A FAM­ILY AF­FAIR Coastal self build on the Isle of Wight

Flanked by rolling hills and over­look­ing a dra­matic shore­line, this new build is en­joyed by four gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily, who come here to re­lax, play and con­tem­plate



With its fab­u­lous views out to sea, the deck pro­vides a per­fect spot for bar­be­cues and even­ing drinks – not to men­tion stargaz­ing around the firepit LIV­ING ROOM

With the seat­ing zone open to the din­ing and kitchen ar­eas, the house has a so­cia­ble feel. The mir­ror is from La Red­oute, and the rug is from Ikea


WHO LIVES HERE Lucy Har­ris, a lo­cal in­te­rior de­signer and co-founder of Tribe & Posy, and her sec­ond cousin Phil Clab­burn, a civil en­gi­neer, have cre­ated this re­lax­ing fam­ily bolt­hole

THE PROP­ERTY A de­tached new build in Brook on the Isle of Wight

PRICE £388,000 in 2012 MONEY SPENT £350,000 WHAT IT’S WORTH NOW

About £1mil­lion

Set on a prom­i­nent spot sur­rounded by rolling fields, craggy white cliffs and breath­tak­ing seascapes, this new­build home, known as Flack­stead, had hum­ble be­gin­nings as a small white cot­tage sit­ting alone on this heav­enly plot. ‘It was serendip­ity in mo­tion when my mum’s cousin, Phil, caught sight of the quaint house nearly 10 years ago, while tour­ing the is­land on his mo­tor­bike,’ re­calls Lucy Har­ris. Years later, Phil was amazed to spot the same house for sale and quickly pur­chased the plot with the vi­sion of build­ing an is­land re­treat that could be used by him and his ex­tended fam­ily.

‘We all loved Phil’s ideas and, where we could, the fam­ily of­fered sup­port on the project. His par­ents in par­tic­u­lar would often turn up to see the progress, his dad armed with tech­ni­cal advice and his mum with cakes,’ re­calls Lucy. ‘As I run an in­te­rior styling com­pany, Phil asked me and my busi­ness part­ner Beth to help out at the end stages and en­sure the dec­o­ra­tion com­ple­mented the stun­ning sur­round­ings.’

Hav­ing worked as a civil en­gi­neer for many years, as well as restor­ing wartime boats, Phil boldly took on the build him­self, draw­ing up plans with the help of his fa­ther and an ar­chi­tect. The new de­sign, fea­tur­ing three bed­rooms, three bath­rooms and a large open-plan liv­ing space, was in­tended to recre­ate the same sil­hou­ette as the pre­vi­ous cot­tage, yet it was roughly twice the size. ‘The lo­cal plan­ning of­fice were quick to ap­prove the plans,’ says Lucy. ‘They liked that it was sym­pa­thetic to the old cot­tage and wasn’t an­other


Lucy en­joys the views across to Fresh­wa­ter Bay and Comp­ton Beach. Bi­fold doors ex­pand the kitchen/ liv­ing area onto the deck, in­stantly dou­bling the en­ter­tain­ing space. Sim­ple Shaker-style units were made by a lo­cal kitchen fit­ter, while the lime­stone floor is from Man­darin Stone


Bench seat­ing, built from scaf­fold­ing boards left over from the build, adds to the mod­ern rustic feel. Li­nen and vel­vet cush­ions soften the look

quirky de­sign that would stand out.’ The build took three years and fea­tures a num­ber of ecofriendly el­e­ments, as well as be­ing ex­tremely well sealed to pro­tect against the strong coastal winds and sea salt cor­ro­sion. And while the build has tri­umphed en­vi­ron­men­tally, it also re­sulted in very lit­tle waste – ev­ery part of the old house was re­pur­posed and not a sin­gle skip was needed.

Once the ba­sic el­e­ments were in place, Lucy and Beth helped to in­tro­duce nat­u­ral tex­tures, colours and warmth for a sim­ple, re­laxed feel. ‘We chose a neu­tral back­drop that could be changed with coloured ac­ces­sories to mir­ror the sur­round­ing land­scapes through the sea­sons. The views are such a huge part of this house that the in­te­ri­ors had to com­ple­ment rather than dis­tract from them,’ says Lucy.

With this in mind, a lime­stone floor, fea­tur­ing nat­u­ral im­per­fec­tions, was chosen to set a mod­ern rustic tone in the open­plan liv­ing space. Hand­crafted Shaker units con­tinue the sim­plic­ity through to the kitchen, while the is­land and cup­boards were painted in vary­ing sea and sky blues for a breezy touch. ‘Ev­ery­one con­gre­gates around this cen­tral is­land to chat with the cook or look at the pass­ing boats and kite surfers,’ says Lucy.

At ev­ery turn, the liv­ing spa­ces are dot­ted with quirky fam­ily heir­looms, while the seat­ing ar­eas have been soft­ened up with splashes of red, blue and yel­low to cre­ate a sub­tle nau­ti­cal vibe. ‘This house is all about com­ing to­gether and wind­ing down. We were mind­ful that fam­ily mem­bers of all ages wanted to come here and


Handy nooks are ideal for tidy­ing away beach shoes, while the oak stair­case adds a warm tex­ture


A striped sofa from Laura Ash­ley con­tin­ues the coastal feel. Phil made the cof­fee ta­ble from drift­wood that he found on the beach

make mem­o­ries, so we worked hard to en­sure the fin­ishes were invit­ing, homely and ex­tremely prac­ti­cal,’ says Lucy.

Up­stairs, the pace shifts a gear with three dis­tinc­tively calm and serene bed­rooms show­cas­ing white­washed, wood-clad walls for an­other coastal nod. Sub­tle blush ac­cents liven up the main bed­room, while more vin­tage trea­sures add a per­sonal touch. ‘This is one of my favourite rooms as I love the el­e­gance of the sofa against the rustic walls. It be­longed to Phil’s grand­mother and we had it re­uphol­stered in a green chevron wool fab­ric aptly named Sea. Hap­pily, the mod­ern restyle doesn’t dis­tract from the beauty of the orig­i­nal piece,’ says Lucy. With each bed­room fea­tur­ing a stylish en­suite bath­room, guests are spoilt for choice. ‘We like to change where we sleep through the sea­sons. The bed­room with the bal­cony is beau­ti­fully airy and bright in the sum­mer, while the nat­u­ral-toned bed­room is su­per-snug in the win­ter months, es­pe­cially when the winds are rag­ing,’ says Lucy.

The beau­ti­ful light that fills each space is cer­tainly an im­por­tant fac­tor in the lovely at­mos­phere that per­vades this home, which feels both time­less and peace­ful. ‘The ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing here was per­fectly summed up by my grand­fa­ther, who used to en­joy vis­it­ing and watch­ing the sea,’ says Lucy. ‘Sadly he died last year, though his words are still very much alive at Flack­stead. He said it was the ideal place to “con­tem­plate the in­fi­nite”, and that’s ex­actly what we like to do here.’


l Flack­stead is available to rent for hol­i­day breaks. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Clas­sic Cot­tages at clas­sic.co.uk


Wood-clad walls add sub­tle pat­tern and tex­ture with­out dis­tract­ing from the seren­ity of the space, which has been dec­o­rated in soft greys and creams


With views across the ocean and clifftops, the en­suite bath­room of­fers a peace­ful spot to soak and un­wind


Nat­u­ral tex­tures and tones set a cosy am­bi­ence in this bed­room, which is the favoured sleep­ing space dur­ing colder months.

The cush­ions are from Home­sense and the bed­spread from Zara Home

‘The views are such a huge part of this house that the in­te­ri­ors had to com­ple­ment rather than

dis­tract from them’

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