CORNWALL HOMES: GEORGIAN ELEGANCE IN HOLYWELL BAY
PUBLISHED: 11:51 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:40 30 August 2017
Shepherd's House is the perfect mix of perfectly proportioned Georgian elegance and modern living in Holywell Bay in Cornwall
For owners Emma and Paul Caddis, Shepherd’s House is the perfect mix of perfectly proportioned Georgian elegance and modern living
Close to celebrating the end of its second century, the grade II listed Shepherds House sit down a quiet laneEmma Caddis admits her home meets her idea of perfect architecture. The glorious simplicity, generous proportions, stunning light that make up the celebrated Georgian architectural style create a perfect backdrop to a more contemporary style, whether utilising industrial lighting, scattering 1950s classic Danish design or creating cosy boltholes to enjoy winter evenings around a roaring fire.
And for Emma, the perfect interior is autobiographical. Carefully chosen items – whether her stunning bespoke Italian lighting or her collection of vintage furniture and accessories tell the story of her and her family’s life so far – from the ancient leather sofa picked up from Camden Market when she worked in London to the antique mirrors sitting over the fireplace and picked up closer to home in Lostwithiel.
These carefully chosen pieces are set against a neutral backdrop of greys and whites and Emma has seamlessly blended her collection of vintage and modern pieces from different eras – alongside antiques and original Cornish artworks that creates a stunning family home that is both coastal and country, stylish and lived in.
Emma – a native of Cornwall – came to this quiet spot near Holywell Bay via a BBC job in London and running a boutique B&B in Padstow with husband Paul, son Max, 11, and daughter Georgia, three,. This quiet spot – surprisingly easy to find despite its quiet location set in seemingly endless countryside couldn’t be more different from the bustling harbour town whose numbers swell by the tens of thousands during high season.
But it’s clear the family love the change of pace. Shepherd’s House is surrounded by Trewithen estate, generous gardens and space, space, space. The gloriously proportioned Georgian house was built for a mine captain in 1818 and remained part of the estate until a decade ago when it was sold to a private owner. The land surrounding the house remains part of the estate and offers uninterrupted views of Cornish countryside from every window.
When the family moved in, there was plenty to do – sanding the floors, plastering the walls and ceilings – as well as renovating the bathroom and removing what Emma describes as crazy wallpaper’ to create a more neutral background that allows the original features of the house – and Emma’s carefully chosen pieces of furniture – to sing.
The house has paid for itself since the work was completed through doubling-up as a luxury self catering holiday home sleeping up to ten people. But get in there quickly: once their barn conversion is completed (hopefully this year) they hope to move the holiday rental business there.
In the dining room, the generously proportioned dining table came with them – having been discovered in a vintage shop during their time in London. We have had it for years,’ says Emma. When we got here the table just fit.’
But the eye is caught by the twisted willow and glass chandelier that hovers above it. I made it originally as a Christmas decoration from willow and with baubles,’ explains Emma. But everyone loved it, so I left it up and it evolved, adding light bulbs to make it into a chandelier.’
Here also sits one of Emma’s favourite finds – a vintage Danish chair smothered in her trademark sheepskin and which sits by the boot room door to offer a great view of the room and the garden outside where a picture perfect barn bookends the sheltered garden. The barn is dilapidated to perfection, says Paul, and there are no plans to convert it. There are a lot of rare bees and bats nesting there – and its on the migratory path of giant horseshoe bats – there was a survey carried out there some years ago and there are several thousand – although I’ve not actually seen one.’
But the house nearly slipped them by. Looking to improve their work-family life balance – and find more space for their family – they decided to sell up their Padstow B&B and look for something that could be let as a self-catered property.
Their award-winning Padstow B&B, Treann House, won many plaudits from travel writers; Treann was included in the Michelin and Time Out guides, featured in the Telegraph and Observer travel pages and held the number one Padstow Trip Advisor destination for four years.
We looked far and wide for the right property and had originally bought a different house but the survey revealed some quite major problems which meant we couldn’t complete the sale,’ remembers Emma of their search for something new. We came here to see it and thought wow, it’s beautiful. We couldn’t believe how peaceful it was, and it had barns that we could develop; I loved the ceiling heights. The house is listed so we couldn’t change much, but I wouldn’t want to – and I am glad it will be preserved.’
We are not overlooked here and there are no lights in the distance, so it just goes black at night in the winter and it’s incredibly comforting to close the shutters, light the woodburner and get cosy.’
One of the rooms that required a complete renovation was the family bathroom – and here Emma has stamped her style. Alongside a stunning walk-in shower where the water tank was once housed, there is a new roll-top bath painted in a stunning deep red Farrow & Ball paint, and Emma has reused an antique marble wash stand she had brought with them from Padstow. We didn’t have anywhere for it to go,’ she explains. So we thought why not use it here. It would have held a bowl and jug as a wash stand so I added the basin and painted the barley twist legs a pale grey and adding a huge bespoke mirror to bring it up to date.’
During a tour of the house it is impossible not to linger on the light bright landing and admire the views from the arched window, as well as the seductively curved banister and stairs which only require the addition of a Jane Austen heroine to elegantly descend.
I love Georgian architecture for its simplicity. It has beautiful features which can be a perfect counterpoint to a modern style,’ she says. I had lived in an Edwardian house before, which has a more ornate style – and this feels quite liberating. You can do anything you like with Georgian architecture it has a very simple and beautiful aesthetic that works well with anything from industrial chic to a modernist interior.
I just feel really privileged to live in such a light and well proportioned house.’
Shepherds House is available to let through Cornish Gems cornishgems.com