Design Project: A Modern Cottage Conversion near Cheltenham in The Cotswolds

Modernity flirts with tradition at this sophisticated home in the Cotswolds, featuring a sleek contemporary kitchen, areas of glass roof that allow the rain to patter above, natural stone walls and huge open fires. Iit's no wonder this cottage's intriguing design features saw it voted winner of the RIBA National Award...

THE PROPERTY

Designed by architecture firm Found Associates, an old gamekeeper’s cottage was restored and updated, with a series of fresh, inter-connected pavilions tucked into the landscape immediately behind it. Together, they form an inviting rural escape set within a secret valley on the edge of the Cotswolds, surrounded by woodland.

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The beguiling juxtaposition of this contemporary home with a listed traditional Cotswolds cottage sitting alongside is a match made in heaven. Set down a long country drive within a serene 16-acre wooded valley near Cheltenham, this dynamic pairing of unique architect-designed properties offers sublime escapism – and is the winner of a RIBA National Award. The property is available to rent through uniquehomestays.com.

ENTRANCE

An entrance hall connects the original cottage (perfect as a granny flat or guest cottage) to the modern main house.

It’s thought that this property stands on the site of what was once part of the Brimpsfield estate, which can be dated back to 1121 when this area was known as ‘Ledecome’ or ‘Leddeleysiat’; probably acquiring its name from the Ledene Stream which runs through the property.

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Flawless in its design, the new structure is formed of natural stone, wall-to-ceiling glass and fair-faced concrete interiors, which provide the canvas for the sleek minimalist theme.

The property also benefits from a unique sloping grass rooftop that buries the house into the hillside to complement the natural surroundings – so you needn’t miss a moment of the majestic setting, as the designer’s theatrical approach to space and light welcomes the outside in.

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MAIN HOUSE

In the new structure, floor-to-ceilings windows make the most of the dramatically beautiful scenery.

An open-plan kitchen with kitchen island flows into a dining are and through to a generously proportioned living room, all in white.

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A large modern fireplace stretches the entire depth of the room, and is filled with logs from the surrounding woodland.

An over-sized corner sofa sits across from two swivel armchairs and a large daybed, creating a very large and inviting seating area while still keeping a minimalistic, modern and clean aesthetic.

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The glass doors slide open onto a patio area for al fresco dining.

There’s also a separate snug with a home cinema system cleverly concealed behind doors.

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This space also doubles up as a home office, with a large window ledge acting as a desk with a view.

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This contemporary structure also houses four emperor-size bedrooms (two of them en suite), all on the ground floor.

The property’s concrete walls and floors create a calming effect, blocking out distractions and focussing the mind.

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BEDROOMS

Each of the four bedrooms is similar in size and design, with concrete floors and ceilings, and sliding floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

Everything is kept calm and simple; walls are mostly bare and white, and accessories are kept to a minimum.

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BATHROOMS

A large family bathroom with an oversized jacuzzi tub has sliding glass doors so you can feel like you’re having a bath outdoors.

Smaller bathrooms feature minimalistic design, with rain showers and wall-mounted taps.

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COTTAGE

Meanwhile the attached cottage offers two further bedrooms and a separate kitchen, dining and living room, all in typical country cottage style with wood beams and barn doors.

It shares the same patio as the main house.

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The bedrooms are designed to suit the cottage-style architecture.

The bathroom is slightly more modern, with a modern freestanding bath but still wrapped in wood panelling.

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GARDEN

The home is encircled by five sweeping valleys opening out to the River Severn. There’s also a private lake on the property, with a little rowing boat.

A small island in the lake offers a lovely spot for putting up a hammock or having a picnic.

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The property is available to rent, from £5,995 per week, £4,850 per short break. Book it here.

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