Touches of Hamptons style have been mixed with local crafts in a 1930s home that is rooted in its beautiful Welsh coastal setting
Touches of Hamptons style mix with local crafts in a 1930s home rooted in its beautiful Welsh setting
When Caryl Terlezki returned to Wales, it was a given that she would live close to the sea. “I’ve always been drawn to it, wherever I’ve been in the world,” she says. Her decision to buy a home in Cardigan Bay, west Wales, came after almost two decades of living and working abroad – and during those intervening years she never strayed from the ocean. She had sailed, lived and worked in the Mediterranean, the USA and the Caribbean before settling in the French West Indies, where she ran a property and design business. But it was a yearning for a stronger sense of place and her roots that finally enticed her back to Aberporth, where she reconnected with old friends, including Phil Thomas, now her partner, and found a 1930s bungalow in need of renovation. “I was born in Aberystwyth and have good memories of long summer holidays on this stretch of coast,” she says.
After buying the property, it was entirely renovated and its exterior facelift instantly shows how much Caryl’s time abroad has influenced her. “Shiplap cladding was all around me when I designed homes in the West Indies and then in the Hamptons, but I think it works equally well in this Welsh coastal setting,” she says. “A white backdrop is always a natural choice for a home by the sea because of the wonderful light.”
Inside, ceiling fans and striped linens and rugs are further subtle reminders of East Coast beach houses but, ultimately, this is a home firmly rooted in its own sense of place. After returning to the UK, Caryl continued to work in property and interiors, but also designed pottery and furniture, and collaborated with other contemporary Welsh makers. The tradition of weaving in the area is one that she is also proud to champion and blankets are spread over beds and used as window treatments, where they are
edged with softening strips of pink. Their characteristic motifs are also worked into cushions, sometimes mixed with contrasting materials for a patchwork effect. An old wingback chair has been re-covered in a jaunty mix of deckchair stripes, ticking and Welsh plaid, using up scraps that Caryl had collected over the years. Similarly, old striped linens, including French mattress covers, have been reused to cover cushions, reupholster an armchair and make a headboard. “I’m a firm believer in utility style – an object can be beautiful, but it also needs to be useful,” Caryl explains.
The Welsh dresser in the living room is one of her designs, and a perfect example of how functionality can dovetail with decoration. “In the old days it was called a ‘pot-boiler dresser’, because the larger cooking pots and pans would sit in the large gap on the lowest shelf,” she explains. In this version, fretwork decorates a shelf edge instead of the top of the dresser, which was the traditional way, and adds a touch of contemporary decoration. Caryl also wrapped industrial metal strips around the lower shelves, as a subtle reminder that this is still a hardworking piece of furniture. “I like cottage style, but not an over-prettified version,” she adds.
In fact, when she added a kitchen extension to the house, Caryl took the opportunity to play out her utilitarian design ethos on a larger scale. “As well as renovating the house, I added a new kitchen in the style of a barn,” she says. “I left the brickwork unskimmed so it could be painted plain white and the metal
"I'm a firm believer in utility style - an object can be beautiful but it also needs to be useful"
beams are also left exposed. I wanted the space to feel almost agricultural. Having a builder who understood this ethos was essential and his attention to detail helped make my home what it is.”
To suit the setting, the kitchen island is clad in sheets of steel, mirrored by the metal extractor fan that extends down from the vaulted ceiling. Next door, the living room’s woodburner and log store are in a similarly unfussy style. Caryl ensured these industrial touches never felt cold by balancing them with plenty of handmade pieces, including an armchair with its backrest made from weathered paddles and the Jubilee weaving by Lucinda Chambers that hangs on the kitchen wall.
Further personal touches – and splashes of colour – fill her Welsh dresser. “My life is on those shelves,” Caryl says. “Everything there is very personal and includes gifts from friends, objects that have been passed down by my family, and mementoes I picked up on my travels. In French, the word souvenir also means a memory – and that is so true for me. It’s essential to hold on to them.”
While memories from her years of travelling and living overseas helped shape this home, Caryl no longer hankers after life abroad and she and Phil now divide their time between Wales, Brighton and the Isle of Wight. “During my time away, I even missed the British weather,” she says. “Once you’ve grown up with a love of the seasons, it’s a part of you. And, as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes…”
Ty-y-mor is available to rent – for information, contact email@example.com.
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stylish and unfussy, reflecting Caryl’s design aesthetic OPPOSITE Welsh wool weaves are layered over striped linens and patchwork in the living room
LEFT In Caryl’s work area, a chair with its back made from three paddles adds rustic, natural texture BELOW The woodburner and log store are
FROM ABOVE Mementoes and memories sit on the shelves of the Welsh dresser that was designed by Caryl; the metal-clad island and extractor fan lend industrial touches to the vaulted barn-style kitchen
OPPOSITE Welsh blankets are hung at the window and laid over the bed. Functional storage with pegs reflects Caryl’s love of utilitarian design THIS PAGE Fresh tones in the twin bedroom – the timber-clad walls echo the exterior shiplap; nautical...