BY MIXING OLD AND NEW, SUE PULLIN HAS CREATED A RELAXING HAVEN IN AN IDYLLIC LOCATION
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.’
KILN, 3 MIDDLE STREET, PORT ISAAC, CORNWALL PL29 3RH, 01208 880578, KILNSTUDIO.COM.
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.