tanya Bentley

Photography: Alexander Collins

Stylist: Meaghan Hunter

Contractor:  Cathedral Builders

Landscaping:  Iron Orchid Landscaping