Houzz Tour: A Sensitively Renovated, Light-filled Waterfront Home
Victorian character and modern comfort combine with playful touches to create an inviting family house
Tanya suggested a reconfigured floor plan, put together a design scheme to reflect the architecture of the house and its surroundings, and project-managed the extensive renovations. There’s no doubt it was a big undertaking, but the result is a wonderfully welcoming, light-filled home that will stand the test of time.
Who lives here? A couple with two older children and two spaniels
Location Fowey, Cornwall
Property A Victorian townhouse
Size Five bedrooms and three bathrooms
Designer Tanya Bentley
Tanya’s aim when designing her clients’ home was to seamlessly incorporate contemporary touches while staying sensitive to the property’s period architecture. You can immediately see this at the home’s entrance.
The front door, for instance, was refurbished to be more in keeping with the age of the home. Tanya commissioned a local craftswoman to replace the plain glazed panels with beautiful stained glass.
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The frame is painted dark blue, similar to the deep blue skirting boards in the hallway. “Dark blue is a colour that runs throughout the house,” Tanya says.
Skirting boards painted in Hague Blue, Farrow & Ball. Crittall panel, D&R Design.
Floor tiles, Original Style. Stair runner, Roger Oates.
Wallpaper, Pierre Frey. Basin, The Water Monopoly. Wall lights, Vaughan.
The room’s colour scheme was inspired by two paintings by a local artist that hang above the sofa. There’s more of that mix of old and new in here with the pendant light, which is a pared-back, modern take on a Victorian chandelier.
Sofa, Kingcome. Blue lamp with white shade, Porta Romana. White lamp base, Heathfield; blue shade, Vaughan. Rug, Stark. Blue velvet chair, Heal’s. Coffee table, Neptune. Fontenoy fabric on window seat, Designers Guild. Herringbone flooring, Ted Todd.
The ceiling in the kitchen area was originally much lower, so the team raised the floor of the room above by half a metre. Now the kitchen ceiling perfectly aligns with the top of the rear Crittall panel. It’s a detail you might not immediately notice, but it’s important for helping to give the home a balanced, harmonious feel.
A roof window brings plenty of light into this middle space, which is illustrated in this photo – the dark blue joinery and Crittall frame at the back look much lighter than they are due to the reflected sunlight.
Kitchen island and banquette seating painted in Hague Blue, Farrow & Ball. Dining table, Tom Faulkner. Chairs, Neptune. Pendant light over dining table, Original BTC. Rug, Stark.
The reeded panel on the dining room storage picks up on a recurring design elsewhere in the house.
Tanya chose a marble-effect worktop and splashback to bring character into the space and broke this up with a wooden surface on the island.
A striking orange pendant adds a quirky element to the room, while open shelves allow the owner to display her collection of ceramics.
Crawford pendant light, Porta Romana. Calacatta worktop and splashback, County Stone. Ironmongery, Corston Architectural Detail. Floor tiles, Artisans of Devizes.
The reeded design from the dining room is seen here again on the glazed back door.
Carpet, Unnatural Flooring.
A large sofa and additional seats provide enough room for all the family to relax together.
Sofa, Darlings of Chelsea. Sheepskin chairs, Twentytwentyone.
Kitchenette cabinets painted in India Yellow, Farrow & Ball. Flooring, Ted Todd.
Orbit 2 pendant light, Porta Romana.
A couple of chairs provide a quiet spot to gaze out at the water.
Vanity unit and wall shelves, West One Bathrooms. Faded vintage floor tiles, Villeroy & Boch.
Wall light, Corston Architectural Detail. Bedside table, West Elm.
Tanya’s team also renovated these second floor rooms (see photos here) and built a fun, practical garden room. The whole project was carried out during the pandemic and took two and half years. “They were wonderful clients to work with,” Tanya says. “[They were] really trusting, which was great.”
What do you like best about Tanya’s design for this family home? Share your thoughts in the Comments.