My Houzz: A Small Seaside Home with a Cosy Cottage Feel
Built to house transatlantic cables, this southwest Wales hut is now a cute cottage with a space-smart layout
The property was in poor condition back then, requiring a new roof, re-rendered walls, and rewiring and replumbing throughout. It also needed new windows and flooring, and a new kitchen and bathroom. The effort, though, was well worth it, resulting in a coastal gem of a home.
Who lives here John Marsh and Eleanor Winn
Location Near Abermawr beach, Pembrokeshire
Property A former hut for cables, plus attached living accommodation
Size 1 bedroom/living room, 1 bathroom
Interior designer Paul Hervey of PHI Concepts
Photos by Mark Watts © Unique Home Stays
The cottage is in an amazingly peaceful location. “You can see one other cottage across the valley,” says John Marsh. “The striking thing is, when you arrive and turn off the headlights, it’s pitch black and you can’t see the ground when you step out of the car.”
The hut was where the cables terminated, while the stone building was where the keeper lived; soldiers were stationed outside to guard the strategic link during the war.
As communications improved, though, the facility that had allowed telegrams to be exchanged between London and Washington was left to go to rack and ruin, and the building was abandoned until the previous owner reclaimed it as a scenic bolthole.
Working on the interior once the major renovations were complete was much easier. The black and white of the exterior were repeated inside in the contrast of walls and beams and in the furniture and fittings, too, while bright accents were added with soft furnishings.
Interior designer Paul Hervey found furniture and accessories with an industrial feel to nod to the history of the building. Many, like the cable reel table and wall clock, came from eBay.
Industrial metal sideboard; Key Wood armchairs, all Tikamoon. Madison and Mondo fabrics, Melin Tregwynt.
The seating area takes advantage of the sea views, with the sleep space at the other end of the room. Local materials were used where possible, including fabrics from the nearby woollen mill at Tregwynt.
Iron bed, John Lewis. Broadstripe red throws; cushions, all Melin Tregwynt.
Ribbed knit throw, John Lewis.
The flooring is distressed engineered oak, selected to work well with the underfloor heating that warms the home.
Distressed vintage oak engineered flooring, Wood2U.
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The kitchen blind is also made from fabric from the local woollen mill.
Cooke & Lewis Carisbrooke framed doors and drawer fronts, B&Q. Oak end-grain work surface, Norfolk Oak. Blind fabric, Melin Tregwynt.
The black and white theme inspired by the exterior of the property is continued in here with local Welsh slate floor tiles contrasting with the white metro wall tiles. The washstand – found on eBay – picks up the pairing with its black granite top, and black features in a picture frame and accessories, too.
Tubby tub bath, Albion.
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“A lot of Welsh farm buildings are covered in the same iron finish and it’s generally black,” says Marsh.