The Mill House - Interior design of luxury holiday cottage
Set in the rolling countryside of North Cornish landscape, this charming Mill had bucketfuls of character, all jostling for attention.
Decisions were taken to calm down the clamouring, selecting the great features and disguising the lesser ones. By giving key features the space to shine focal points were created and balance and harmony were established.
The inherent beauty of the exposed stone walls and timber beams now flourish amidst a restrained paint palette and the great lighting creates a cosy interior when the light fades.
The quirky nature of the building inspired the interior furnishings to be cosy, luxurious and relaxed with an air of eccentricity. Great fun was had sourcing the furnishings and incorporating many of the clients existing possessions.
Launceston Town Council's brief was to create an interior for a multi-functioning community building. The list of roles this building was required to fulfil was extensive, each of which needed to be considered during the design process.
The existing building was tired and drab and gave little incentive for people to visit or hold a function here - it was a long way from its 'Heydey' and original victorian concept of a community building for the people.
The layout was fundamental in achieving the council's brief, and involved working with the project manager and main contractor, to establish the building's new spatial design. The extensive refurbishment of the building involved a dynamic glass atrium connecting the Guildhall with the Town Hall.
Lighting plays a huge part in the success of this project, with great support as always from Amos Lighting in Exeter, fabulous new lights create a stunning focal point in the main auditorium, with spotlights lighting the beams and soft furnishings. Uplights graze up the walls in the glass atrium with stunning effect. The various layers of light bathing this old building with nurturing and welcoming warmth.
The paint schemes are elegant, designed to work well with the lighting to create a space that looks great on a visual level whilst on a sub-conscious level, evokes a feeling of welcoming warmth.
Large spaces demand great looking flooring, the existing pitch pine flooring was removed and kiln dried, relayed and refinished. The original Victorian encaustic tiles were refurbished and resealed. To create a 'Wow' factor, Axminster Carpets were commissioned to weave a Cornish Tartan carpet, which sits with splendour and pride in the entrance and bar area.
Window treatments were designed and made for the huge windows in the main auditorium, these needed to be black out as well as decorative. Including the huge 6mt x 6mt window to the rear of the space hung from the biggest track I have ever worked with!
Chairs were sourced for films, functions and meetings along with banqueting and conferencing tables. Considerable research went into the choice of the chairs, the criteria being that they needed to look the part, be highly durable, stackable and be comfortable for as many individuals as humanly possible for upto 3 hours - a tall order! Two chair types were selected one for main use and the others for ceremonial use, which gives flexibility for weddings and other ceremonies.
One of the final jobs was to site the various artworks and memorabilia owned by the council, some of which were pretty huge. Now lit and sited properly they were the icing on the cake.
Launceston Town Hall is now used for wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, banquets, dances, film nights, exhibitions, conferencing and of course fulfils its role as the home and offices of Launceston Town Council.
Bude family holiday home
Set in a quiet backwater in Bude on Cornwall's rugged north coast is this modern family holiday home. I worked closely with the owners to create a relaxing and comfortable bolthole that was worlds away from their main home, giving them a contrast to location and home ambience.
A modern living space was designed with an 'after the storm' influenced colour palette. Using interesting materials and textures to recreate a sensory experience. Floaty sheer curtains by Harlequin fabrics create a stunning backdrop to the living space.
With 'flotsam and jetsam' beach finds inspiring the design of bespoke storage solutions making the most of awkward spaces.
Coastal design can be cliched, to avoid this, we steered away from the run of the mill and twee to deliver a personality packed interior that reflected the clients brief and delivered their dream of a Cornish bolthole.
Health and Fitness Studio
Eight years of planning and hard work by my client culminated in this 'dream come true' fitness studio for his successful personal training business - a highly motivated, energetic and focused professional I needed to be even more on my toes on this one!
The brief was to create a dynamic, energising and well laid out interior providing an exceptional training space for individuals and groups to work in. It was never in doubt that this space had to work hard and had to be resilient to the knocks that a training facility takes. It also needed to show a softer side to facilitate talks and demonstrations for an invited audience of up to 50 people.
Time was invested with Matt gaining an understanding of all the functions the space needed to facilitate, from this, a well-planned spatial layout was developed, maximising the space and meeting the brief. The space is on 2 levels with an upper mezzanine level, which incorporates, an open plan client consultation area, kitchen, and relaxation space with glass balustrading to link the upper and lower spaces. Further enclosed rooms provide an office, sauna, shower and treatment room with the whole of the ground floor laid out to the training facility.
An energising colour palette in line with the Matt Luxton brand creates a dynamic training space with a more laid back upper level client area. The lower part of the gym walls are painted in a jet black, to minimise scuffs on the wall from equipment, it leads on from the gym matting giving the illusion of more floor space.
Mid grey is painted up to the mezzanine height, with a light grey on the upper wall. One wall is painted in a dynamic and energising red - this is balanced by the calming grey wall opposite. This colour palette is repeated throughout the building to create a cohesive environment.
Complimenting the paint palette is the green grass speed strip which cuts through the darkness of the flooring giving a pop of colour whilst helping to zone training areas.
The use of LED colour changing light strips down either side of the space add a playful twist and some stunning industrial bay light fittings hang in the double height ceiling spilling light on the gym below whilst creating a vibrant focal point from the Mezzanine level.
My Secret Ingredients
The specification of the paint had to be tough and enduring, Dulux Trade Diamond Matt Emulsion is truly the belts and braces paint for a tough environment like this.
The flooring used upstairs is a combination of Altro safety flooring, opting for Wood Safety in the communal areas and Pisces Safety in the Shower and Sauna room.
The huge red bay lights in the gym area are from a range from Andy Thornton.
A dilapidated listed Georgian town house is reborn as an elegant and welcoming Coffee House, Restaurant and meeting facility.
The project started with a shell of a building that was in a sorry state desperate for a sympathetic and extensive refurbishment. The brief was huge evolving and adapting as the work progressed.
Understanding the use of the space was fundamental to getting the layout and flow of the building working. The space was to be laid across three floors and was to have clearly defined functions. An empathetic solution orientated design approach was adopted to meet the listed building status and commercial restaurant requirements.
The business was to include a coffee shop, niche retail space, snug and courtyard garden on the ground floor, with a slightly more formal restaurant on the first floor and a private dining room on the second floor. The layout needed to allow the optimum flow of customers and staff around the building and was crucial to the success of the project.
The ambience was designed to be welcoming and relaxing, with comfortable furniture and attention to detail in the finishes.
Getting the paint colours to reflect the brief was a high priority for my client. Nothing I like more than to be developing a palette of saturated hues, pouring over paint charts in search of the perfect colour for a space both inside and outside.
The outside of this building was a challenge as the colours changed so dramatically in the light and in contrast to the surrounding environment. But after a just a few samples the front and rear external colours were selected, the front a more formal and anticipated shade for a Georgian town house, the rear was more unexpected picking up in the mix of colours in the slate hung elevation of the courtyard garden whilst echoing the warm hues of the interior spaces.
Glorious warm and earthy tones are prevalent internally, so warm they almost glow. Complimented by crisp white woodwork, smart dark cabinetry and stunning stone worktops.
The floor coverings give high visual impact with Original Style encaustic tiles for the entrance and downstairs areas and a fabulously quirky bespoke Axminister carpet to the upper floors. The carpet is a conversation piece containing motifs that are local and project relevant.
A contemporary lighting scheme shakes up the interior with stunning feature pendants, elegant wall lights and a versatile track and pendant system.
Furniture was selected and adapted to suit the scheme, with sumptuous upholstered chairs and built in seating upstairs and more classic bistro style to the lower floor. Whilst an antique dining table was installed in the private dining room.
Local antique shops and second-hand stores were scoured for individual and quirky items from artwork to artefacts for the finishing touches which give this space its individual identity.
Whalesborough Farm Holiday Cottages, W Club and The Weir Restaurant
Poised on a hilltop on the outskirts of Bude, Whalesborough incorporates 22 5* holiday cottages, The W Club leisure pool, spa and gymnasium to the coastal side and The Weir restaurant and coffee shop on the wooded inland side.
The interior styling of the holiday cottages is designed to deliver a luxurious, comfortable and evocative coastal holiday experience for the guests and a practical solution to a busy changeover day.
Providing a full interior design service, procurement and installation service, all the 22 properties at Whalesborough were delivered on time and to budget.
The W Club is a fabulous leisure facility incorporating an indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms with beauty treatment and therapy rooms upstairs. The interior style being Scandi inspired with calm bleached wood and paired back ocean references, interrupted with a colour and decorative details.
The Weir is situated at the entrance to Whalesborough, nestled into the wooded side of a hill overlooking a lake. McMillan Interiors was responsible for the overall layout of the restaurant and counter areas along with lighting schemes, counter design, flooring, decorative finishes, interior styling and furniture.
Working closely with my client on this new business venture meant adapting quickly as the project took shape. The interior styling is relevant to the hillside location of the building with natural materials, woodland and wildlife details.