24th July 2015

I’ve always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of old with new, where you’ll find a historic building with a crisp new interior or extension. I love the unapologetic combination of these elements; the honesty of adding something new that feels of its time while still being sympathetic to the existing building.

This house in the historic village of Hooe in East Sussex is a perfect example of this approach. The 17th century building – which is now on the market with The Modern House – was once the village bakery and has a tranquil setting tucked up a quiet country lane just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.

Castlehurst Cottage Castlehurst Cottage

The current owners are designers and have renovated the three bedroom house and extended it, working with architect Simon Barker of Barker Shorten Architects.  The glass and timber extension forms a light-filled living space that spills open onto a wraparound deck, with views over the neighbouring barley fields. The use of timber echoes the areas of cladding on the former dairy, and combined with the matching roof tiles and roof detailing, this new element sits very happily alongside the 17th century building.

Castlehurst Cottage Castlehurst Cottage Castlehurst Cottage

The period features in this house are fantastic – most notably the roof beams and rustic timber doors, and the big brick fireplace in the living space – but the owners have lightened these existing spaces considerably thanks to the whitewashed floorboards and pristine white walls. The kitchen also has a great mix with Shaker-style cabinets, a flagstone floor and a stainless steel range cooker and splashback panel. You might be thinking, stainless steel here? But it works. After all, it’s an inherently industrial material, and this was a working building back in its day.

Castlehurst Cottage Castlehurst Cottage

And then there’s the extension, which has created a new vaulted living room as a contrast to the beamed ceilings elsewhere. This new section of the house is crisp and geometric, with large openings including full-height glazed doors that fold back to open up one wall.

Castlehurst Cottage Castlehurst Cottage

I like the pared back simplicity of this detail in the photo above, at the threshold where the old building meets the new. There’s also a garden office, again in glass and timber, and a garage block (with permission to convert to create additional accommodation). Given the wider location, with a ten minute drive taking you to the beach at Normans Bay, this is a house I could (all too easily!) imagine living in.

Castlehurst Cottage

Castlehurst Cottage is on the market with The Modern House. All photography from The Modern House.

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  • laura 3rd November 2015 at 11:49 am

    Wow this cottage is just stunning, I love how simple they have kept the decor, with the elegant combination of antique pieces alongside a crisp, modern interior.

    • Copperline 3rd November 2015 at 11:56 am

      Thanks Laura. This is one of my favourites houses from this year! I love the combination of old and new; the patina of the antiques against the crisp new spaces. There’s so much character here! I’m glad you like it 🙂