Country Homes & Interiors - - MODERN COUNTRY -

Filled with sun­light and cool shades of white, this invit­ing home is the epit­ome of re­laxed coastal style

Mov­ing from a 16th-cen­tury barn to a new open-plan house could have been a shock to the sys­tem, but Sue and Rich Pullin have made the switch look ef­fort­less. Their new-build home just out­side Port Isaac in North Corn­wall (where TV’S Doc Martin is filmed) might be clean-lined and min­i­mal with huge amounts of glaz­ing, but it still fits snugly into its tucked-away, ru­ral set­ting. And, with its mix of whites and wood, an­tiques and mod­ern fur­ni­ture, it is as warm and cosy, calm and wel­com­ing as any­one could wish.

‘We were re­ally fond of the barn we had in Es­sex,’ says Sue, a ce­ramic artist, ‘but the birth of our first grand­child, Chloe, three years ago, was the cat­a­lyst for our move to Corn­wall, though we had owned a hol­i­day home in Port Isaac for many years.

‘From the first view­ing, we loved this house and had agreed to buy it be­fore we had even seen up­stairs. It’s built on an oak frame and has many of the same de­sign fea­tures that our barn had, but in a mod­ern con­text. It’s full of light and has beau­ti­ful views over the fields to­wards the sea.’

Sue and Rich spent two months adapt­ing the house to suit their life­style, su­per­vis­ing most of the build from their for­mer home 300 miles away. ‘We con­verted a down­stairs me­dia room/bed­room into a large hall, repli­cat­ing a fea­ture of the barn that we had re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated,’ says Sue. ‘One

What makes this house a home… ‘Although the style is mod­ern, the oak frame gives it warmth and char­ac­ter’

‘The open-plan down­stairs area is full of light, which makes the house such an up­lift­ing place to live’

of the best things we did was to com­mis­sion a mas­sive oak front door, which works bril­liantly.’

They also re­vamped the util­ity room, in­stalled a wood burner, changed some of the win­dows so they had larger, sin­gle panes, and painted the ex­te­rior wood­work.

In­doors, Sue and Rich asked their daugh­ter, Flo, and her hus­band, Chris, whose com­pany Mil­lard & Flo spe­cialises in light­ing and in­te­rior de­sign, to re­vamp the light­ing scheme.

‘We wanted it to be brighter ev­ery­where, and we had to have all the ceil­ings taken down but it has com­pletely trans­formed the look of the space,’ says Sue.

On the walls, the cou­ple used white paint through­out, which con­trasts with the warm, golden tones of the oak beams and floors. ‘It’s our sig­na­ture style – we al­ways go for clean lines, white with a lit­tle black and pink thrown in, and nat­u­ral wood, with a bit of Scan­di­na­vian style and a mix of old and new,’ says Sue.

‘We brought down some of our an­tiques from the barn, and put them to­gether with new pieces such as the din­ing ta­ble and the so­fas, which I had re-cov­ered in white fab­ric. Then we added colour with paint­ings and soft fur­nish­ings.’

Hav­ing set­tled into their new home, Sue be­gan looking for a stu­dio where she could work. When they heard that the own­ers of a Grade Ii-listed tea­room in the cen­tre of Port

Isaac – walk­ing dis­tance from the house – were sell­ing up, Rich sug­gested that it would be a great pur­chase.

‘Then we re­alised that it could serve as my stu­dio and a shop, too, and like mad fools we went for it,’ says Sue. ‘We have worked to­gether and it’s been full-on, but amaz­ing fun and re­ally suc­cess­ful.’

Life in Corn­wall is a world away from Sue’s pre­vi­ous life, not least be­cause the sea­sons seem more pro­nounced. Sum­mers are fran­ti­cally busy and win­ters, slower.

‘There’s not much time to re­lax in the sum­mer, but when we get some time off, we en­joy eat­ing out in the fan­tas­tic lo­cal restau­rants,’ says Sue. ‘We also love just be­ing in the house, with the Aga, the wood­burner, the amaz­ing views and, of course, the cows in the field next door that walk past reg­u­larly and gaze in. Rich is a keen fish­er­man and has a boat moored lo­cally – he goes out when­ever he can. And we’re work­ing on our plans to ex­tend the din­ing area, re­vamp the bath­rooms and carry on with our makeover of the gar­dens. But, of course, ev­ery­thing takes sec­ond place to spend­ing pre­cious time with our grand­daugh­ter.’


Din­ing area Floor-to-ceil­ing glass doors open out to the gar­den. Ce­ram­ics, from a se­lec­tion, Kiln. Chairs, sim­i­lar from Made. House In less than 10 years the tim­ber cladding has faded to a sil­very grey that blends beau­ti­fully into the land­scape.

Kitchen The open-plan space is an­chored by a state­ment din­ing ta­ble with low-level light­ing over it. Ta­ble, Bench­mark. Pen­dant lights, Foscarini. Light­ing de­sign, Mil­lard & Flo.

Liv­ing area The gal­leried land­ing al­lows light to flow through from the first floor (far left), while fur­ni­ture and fab­rics in white and neu­tral shades cre­ate a feel­ing of calm. So­fas, Sofa Work­shop. Stools, Acorn An­tique In­te­ri­ors. Cush­ions, Tori...

Bath­room Mo­saic tiles pro­vide a neat splash­back to a van­ity unit with oak top, which came with the house. Tiles, sim­i­lar from Topps Tiles. Mir­ror, sim­i­lar from Brissi. Glass jars, sim­i­lar from TK Maxx.

Bed­room Us­ing white on white with touches of pink keeps the look clean and fresh. Cush­ions, Tori Mur­phy. Bed­li­nen, sim­i­lar from The White Com­pany.

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