The breathtaking landscapes of North Wales are alive with adventure. From the towering mountains of Snowdonia, medieval castles to remote beaches, the region is packed with a variety of places to explore. The weather in North Wales is often just as wild as the scenery, so many would be pleased to find a nearby cosy cottage after spending a day on foot…
Cue the perfect respite for adventurous holiday makers. Set in the hills of coastal hillside, this cosy cottage has far reaching views over the Llŷn Peninsula, allowing for a sense of privacy whilst being a short drive from the holiday hotspot of Abersoch. Lewis Knox’s clients owned the property for over ten years, so they were aware of its pros and cons before embarking on its extension and renovation.
Cheshire-based Interior Design studio Lewis Knox are renowned for highly imaginative, personalised interiors. Their specialist knowledge was an important tool unlocking the client’s vision: somewhere to switch off from the world, relax and unwind. A charming place, filled with unique character – ideal for entertaining guests. The client also worked in the fashion industry and had a natural flair for design, driving a request for ‘cool and relaxing’ interiors that would provide a memorable experience with each visit.
The first stage was to create a practical structure for a comfortable home. The clients were a busy, outdoorsy family that needed extra space, therefore an annex extension with a gym, wet store and garaging was added to accommodate. All the while, it was important for the new extension to preserve its cottage character, and this involved innovating its space to the last square meter. A Welsh Crog loft was preserved by turning it into a reading area, complete with a ladder for access. Meanwhile, loft style mezzanines were designed to provide new bedroom space that matched the style of an original Crofters cottage. On the ground floor, additional height was added to ceilings and then shaped to suit the original structure, finished with the old wooden beams to retain its authenticity.
Lewis Knox developed the interior design concept over a period of months, investing time into every aspect of the material choices to appeal to the dynamic brief. To create a memorable feel, separate personalities were created for each room by using distinctive colour palettes, however lime plaster, polished concrete and raw oak were included throughout to maintain consistent character. Furnishings were selected to be stylish yet fitting for the wild coastal hillside, with windows dressed accordingly in wool for the snug, relaxed heavy linen in the living areas and linen voile curtains in the bedrooms.
The kitchen was designed in a modern farmhouse style by mixing the old with the new. Polished concrete floors and exposed grain timber units painted in bold black interpret traditional materials in a new, sleek fashion. Limestone counter tops were paired with a Fairfield kitchen tap by Samuel Heath, where its classic styling helps to blend both themes. A luxurious feel was achieved by specifying these high-quality fittings for kitchen touchpoints, whilst contemporary additions including intelligent lighting and the latest music technology incorporated modern living standards into the space.
The bedroom suite already had a darker, cosier feeling due to the smaller window openings and thicker walls that were part of the original cottage. A default choice would have been to use light colours to make the space appear bigger, however Lewis Knox used their imaginative approach to embrace the intimate size, going dark and dramatic to create extra atmosphere instead.
Welsh slate tiles were a key choice in creating ambience, applied in moderation to avoid the bathroom becoming too cold and sterile. Lewis Knox used their strong relationships with various stone merchants to source the perfect stone flooring and this became key in shaping the room’s unique identity. The colour tones of the spotted patterns were a careful consideration, selected to connect with the warm tones of an engineered fumed oak wall covering and vanity unit. Fairfield shower and basin fittings in Stainless Steel expand the colour palette further, while their wooden handles continue to warm up the surrounding scheme. This combination of wooden details played an important role in creating a softness to the overall room, while their attention to quality allows for longevity within the design.
The larger family bathroom would be a room that all guests would use and this tempted the idea to create some fun within the wider home. The walls and ceiling were coloured in a mottled pink, an unpredictable shade, where its warm tones were enhanced by City Bronze brassware from the Fairfield collection. The dark tones of the shower and basin fixtures create intriguing contrast against the use of pink and soft ivory limestone, completing the scheme with an inviting, rustic warmth.
High quality finishing details including bathroom hardware, window treatments and headboards, support the feeling of quality that radiates luxury throughout the coastal cottage. Products with a high attention to engineering and quality were requested by the client, who agreed that these were valuable areas to invest in within their home. This considered approach to finishes extends to the selected antiques that Lewis Knox sourced from salvage and antique fairs, then stored, ready for the perfect project. Such pieces of furniture work in conjunction to bring a grounding and history to Lewis Knox’s interior, with a more mindful nod to the environment.
“Having used Samuel Heath throughout my career, I understand the quality and design merit that their fittings provide. We have bathrooms from over ten years ago that are still looking as good as new.” – Helen Knox, Founder & Interior Designer, Lewis Knox.