Fig Tree Cottage is a project of CCD Architects, a local firm on the island of Guernsey. The newly built home is a modern take on the traditional style cottages that the British isles are famous for, which embrace the slow pace and relaxed lifestyle that comes with living on one of the many islands. This home aims to offer a carefree space that is a quiet retreat each evening for the new owners, with a traditional look and feel, without sacrificing on modern technologies. Let's see how it turned out…
The exterior looks much like the many cottages and barns that scatter the island, with a few slight variations that set it apart from some its century-old counterparts. Conventional building materials have been used, including timber and stone, whilst the home has two main wings connected by a conjoined arm in the middle. The first aspect we notice is the stone foundations, which aid in the historic look of the home. Stone foundations were the most common type of foundation of buildings built before 1915, which has proven to be a real headache for those who own homes from this period. Often the masonry needs to be repointed or mortar coated, but thanks to modern building technologies, those who wish to create a home that looks traditional can do so with the peace of mind that the foundations will not give way in the future.
The various textures, materials and colours cast our eyes across the entire building. From the stone and timber cladding, to the blue and white door and window frames, to the rendered façade and the contrasting roof tiles. Even an outside shower has been installed, embracing the outdoors lifestyle of the British isles, and for a quick rinse off before stepping inside.
The interior scheme oozes country charm and warmth, and much like the exterior, is a varying mix in materials and textures. In keeping with the stone foundations, stone tiles don the floor of the kitchen, whilst polished timber has been used for the raised, ground floor living area. No country style kitchen would be complete without the rich, warm tones of timber cabinetry, which has been paired with a quaint dining table, exposed timber beams in the ceiling, stone walls, and and unequivocal rural charm you just don't feel inside a house in the city.
Country style kitchens need not feel like a kitchen that is overwhelmingly minimal, or like it has been taken straight off a showroom floor. A country style kitchen should feel homely and lived in, and this kitchen is all that and more. Breezy and filled with light, we can picture the occupants returning after a day of hunting, to freshly prepare and bake a heart-warming roast.
Many traditional cottages were a simple “two up, two down” design, with two functional rooms on the ground floor, and two bedrooms located above. The shape of this building is a clear giveaway that it is not designed like an old cottage, employing instead a design that is more suited to the lifestyles of the 21st century. As we enter from the backdoor of the home, we are greeted by a set of rustic, deeply stained stairs which contrast against the stark white walls and timber balustrades. As you can see, the walls of upstairs is dressed in bright white, a contrast to the textured stone of the ground floor.
To see another modern take on the classic cottage, check out this Scottish cottage full of surprises.