The Isle Of Wight Delight

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Built on the Isle of Wight, The Sett, as it is formally known, is a fantastic addition to the landscape, if a dark and foreboding one. 

Newly built and nestled within a picturesque orchard setting, it was created to be the perfect family home for a creative household that sees a writer and designer both in situ. Designed specifically to reach out to the fruit trees that surround it, the house is a series of dark timber layers that open out into cool, calm spaces and despite how neo-gothic the exterior is, the interior is a peaceful, light and functional family home.

Let's take a closer look to appreciate the contrasts that have been created.

Imposing impression

From the exterior, this home, though clearly highly stylised and beautiful, cuts a fairly intimidating figure. Bringing height, which is accentuated by the choice of vertical cladding strips, width and a dark colour to the first impression makes for a curious and intriguing build. What will the interior decoration style be like? Who lives here?

The team at Dow Jones have put together a masterpiece in black that not only fulfils the client brief, but confidently reaches out into the garden space with an 'here I am' authority.

Nuances of nature

With the black cladding having a somewhat gothic feel, the injection of fresh green life into the footprint of the house is inspired. Forcing our perspective to change, the fruit tree seen here is both a constant reminder that this house is set within an orchard and that it is bustling with life inside. 

We like to think of this perfect planting as a reminder to not judge a book by its cover and are excited by the possibilities of what we will find inside. After all, if a black house can showcase greenery in its centre, what will it offer behind its doors?

Surprising space

Without any black wood or gothic touches, this house continues to be something of a design enigma. The interior is a direct contrast to the dramatic, dark and imposing building exterior, with bright, pale spaces, natural wood and enough glazing to help the grounds feel as though they are part of the living quarters. 

We're not shocked by this design choice but is is unusual for two parts of the same property to be so directly contrasting to each other, with seemingly no common ground, however, we love the overall effect. A family home that is fierce and secure on the outside, while being light and beautiful on the inside, The Sett has certainly grabbed our attention.

Wonderful work spaces

As we said, the family includes a writer and a designer so part of the footprint of the house has been dedicated to usable work spaces and we think it has been done to wonderful effect.

Imagine coming downstairs to work in an office like this one every day. With polished concrete floors and industrial rack shelving, at first glance this is a perfunctory and almost cold space but look a little closer and you will see how injections of personality have warmed it up to a wonderful degree. Eclectic furniture and a swathe of books all contribute to make this a welcoming, inspiring and productive room.

Eclectic eating

Now that we are really getting to grips with The Sett, it comes as no surprise to us that the dining room is filled with eclectic nuances and touches.

Mismatched chairs, dramatic pendulum lights and eye-catching wall art are all combining to create a space that feels like the natural hub of the house. With a seemingly open plan feel throughout, despite door frames, this is clearly a home that seeks to give everyone their own space, while also offering the opportunity to convene whenever they like. We are huge fans of the almost panoramic glazing too, that offers regular reminders of the stunning location and grounds the house back into the orchard.

Fireside family time

This picture really shows the house in its natural state with shoes left by the door and furniture in unconventional spots. This is clearly what the intention was: to create a home that allowed for constant evolving and fluid design. 

The simple fireplace offers industrial yet also rustic charm with a nod to more traditional building techniques, thanks to being crafted from bricks and the effect is that the house doesn't take itself too seriously. Yes, the exterior boasts a high end and impressive finish but the interior softens and mellows it to the point where if the house could talk, we think it would say something along the lines of You can't come in here. Just kidding, please, come on in and have a great time.

For more unusual build inspiration take a look at this Ideabook: Floating Architectural Masterpiece.

Are you a fan of this black timber-clad home? Let us know in the comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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