There really is nowhere like the Welsh countryside, and this rural farmhouse compliments the beautiful landscape that surrounds it. Having been restored almost to its original state, the property retains its traditional features: it doesn't even have electricity, so it truly is a rural escape from hectic modern life. After remaining empty and neglected for over 40 years, it has been lovingly transformed beyond its former glory by Hackett Holland.
The architecture and design firm have paid special attention to the finer details, so that this property boasts a consistent design throughout, working in harmony with the peaceful coastal setting. Here, we will take a look at the stunning home in full, starting with the typically welsh stone exterior:
Slate is a very common material used in traditional Welsh architecture: by the 1870s, slate was one of Wales' major industries. There is even a National Slate Museum in Llanberis that explores the role of slate in the architectural and social history of Wales. The roof of this cottage, as you might expect, is made of thick Welsh slate (though this isn't the original). Fortunately, all of the oak beams, rafters and joints have been retained and restored.
The landscape is one of the big draws of living in a rural area, and here you can see why. Rolling fields and woodland for miles around lends the property a mythical, transcendental quality. The Welsh countryside has been a setting for Celtic legends for centuries, and this home, preserved as much as possible to resemble its original state, evokes the mystery and mythology of times gone by.
Original preserved beams are the focal point of this cosy, rustic style lounge. The hide rug and soft furnishings in traditionally solid, block colours place this room in a pre-20th century setting, with the old fashioned hanging lamp working to the same effect.
The huge open fireplace is the only way to keep the first floor warm, and it has been wonderfully decorated with antique plates and fire irons for an authentic look.
This rustic country kitchen is full of character and charm. The small details and larger vision for this renovation come together most noticably in this room. Everything from the wooden church style benches to the antique wall clock and the slightly wonky shelves create a quaint kitchen that brings the past to life. The stove even burns locally grown timber and is supported by an Aga: yet another must have in today's vintage style homes.
Here's the kitchen from another perspective. The wooden cabinet displays Wedgewood style ceramics in keeping with the rustic design.
The soft furnishings add some warmth to the room, and like the throws and cushions displayed in the lounge, are a traditional colour that could have been made with natural dyes and hand stitching techniques. The red and gold light fixture could be either an old-fashioned oil burner or an ultra modern, industrial style fitting that would look just as good alongside contemporary interiors.
If you like this style and are thinking about something similar for your own home, you can find more rustic kitchen designs in this ideabook.
This rustic staircase is a prime example of the sturdy, hard-wearing design, highlighting how homes of the past were built to last for centuries to come.
The interior walls have been lime-washed with lime slaked on site from lumps of Calcium Oxide, which was later coloured with natural earth pigments.
The Victorian style bathroom leads off from the top floor landing. On the upper floor, a few boards have been carefully replaced with softwood boards to match the original style. Delicate, unfussy tiles decorate the walls, and wood rather than metal, has been used for the units and mirror edging. We can see the uneven surface of the stone walls in the interior of the property, which is an integral part not only of the structure, but also of the identity of this home.
The bathroom has been decorated in a way that respects the traditional design of the property, but we can see how fashions come back around: the free standing bath with gold taps, white walls and rustic furniture wouldn't look out of place in a contemporary home.
This single bedroom is exactly how it would have looked all those years ago. With no sign of modern technology interrupting the calm of this beautifully restored room, it makes the perfect place to hide out and take a break from the world. The floral curtains and light green wooden wall panels give the room a 1940s feel, and the map on the wall is an interesting addition: we wonder if it's an antique print, and if depicts the world as it used to be, rather than as it looks today.
The windows in the property proved to be beyond repair, and so have been replaced with sliding bay sashes made from painted sustainable hardwood. These elegant windows frame the perfect view, and are themselves framed by classic, vintage style curtains in keeping with the period décor.
This quaint master bedroom has been decorated in light of the rest of the décor: in a rustic, vintage style. The black and gold bedstead looks regal, but is played down by the simple cotton throw and traditional white sheets. There is nothing pretentious about this renovation, and the design stays true to the personality and purpose of this farmhouse.
The care taken to restore rather than revamp this rural property, and what has ultimately been achieved by the architects and designers, is genuinely inspiring!
If you've found this project interesting, take a look at this restored historic chalet in Northern Portugal.