PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:40 30 August 2017



Jill Stein has transformed a dark, pokey cottage into a spacious and luxurious holiday home that’s as welcoming in blustery mid-winter as it is in the balmy days of high summer, writes Amanda Harding


Gleaming white walls, a soothing mix of pale neutral tones along with natural textures create a cool, contemporary backdrop for a stylish and relaxing holiday.

Jill Stein, together with her former husband Rick Stein established 40 years ago in . There are now Seafood Restaurants in , , Porthleven, Winchester and Poole.

In addition to the Padstow restaurants, rooms, shops, and cookery school, the family business also includes a number of holiday rental homes with interior design by Jill, which are located in and around the picturesque fishing port. However, Jill had long been looking to buy a rental property of her own, and in the tranquil little hamlet of Penrose she found what she was looking for and at a price she could afford.

Houses by the sea were beyond my budget,’ she says. But Martindale is only about ten minutes drive from several beaches and it’s surrounded by fabulous country walks. I think it offers the best of both worlds.’

English weather is variable to say the least but Jill, with help from main contractor Tim Perring of Perring Properties, has made the house into a haven where one can enjoy all the creature comforts, even when it’s blowing a gale outside.


Jill landscaped the courtyard garden with the help of Nicky Erskine. The outer area planted with a mix of grasses, evergreen shrubs, roses and spring and summer bulbs, shields the terrace adjacent to the house from the view of the occasional dog walker. Paint colour for the picket fence and wooden slat screen is Pigeon from Farrow & Ball.


The interior layout is designed so that two bedrooms are above the kitchen while the others are on the opposite side of the building making it ideal for two families or those with teenagers. Plantation shutters are fitted to most of the windows, providing privacy as well as giving the interior a clean, streamlined look and a vintage mirror from Acorn Antiques ().


Jill is an excellent cook - so when it comes to kitchen design she knows what works when cooking for a house full of guests. Plenty of workspace was incorporated into the design of the kitchen whilst French windows in the adjacent dining area open onto the courtyard garden. The natural textures of the terracotta tiled floor and aged wooden beams, are contrasted by gleaming white metro tiles and worktops. Displayed on the open shelves are the decorative fish plates, made for the fortieth anniversary of The Seafood Restaurant (the Padstow restaurant she opened with former husband Rick Stein in 1975) incorporating the motif designed by Wendy Bray; they are available from the Stein Shop in Padstow. Cushions in a range of maritime designs are by Cream Cornwall (£53 each from ) and the Schroeder kitchen units are from Iroka ().

Sitting Room

Formerly two rooms, Jill knocked down the dividing wall to create a spacious sitting room with several seating areas.

I’ve incorporated features that create the relaxed, informal look which I like whether I’m at home or on holiday,’ she explains. The wood-burning stove in the inglenook is just such an example – cosying up by the fire with a glass of wine and a good book is how I wind down and I think that goes for lots of people. There’s no shortage of books either – books make a room as well as a holiday. Mirrors are an important feature too – there’s a large one in the corner where it’s a bit dark and it helps to reflect the light back into the room.’

Again Jill used a mix of textures. I like the visual interest of varying colours and textures so here the comfortable leather armchairs provide a contrast for the velvet sofa and plain linen on the banquette seats,’ she explains.

The sofa here comes from Sofa Workshop, upholstered in Andrew Martin’s Abingdon velvet (), while the Highbury Estate tobacco leather chairs are from Eicholtz ().

TV Room

Eight pen and ink mackerel drawings by Jill’s daughter-in-law Kate Stein are hung to accentuate the height of the TV room (they are available as a set of unframed prints, £360 from. The white chairs by Pomax are from Padstow and the grey modular seating is from Iroka (), whilst the Tri floor lamp, £245 is from PR Home ().

Dining area

A framed print of a moonlit coastal scene hangs behind the dining table. I asked a painter friend to embellish the frame and gild it and it now looks convincingly antique and it suits the subject perfectly,’ Gill explains her attention to detail. As Martindale is near the sea it seemed appropriate and it works well with the blue fish plates on the kitchen wall and the cushions on the chairs.’ Jill’s choice of a sturdy wooden table and mid-century style chairs add a contemporary twist to the country look, with curtains in natural linen softening the look at night. To emphasise the light, I used a limited range of pale neutrals throughout and painting the walls one colour, in this case white, instantly gave the interior a sense of continuity,’ she tells me. Incorporating smoked oak wood floors and terracotta tiles into the scheme adds warmth and texture.’ The marine print is from Art Marine (), antique oak dining chairs (£165) from . Find a similar dining table the Ashby (£1,995) from .


White painted wooden planks and a practical black slate floor are used to bold effect in the spacious en suite attic bathroom. The painted wood vanity unit and basin were supplied by Neptune. Similar nautical style mirror on a rope from John Lewis.

The walls of the family bathroom are lined with white painted boards. The basin rests on a slab of weathered timber with a vintage mirror adds an elegant touch (Mirror from Acorn Antiques ).


Plantation shutters close against the bright afternoon sun and planks of white painted wood add interest to the low ceilinged bedroom on the ground floor. A blue basic weave throw is from a selection at Zara Home (). and a

Tri floor lamp (£245 from ) completes the look. The wooden floors throughout are Smoked Oak from Havwoods (). White painted wood cladding on the ceiling adds interest to the attic bedroom along with a vintage French cane bed. The chair is by Pomax, and available through Teri Walter (01841 532657) as is the blanket on the bed.

An unusual Juliet balcony made by Cornish blacksmith Nick Plant is a reminder of Martindale’s proximity to the coast. Jill lined the ceiling with white painted wood cladding and hung plain, putty coloured linen curtains at the French windows, while the striped one on the chair is Finn Crocus throw (£110) from Twig, (). For similar vintage decorative armoires try Meldon Home (01883 716005/).

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