TAKE A LOOK INSIDE THIS CORNISH BEACHSIDE COTTAGE
PUBLISHED: 16:18 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 12:35 30 August 2017
Overlooking one of Cornwall’s most treasured beaches, the curiously-named Little Cottage is the realisation of a big dream, writes SARAH MERSON
LET’S get one thing straight from the off: there is nothing little’ about Little Cottage. This is a large, modern house, with spacious open-plan living areas and huge floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the magnificent ocean views. Little Cottage is born out of big ideas. But it wasn’t always this way though.
When architect owner, Alex Michaelis first fell in love with Little Cottage, overlooking the expanse of beach that is Praa Sands, it was an overgrown 1950s cottage with no heating or electricity. Alex, at first had hoped to restore the existing structure - but when the amount of asbestos discovered meant it was deemed unsafe, the plan changed to demolition it and the vision for today’s Little Cottage, built in 2010 by Trelowarren, using prefabrication, was conceived.
Now used as a holiday let (managed by ) we – my husband, three children, mother-in-law and our black lab - were lucky enough to spend a weekend in this über cool house. Arriving on a Friday evening, the cloaked glow of the sinking sun reflects a sort of shimmering, iridescent light onto the white-washed property. Entering into the open-plan kitchen, dining and living room, the adults stand and stare at the jaw-dropping design and space, and the uncompromised views, while the children run about frantically amidst cries of wow’ and this is awesome!’ Darting from room to room, they have the place carved up in no time. Beyond the living room, the boys claim their den’ complete with games room and a large bedroom with bunk beds and en suite bathroom.
Upstairs is via a staircase which spirals like a seashell within a curved core, there’s no argument over the sleeping arrangements as each of the three ensuite rooms at the front of the property are identical with, you’ve guessed it, the most wonderful ocean views via the full height glazing. With the windows shut, and thanks to the super-insulated shell, it’s miraculously quiet and warm yet without any kind of stuffiness.
Cleverly, the windows slide into pockets in the wall, allowing you to open the whole room up to the element; we sleep that night listening to the crashing of the waves on the beach below.
For me, a weekend away usually means a lazy lie-in but as the sun comes up, I can’t resist sneaking out with the dog onto the South West Coast Path. Heading east towards Porthleven, I reach the Rinsey headland. Riddled with mineshafts I’m reminded that this is true Poldark country but the real fascination for me is the coastal erosion features. Isla, our lab, is incredibly patient whilst I search the next headland for the granite rock formation known as the Camel. When I return, the kids are ready to explore some rockpools and the tide is in favour. After just a few minutes they’re delighted to find mussels and limpets.
With plans to explore the coast further, we just can’t pull ourselves away from Little Cottage and opt instead to spend the next couple of days enjoying the house; lazing around on the giant beanbag, playing table tennis in the garden and soaking in the hot tub. By early evening we’re delving into the treasure trove of books, games and even art materials.
Barely an hour goes past when one of us doesn’t comment on the changing face of the ocean and the light inside and out. With undecorated, white skim coat walls, the interior seems to surrender itself and wonderful rainbows appear almost magically across the floor, and then vanish just as quickly.
There’s no doubt about it, the design of this special house is inspiring, uplifting, and immensely fun for all the family. Our weekend at Little Cottage was truly a breath of fresh (sea) air.
Beachspoke are curators of five luxury holiday homes in Cornwall with prices varying from £255 - £5140 (for a three-night stay) .