The Singapore-based owners had purchased the five bedroom property as a UK base, with plans to use it for family holidays plus let it as an exclusive holiday home to capitalise on their investment.
The owners brief was to embrace the views and St Ives’ artistic heritage, the integrity of the property’s character and proportions, while maximising space to create contemporary and luxurious interiors.
The renovation was to be project managed by Camellia within tight constraints on both budget and deadlines.
Knowing the team’s specialism in coastal architecture, design and interiors, they approached Camellia for their management across the whole rebuild and refurb of the house – citing the uniqueness of the area and the diverse colour palette as their main inspiration. The main requirement architecturally was to create a relaxing yet practical environment for holidays. However, the owners were also looking for a flexible internal accommodation option that would prove attractive as an exclusive holiday let.
Design Director, Elaine Skinner, says, “This St Ives property was a major challenge structurally and logistically, although this is just the type of test that the Camellia team rises to brilliantly. Alongside our Cornish builders, we obviously know the logistics of St Ives intimately so our project management team successfully planned to overcome the parking and access restraints of narrow streets. The interiors style had to be fun yet formal – embracing the integrity of the property’s character and proportions, without compromising contemporary living requirements.”
The unexpected discovery of a basement and consequent review of structural work and budget was quickly capitalised on by Camellia’s design team. This extra floor now houses an eye-catching media room and office with cinema-like lighting. This was installed in the staircase leading down and a contemporary feel was created with a large bespoke sofa and neutral-coloured, geometric wallpaper – showcasing the innovative smart lighting. Controlled using a smart phone device, this system can produce an instant atmospheric change, with the memories of builders digging out the basement and carrying it off site by hand in bags, long forgotten.
With the clients working and living in a different time zone, all work was scheduled in advance and progress communicated with the clients via email, Skype and conference calls.
On the front terrace, lime stone was used in a grey textured finish to complement the Cornish outdoor lifestyle. In the rear yard handy wet suit drying-racks hang ready for use, whilst on the opposite side of the property a large dining table with a integral fire-pit now offers a perfect view of the town’s harbour and surrounding coastline.
From an interiors perspective the client was fully appreciative of the town’s charms and therefore briefed the Camellia team to imbue their new home with flourishes of the artistic heritage, the fishing legacy and the mild sub-tropical climate. As a result, Camellia utilised the ‘iconic St Ives view’ juxtaposing it with modern art and key colours from the outlook. The wow factor was added with black, acid yellow and white, accents of which are repeated throughout the house on artwork, an intentional mix of furniture and luxurious furnishings – all supplied by Camellia with handpicked accessories from their own range. The fusion of classic, eclectic and luxury coastal elements within a Victorian structure now reflects the evolution of the property from it’s fishing village roots to a contemporary holiday getaway.
The project was completed on time for this very happy clients’ family to come together and enjoy their 2014 summer holiday. It has quickly become one of the lettings agencies top properties in St Ives.
The project has been shortlisted in three separate categories of design et al‘s prestigious International Design and Architecture Awards 2014 competition and Elaine Skinner says, “As one of the only British Institute of Interior Design qualified and accredited practices in Cornwall, we are continually driven by the need to create and deliver exacting industry standards. Entering awards is an exciting way to raise the profile of these standards whilst inspiring us to continually strive for excellence. Within Camellia, we know our design work is a success with our clients, and these awards firmly reinforce that. It’s great to see that our work on this particular St Ives property has been shortlisted in so many categories of these prestigious awards.”