A Family Retreat by the Sea

Isn't it everyone's dream to have a bolthole away from the stresses and strains of everyday life? Even better if that retreat is in picturesque Devon with estuary views. This lucky family have just that, and interior design company Studio Ashby helped them create a family holiday home that they just can't get enough of. Here, Sophie Ashby tells us more about the project.

1. Tell us a little bit about your company.

Led by its creative director, Sophie Ashby, Studio Ashby creates spaces with a unique identity. Ashby’s aim is to bring authenticity to each project, not only in the selection of furniture, lighting and art but in its use of a natural palette of materials and textures. Humour and a love of objects with an explicit narrative result in a carefully balanced body of work that creates cohesive spaces with a sense of honesty. 

2. Where is this particular project situated?

This project is in the town of Salcombe, South Hams, Devon, South West England. 

3.  Tell us a little bit about the property.

The property is a grade II star listed Georgian building occupying a spectacular coastal position near Salcombe Harbour. With the help of architectural firm Atkinson Architects, the house has over the last few years undergone a full restoration, involving intricate conservation procedures in collaboration with English Heritage and South Hams DC.

4. Tell us a little bit about your clients.

They are a young British family with young boys. 

5. What was the client brief?

The brief was to create something comfortable and cosy whilst being sophisticated and grown up. We weren’t interested in creating anything resembling ‘seaside chic’ or obviously beach, despite the location; instead the aim was to create a colourful and relaxing space, perfect for entertaining  - a retreat from London weekday life. 

6. How big a job was it?

It was a big job and took about 5 months from start to finish; there are 4 bedrooms in total.

7. Were there any particular problems to be overcome?

No not really! It was a joy to spend some time in Devon whilst on installation and for project meetings as I actually spent my teens growing up in a village nearby - I am a Devon girl at heart. 

8. With this project, what are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the Master Bedroom; the view is spectacular and all of the colours and fabrics chosen in the room make it feel as though the view merges into the room - there is no boundary and it feels very tranquil and calm. The daybed in the bay window is an incredible place to curl up and read a book and one of those places where she just want to sit glued to the window, gazing at the sea. 

9. What was the client’s reaction to the finished project?

They were delighted and can’t find enough time to spend there. 

10. What are you working on now?

We are working on a large modern house in Cambridge, a penthouse apartment in South Bank Tower, a burger restaurant and a family home in Chelsea to name a few!