The cottage is owned by Gemma MacKenzie, who persuaded her Dad to invest in a little holiday home they could renovate together and she would manage as an idyllic holiday home for guests seeking tranquillity in the beautiful Cornwall countryside.
She explains, “I think we were both looking for an investment that could also be a hobby come small business. The idea of creating a lovely holiday home really appealed to me and luckily Dad agreed. We had ideas of where we wanted the property to be, but it would also come down to budget and the opportunity to find somewhere we could put our own design stamp on.
“I had alerts set up for our budget on all the main homes for sale websites, but nothing quite fit the bill until this place popped up. It was in definite need of a lot of work, but that appealed to us and I could see the potential as its location and exterior style was just what we were looking for.”
The one bedroom cottage is located in the small village or Tredethy. Quaint in size, but perfectly formed as a holiday home for couples, the cottage consists of an open plan kitchen and living space downstairs, leading upstairs to a master bedroom and bathroom. “Inside the home was in need of a serious overhaul to create an appealing holiday home, but its exterior charm was beautiful. It was located in a quiet gated mews with an original Cornish stone brickwork exterior and the countryside walks and Cornwall coastline in easy reach.”
With the home purchased Gemma set about coming up with interior renovation plans. “I instructed a builder for the more technical work, but was planning on doing a lot of the work myself with the help of my Mum and Dad. I started researching design ideas online and instagram was a haven of great ideas.
“I think previous owners had removed a lot of the original features from the cottage and I was keen to reintroduce a country cottage style, but with a contemporary twist that would also give it a luxurious feel.”
The first job was renovating the existing kitchen. “The kitchen cabinetry was in good condition, but was a dull cream colour with old fashioned handles and a dark worktop which just didn’t suit a cottage style. I refurbished all the cabinets painting them Farrow and Ball Dix Blue which immediately brightened up the space, and my Dad’s find of old boat cleats as replacement handles was inspired, adding a bit of a sea connection to reflect the Cornwall coastline.”
To finish off the pretty kitchen a white marble effect laminate work surface blends beautifully and adds the contemporary twist Gemma was looking to achieve throughout the cottage interior design.
The feature fireplace may look like it was part of the original cottage, but this was added as part of the renovation. Choosing stone to match the exterior of the cottage and finding a reclaimed aged lintel the design has introduced an element of authentic cottage charm and character that was missing from the previously plain room.
Next was thinking about the floors, as Gemma explains, “Flooring choice in the living space was going to be so important, both for how it would complete the design, but also be durable for the footfall of holiday makers using the space.
“We removed the old and dirty vinyl floors that were on the ground floor hoping we might uncover some original floors underneath which we could restore, but it just revealed a concrete sub floor, so I started researching flooring options. I liked the idea of reclaimed wood floors however was keen to find a solution that wouldn’t require too much sub floor treatment. The cottage already has quite low ceilings so I didn’t want to have any sub floor construction which might reduce this further.
“I ordered a lot of samples of engineered wood floors, but none felt quite right and I didn’t want to compromise on my overall vision for the space. I then found the V4 Wood Flooring website and loved the style of floors in the Urban Nature collection as they had authentic oak character mixed with modern colour tones. When the samples arrived and I saw Weathered Beam I knew I had found the one. I loved the aged look and real wood knots in the planks, and they were also lovely and light to give the room a bright and spacious feel. They were perfect to complete the look of country cottage meets contemporary I was striving for.”
Urban Nature’s Weathered Beam wood floors are created by the oak surface being given various treatments including distressing and hand scraping with traditional tools. The timber used is selected for its character filled knots and natural blemishes which are filled and sanded individually to leave subtle open knots and markings which give them their aged and weathered appearance. The top layer is then given a further aged and fumed look with the application of coloured hardwax oils, which gives the planks a deep embossed grain along with excellent surface durability.
“The finished wood floors are absolutely perfect in the space. I also love that the planks are generous in size to create a seamless look which makes the room feel really spacious and bright. I’m thrilled with them.”
The original stairs were sanded back and finished in Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue which contrasts beautifully with the oak wood floors and light blues of the kitchen cabinetry.
It was Gemma’s Mum’s turn to have an inspired design idea for the stairs, using Macramé techniques to create the beautiful white rope balustrade.
“Upstairs the original floorboards needed some work to be sanded back and restored, but once this was done I painted them in Farrow & Ball Cornforth White, which has a slight grey tone which is perfect to create a calm and natural backdrop to the bedroom. I love how all three flooring tones complement each other.”
Centrepiece in the living space is a modern and cosy turquoise sofa from made.com, the perfect place to unwind after a day walking in the countryside or breathing in the sea air. And the renovated bathroom is a luxurious retreat featuring a beautiful roll-top bath.
“The project took a little longer than we first planned, but we wanted everything to be just right before we opened to the doors to paying guests. This spring is our first season and the feedback from our first sets of guests has been lovely so we really hope we have done a great job and the cottage is enjoyed by lots of people looking for a little boutique getaway surrounded by the gorgeous Cornwall landscape.”
Visit Poachers Pocket Cottage website to find out more about the holiday home.