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Salma. The outbuildings formerly housed animals but now accommodate bedrooms, the main bathroom and a shower room. The kitchen/diner, mezzanine area and a den for the children are in the old cottage, while the showcase circular living room sits in the Roundhouse.


While the original buildings were as run-down as their layout was confusing, the new single storey home boasts five bedrooms, All of it sits under a total of six roofs – one of the few remaining clues to the cluster of buildings that once occupied the site. Configuring and renovating the building was a mammoth task. Decisions had to be taken on how to rip out the tawdry 1980s additions of cheap flooring and decor but save some of the old features – from the oak ceiling beams to the tack room nails which still hung on the backroom walls.


“I’d undertaken smaller renovation projects


before and when I took this one on I knew it would be big and expensive, but I didn't anticipate just how big and expensive,” she admits.


Acting as her own project manager meant endless trips from London to Cornwall to meet architects and suppliers while making decisions on how to turn these essentially still separate buildings into a home, while keeping its key historical features and then get it all approved


78 www.sbhonline.co.uk


by planners. “It was gruelling,” she concedes. As with most old farm buildings, head room was an issue. The architects dug down to create space above, rather than up. This meant preserving the circular roof and the ancient beams holding it all up in the living room, ceiling windows in the bedrooms allowed all the walls and beams to remain untouched.


SEEKING THE DREAM LOCATION Finding projects in Cornwall is becoming increasingly rare as many seek to exchange their life and property in London for a coastal retreat. Finding the right spot is as important as finding the right property, says Salma. She spent regular childhood holidays in Cornwall and has plenty of links to the place: her great aunt lived in a house overlooking Fistral beach, while her great uncle is buried in the churchyard in nearby Crantock (her aunt also married in the church and baptised her children there).


“I had loved Crantock since I was a child, and the age and location of the property really appealed to me,” she says of the Roundhouse. However, when she approached the agents with an initial offer, she was told it was too low and wouldn’t be accepted. “By the time I had decided to revise my offer about four weeks later, it was already under offer.” But that was far from the end of the story. In 2017 her mother died – on the same day that


jul/aug 2021


LOW POINT


“The ever-increasing costs and sometimes worrying myself silly about how I could ever physically get this project over the line,” says Salma. “Also, coming to terms with the fact that I had to re-write my dreams for the place with only me and my son in them.”


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