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Top 10—The Most Beautiful Houses in Wales

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Play Barn, Wales by Jeff Kahane + Associates
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It's the weekend, so you know what that means; another awesome top 10 list from us! This week we are travelling over to the beautiful west of the country, to Wales, to look at our favourite builds in the valleys. 

Steeped in farming and agricultural tradition, houses in Wales range from ultra modern through to perfectly restored farm buildings, so we like to think we have put together a well balanced list with something for everyone. Whether you are a fan of converted mills, sleek cladding or perfectly pointed stonework, we have an amazing house to show you, so pull up a chair and let's cross the border!

10. The Nook

The Nook is a 250sqm new build family home that has been built to replace an outdated 1960s bungalow on the same Wye Valley site and it is certainly making a big impression.

Materials have been sourced locally and thanks to how private the site is, there was no issue when it came to designing an exterior that was largely made up of glazing, most of which opens out into the garden to offer an extra sense of spaciousness.

The design team state that the house explores a number of vernacular elements and construction techniques through a modern lens and we can see what they are talking about thanks to the juxtaposition of sleek fixtures with rugged stonework and natural wood. This is a house that not only looks great and feels welcoming, it has seated itself in its surroundings with such an authoritative air that you could be forgiven for assuming it had always been there.

9. Esgob Mill

Melin Esgob, Llannerch-y-Medd, North Wales Rustic style houses by Capra Architects Rustic
Capra Architects

Melin Esgob, Llannerch-y-Medd, North Wales

Capra Architects

Left abandoned for years, this amazing building was finally bought and rescued by new owners who were keen to restore it to its former glory, but as a house, not a working mill. 

Having developed close ties to the relevant heritage bodies, the team at Capra was able to make sure that all plans were appropriate for a listed building, while also finding solutions that allowed them to keep as many of the original features as possible. The positive relationship even lead to the acceptance of a proposal for an adjoining holiday cottage.

The main feature of the house, the water wheel, was restored to exacting standards, with the inner workings being used to house a new central staircase and to remain respectful of the building, all materials, where possible, were sourced locally. A beautiful piece of history brought back to life!

8. Play Barn

This beautiful property is the result of the careful restoration of a small, semi-derelict barn and has given rise to a stunning family home, complete with a playroom, two guest bedrooms, a sauna and a cosy living space.

Larch cladding has been used on the outside so that as the building ages, it will naturally camouflage against the colour of the local Welsh stone of the original barn and the pitched roofs are, of course, finished in Welsh slate. The combination of dark, moody grey and warm wood is eye-catching to say the least but coupled with such an interesting design that includes flat roof and pitched additions to an existing traditional structure, this house stands out for all the right reasons!

7. Traditional Cottage

Welsh Farmhouse by Hackett Holland
Hackett Holland

Welsh Farmhouse

Hackett Holland

You might be thinking that this house doesn't look particularly special or different and though you might be right that it doesn't instantly grab you, once you start to pay closer attention to the finer details, you will see that this is most definitely a beautiful home!

The large stonework structure has been perfectly pointed and restored, allowing the dark grey to complement the sky and perimeter wall and with a flash of colour in the form of the pale turquoise doors, this large and traditional property is almost having a little fun with us. A perfect example of how houses in Wales used to be built and how steadfast they are, we wanted to include this as a fabulous benchmark.

6. Un Y Berllan

Isn't this house simply amazing? It looks as though it has been crafted between two beautiful bookends and is holding the landscape up! What a fantastic style.

On the inside, natural materials have been used everywhere, ranging from wood through to Welsh slate and lime render and it's this attention to detail and commitment to using locally sourced construction basics that has elevated this house to such stylish levels. Neither boastful nor showy, the property is unique and humble, making it intriguing and eye-catching and thanks to a beautifully mature garden, the whole façade looks utterly spectacular, which it would need to in order to overshadow that lovely backdrop!

5. Stormy Castle

Stormy Castle is a purpose built family home with a difference and sits on the site of a demolished former property, in a remote part of Wales. With a client brief in place to create a low maintenance, sustainable home, the design team set to work and created what can only be described as an attention grabbing house, which has a raw, honest aesthetic appropriate to the site. 

The completed house, which is decadent in its use of concrete, is seen as a testament to the strong relationship between client, architect and contractor and frankly, is a fantastic addition to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty  in Wales. Designed to not only meet and adapt to the clients' needs both now and in the future, this concrete palace will gradually bed itself into the surroundings, so as to not detract from them. A breathtaking piece of architecture!

4. Veddw Farm

The result of an existing property redevelopment, Veddw Farm shows no signs of the enclosed spaces that originally inspired the build. In fact, this project looks to offer wide open spaciousness and a fantastic connection to the garden like few others manage to!

With a large new kitchen in place and a sliding glass wall that opens out into the grounds, the living spaces have been amplified and given a new lease of life, but the project did not stop there, as an outbuilding was also destined for the site! Clad in Red Cedar, the steel-framed structure offers valuable garage, office and storage space and helps to keep extremely modern finishes away from the original stone house. As a duo, we think they look incredible together, but each stands on its own merits to looks beautiful.

3. Silver House

An amazingly different build, we think Silver House has more than earned its space in our top 10, thanks to the use of local materials, amazing shapes and outside the box design.

The moody landscape has been perfectly captured and reflected in this angular and unusual build that has been designed to make the most of natural light, while working with the elements to provide a safe and comfortable family home that is as comfortable inside as it is rugged and steadfast on the outside. We love the gritty stonework and almost agricultural roofs and think that the level of detail is astounding. We'd certainly like to get inside for a closer look!

2. The Barn

One of three buildings in a wider settlement, The Barn has been constructed to act as a holiday home or temporary accommodation as part of a self-build project. Using simple construction techniques that would be manageable without large machinery, local companies were commissioned to make the frame and wall panels.

Not the most complicated of builds, we think this is worthy of a spot in the top 10 because of its simplicity and adherence to the original brief, not to mention the fact that the finished result is beautiful! The soft pastel tones of the roof and wall cladding, along with modest glazing have created something that is the epitome of elegant minimalism.

1. Chattock House

Located on the north side of the Newport Estuary, Chattock House has been created with environmental and atmospheric concerns in mind, hence it has super insulated walls to brave the bitter winds that frequently invade the site. Upstairs, we can just see an open plan space sitting under a wooden raftered roof and behind great expanses of triple glazing and the overall impact of the property is huge. With the look and feel of a modern masterpiece that could be found in California, this Welsh two-storey haven is more proof, if you need it, that beautiful design can be found hiding absolutely anywhere.

For more regional inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Top 10—The Most Beautiful Houses In Scotland.

Which of these houses was your favourite and why? Tell us your thoughts!
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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