Behind the doors of a stylish contemporary home in the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 11:45 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:46 13 February 2018
William Goddard Photography
This stylish contemporary home, which blends both ecological features and high quality fittings, sits on a rural plot with wonderful views
Tracey and David Cox-Chanin had always wanted to build their own house – which they did. Then they built another one!
“The first was our holiday home in Portugal,” says David who with Tracey runs an automation and engineering company in Tewkesbury. “Then we sold it and had this one built instead.”
Their current house is a striking and highly contemporary four-bedroom property with integrated garage covering some 645 sq. m in Gotherington. And it all began when three years ago the couple bought the three and a half acre plot on which stood a rather run-down farmhouse.
“Two families were living there, one at either end,” says David. “The original Manor Farm had burnt down in the 1960s and it had been rebuilt in a rather ugly style with unattractive cladding. There were about five electricity poles running directly past the kitchen window so the first thing we did was remove them and bury the cables.”
“We employed architect Andrew Smith of Smith Hotchen in Cheltenham to design the house and it then took us five months to get planning permission,” says Tracey. “We did actually ask the council first if they would prefer us to build a traditional or a contemporary house. They said contemporary! And our neighbour who has been here for about 45 years was surprisingly very much in favour of a contemporary design too and wrote to the council to tell them so.”
The building work took another 14 months during which the couple rented a house in Cheltenham, having also sold the home they had there.
“We wanted to build an ecological house,” says Tracey. “So we have two air source heat pumps, a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system, rainwater harvesting and an intelligent lighting system by Lutron Lighting. Think pre-programmed mood lighting,” she explains.
“It means that although the temperature outside might be ten degrees, inside it’s 20 degrees - and without our putting on the heating,” says David.
“Although I’ve heard some owners with mechanical ventilation heat recovery never open their windows we do open ours in good weather. As for the rainwater it goes towards flushing the loos and watering the garden although if we wanted to, it could be used for the washing machine.”
Despite the huge rooms, lofty ceilings and Tracey’s favourite colour of anthracite grey used for the décor the house could never feel chilly as there is underfloor heating throughout the ground floor and in the three bathrooms.
“Not only that but we have triple glazing and a double-aspect log burner in the hall (it also serves the lounge) and you instantly feel cosy as soon as you see it,” says Tracey,
The main part of the ground floor is open-plan and contains the vast kitchen-living-dining area with a seven metre tall atrium in the dining area
and six-metre tall glass panelling looking onto the terrace of bespoke porcelain tiles and goldfish pond.
“This is our favourite part of the house, particularly the seating area,” the couple agree. “We love sitting on the sofa looking out towards the beautiful Dixton Woods. But every window has uninterrupted views for miles – on a clear day you can see the Severn Bridge; or so we’re told, although we haven’t spotted it yet.”
The bespoke prestigious Stoneham kitchen is spectacular, mainly because of the five-metre long island. The units are of dark wood with Corian worktops and moulded Corian sink and the moulding on the edge of the island is designed to match the moulding on top of the wall cabinets. Osborne & Little dramatic leopard-skin “Pardus” wallpaper from the Pasha Collection covers one wall – chosen by Tracey because it’s textured - and another wall consists of silvery glass and aluminium tiles from 3D Fusion which light up at night.
Throughout the house the flooring is grey porcelain tiling from Porcelanosa and there is a bespoke black walnut staircase. All the door sets (architraves included) are by Vicaima, a Portuguese company. “They normally supply them only to hotels and other businesses but as we wanted so many doors we managed to persuade them,” says David. The three bathrooms are fitted with Villeroy & Boch sanitary ware, Kueco furniture and Hans Grohe chrome fittings – all imported from a supplier in Germany.
As for the furniture some of the more unusual items came from their Portuguese villa such as the stone base of their dining table and stone display shelving and others such as their Visprung beds came locally from And So To Bed.
The couple possibly had the most fun with landscaping the grounds as it meant they took a holiday in Italy during which they searched for plants and trees. “Our olive tree is huge and 135 years old and it took about six men to unload it from the articulated lorry which delivered them all and to plant it outside the lounge window,” says Tracey. “We also bought red acers, cypress limes, gold rider conifers, jasmine and white roses.”
However the couple has now decided to take on a new life style so this stunning house is up for sale through Knight Frank. “We’re sad to leave our home and we’ll miss waking each morning and seeing the garden as it changes day by day. We’ll also miss looking across towards the Malvern Hills as the uninterrupted views are a sheer delight.”
Andrew Smith of Smith Hotchen - 01242 245273
Ecohaus - 01453 837330 / ecohausinternorm.com
Fosse Fires - 01242 620 662 / www.fossefires.co.uk
Kitchen Tile Bathroom Gallery - 01789 763332 / www.ktbgallery.co.uk
Porcelanosa - 01923 815 200 / www.porcelanosa.com