Through the keyhole of a beautiful Newquay beach house
PUBLISHED: 17:03 29 May 2019
For the East family their new seaside home was ten years in the making - and they had plenty of time to create their bucket (and space) list for the perfect beach house
Like so many families living in London, the dream of a coastal hideway led Jeff and Wendy East to an unassuming bungalow in Newquay.
Overlooking The Gannel, the river that runs to the north of Newquay and home to the egrets that the house is named for, their Egret View now offers incredible views of the river and Crantock Beach which sits just 200 metres away.
Always with the intention of knocking the bungalow down and rebuilding a dream home, Wendy admits real life got in the way - namely having a family - and so the bungalow served as a happy family holiday home for ten years with minimal upkeep before they knocking it down in 2017.
Jeff was hands-on when it came to the design for the new house. He was more than comfortable in working with local architects to create a design for the final look of the house. "The bungalow was two bedrooms, but with the loft poorly converted to provide another large open plan bedroom," he says. "For many years we just all slept up in the top room, as it had the better views over the estuary."
Keen to make the most of Cornwall's biggest attraction: the light and the plot's best attraction: the view. He had plenty of choices when it came to choosing the dominant view. A reverse level design means there are four bedrooms and a playroom on the ground floor, while the main living space is hosted on the first floor, with an open plan living space incorporating a den, high-tech kitchen, living space and a dining table that would host a dozen guests with ease. There's also access to a large glass enclosed terrace where a simple picnic bench resides.
Egret View's interior design fell more to Wendy, whose shopping list for her family holiday home included some more unusual items.
The end result is a modern, fun, family home that will delight and amaze adults and children alike with features such as a slide leading down from the bunk beds, a climbing wall and their very own sailing boat, where children can let their imagination roam free. Far from being hidden away in a play room, the wooden sailboat floats on the wooden floors of the living room - reminiscent of Iggle Piggle's In BBC kids show In the Night Garden it features its own light on the top of the mast and is often filled with cushions and children. "I wanted a boat. I wanted somewhere we could curl up and read," says Wendy.
The boat is one of the many unusual coastal elements of the interior which also includes an artfully displayed fly fishing rod on the stairwell. One of the children's rooms is decorated for the beach in sandy yellow and sky blue, while the master bedroom has wallpaper featuring egrets that can be seen in the nearby Gannel River.
One of Wendy's favourite features sits nearby. A wall art sculpture by Cornwall's Jo Down was finished long before the house. The original aim for this first floor open plans space that opens fan-like out from the stairs. A wall was originally planned to cut off the snug area where an L-shaped sofa and giant TV dominate. But in the end the family were able to separate space by the placement of the boat.
Chairs that belonged to her grandmother sit alongside on-trend mid-20th century design pieces and a sofa offering a more grown-up seating space. Above the full height ceiling where the exposed beams provide architectural interest, there is a cluster of giant paper lampshades.
A huge dining table surrounded by marvellously mismatched chairs sourced comfortably seats 12. Above it a homemade light fitting featuring a found piece of girder, rope and bulbs, lovingly created by Jeff.
The kitchen table and its chairs provide a natural barrier to living space and kitchen and sits my the full length windows, close to a terrace where the stunning views await.
Jeff admits this first floor terrace was a practical decision as much as an aesthetic one. "Otherwise we would have been looking out on to the garage's flat roof," he says.
The kitchen is stuffed with modern appliances, but most striking is the tile splashback. "People either love them or hate them," admits Wendy. The design is random created from an unknown selection box of 60 possible designs. "You didn't know what you got until you opened the box," she says.
The ground floor is home to a family room (with the unusual addition of a climbing wall) and four bedrooms. Each of the children had their say in the design and décor of their bedrooms - the stand-out feature has to be the bunk beds featuring stairs up to the top bunk, and a slide to get back down.
Although now paying its way as a holiday let, the couple were clear it would be their home too. In fact, says Jeff, the house was rejected by some letting agencies who demanded televisions in every room and more en suites.
The utility room and ground floor feature wonderfully weathered-looking flagstones. Thick and designed for the outdoors, Jeff was determined to have underfloor heating. Back outside and the garage opens to reveal plenty of space for cars and storage. Today it is dominated by a table tennis table. Your serve.
Find out more about Egret View at cornishhorizons.co.uk