Charlotte, Studio 3 gas, Beach House
With the bug for renovation, Charlotte and Joey converted a family home into a cosy Cornwall stay – featuring a show-stopping Studio gas fire in the living area.
February 21, 2019
Tell us more about your renovation project. How did it all start, and what was the vision?
We fell in love with Beach House the second we parked our car on the drive. We didn’t even want to view inside, we didn’t care, it was the view that absolutely stole our hearts!
The inside was a disaster, however. A complete rabbit warren of different parts of the house that had been added on, extended, split up… it was a mess!
My partner Joey had visions of turning it into a large, open plan, light and airy forever home, but because of other projects going on (The Loo With a View!) we had to live with it as it was for 2 years.
The main part of the conversion was the extension: a new lounge/kitchen/diner, which sits directly above the beach with large floating bi-fold doors so the view is uninterrupted. This area always going to be the wow factor of the house, hence why it was so important to make it right.
What were your biggest challenges during the build?
One of our biggest challenges was the fact that we did things room by room, whilst still living there. This meant that the electrics, plumbing etc was all a bit fiddly to replace per room without ripping out everything – but we managed it!
The biggest challenge though was the fact we live at the end of a narrow coastal lane, and therefore no one could deliver to us! We had to buy a narrow tipper truck so every time building materials or furniture arrived we had to drive to meet the delivery man, to offload. This added a lot of time and stress to the build.
It was horrible living in the mess, hideous in fact. I got through so many pairs of slippers, where we just spent months walking on bare concrete and jumping over holes in floorboards! We had Christmas with breezeblock walls, Celotex ceilings and wooden ply as worktops! We got through it, just!
What were your heating requirements?
Joey and I have always renovated old Georgian or Victorian projects, and I must admit we were fans of old ornate fireplaces, decorative coving, lots of classic character, so it was difficult to re-tune our brains into designing a contemporary space with modern furnishings and fittings!
We have a few sources of heating throughout. We wanted a warm ambient temperature all around the house so installed underfloor heating in every room. We also have towel radiators in the bedrooms. We have always had a log burner so were torn with what to have in the new extension. As lovely as logs are, we wanted something that both looked special, but ultimately, heated instantly!
Our lounge area isn’t too big – there is just a TV, 2 sofas, and the fireplace on a large pebble clad chimney breast. We wanted something long and thin to add to the contemporary feel and to fill the space, and preferably something open fronted.
As soon as we saw the Studio gas fire on the Gazco website, we were sold! The fact it was long and thin, open fronted, and looked so contemporary ticked all our boxes!
There were a few different options in the Studio range – we first wanted a glass fronted with the driftwood fuel bed, but because we were keen on an open fronted fire, we opted for the Studio 3 with white stones, which look really coastal, and stunning against the black lining.
The heat that comes off the fire is amazing, but likewise, can be quickly turned down if you get too hot. Sometimes we just leave it on really low for the evening as it creates such a beautiful effect that just ‘makes’ the room.
What drew you to Gazco, and why did you choose this fire?
There are many fire suppliers in the UK but we found that Gazco had the best selection of the type of thing we were looking for. Their prices were very competitive, especially considering the extremely high quality of the products, plus the warranty available. The customer service topped it off for us – they were so helpful when it came to advising on extra bits needed for fitting, and giving us advice and technical support when we had any questions.
We still have a bit to do at The Beach House, mainly the landscaping outside, so we are going to get this finished and then will be holiday letting the house for the Summer and over Christmas. We have just started another build in the same village of Portreath which we have just demolished, so watch this space!
Check out the Lovers Retreats website to book one of Charlotte’s amazing holiday homes.
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