Interior Design: The Lakehouse Part II

Log House Holiday’s James Edmondson gives us the insight track on his stunning self-build in the heart of the Cotswolds

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In August 2019, James Edmondson and his fiancée Sophie began building their forever home on the 130-acre lake-land nature reserve where he helps run the family eco log cabin holiday business. We’ve already enjoyed a sneak peek of the couple’s beautiful kitchen, now James reveals the backstory to his self-build adventures in one of the UK’s most idyllic settings.

Can you tell us about the property and what inspired the architectural style?
Our aim was to create a building that sits quietly in its setting and blends into its natural surroundings. It’s an oak frame building made by Border Oak, and we love how a lot of the woodwork is still done by hand, so you get that handmade feeling and rustic character throughout. The visual concept was based on a two-barn structure with linking walkways. The main living space is open-plan, which is amazing now we have our five-month-old daughter, Aubrey, and the second barn works as a guest wing so visiting friends and family can have their own space when they come to stay.
How long did the build take and what was your biggest challenge?
We broke ground in August 2019 and moved into our new home in October 2020, so the process was reasonably quick, especially given the Covid situation. We were able to be really hands on because the holiday business was essentially shut down, which was kind of a blessing, albeit very stressful at the time. We were very lucky not to suffer any of the materials shortages that hit a lot of self-builders hard. It helped that we chose dry-lining plasterboard rather than wet plaster, which was like gold dust during lockdown. The biggest challenge was drying all the interior timber cladding which was nowhere near as dry as it should have been when delivered. We ended up lugging it from room-to-room as we worked through the spaces. Exhausting!

How did you come across Corston Architectural Detail?
They were recommended by Hush, our kitchen-makers. They’re not the cheapest but nor are they over-priced and the quality is excellent. As it’s our forever home, we really wanted to invest in products that would last, which is also a key part of our personal and professional ethos. We’d rather wait and save up for the right quality than buy cheap and have to replace a couple of years later. We started with kitchen handles, then ended up choosing Corston throughout, including hinges, hooks and door handles.
Which of Corston’s finishes did you choose and why?
We fell hard for the Antique Brass, which works really well with all the natural oak and painted timber, as well as the muted, natural colour palette we’ve used throughout. We also love that there’s hand-finishing involved so you get that artisanal attention to detail and uniqueness that you just don’t get from machine-finishing.

Do you have a favourite Corston design?
A big part of Corston’s appeal is the consistent finish across products, so we got to choose a whole array of different designs and fittings, which really helped us achieve a cohesive feeling throughout the two barns. It’s hard to pick a favourite but the Harper T-bar furniture handle is different to anything we’ve seen before and has elevated everything we have attached it to! We also love the 8 Gang Dimmer switches in the entrance hall, which is like a piece of art on the wall.
How important were environmental considerations during this project?
My father developed the site from an old gravel pit in 1980, and it’s now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for nature, which we work hard to preserve and protect. As our home sits in the heart of the nature reserve, in the middle of the lakes that our guests enjoy on their holidays, it was really important that we chose materials and fittings from UK suppliers that share our environmental ethos. There’s Cotswold stone quarried less than a mile away, roof tiles from Kent and the glazing was made in the UK by Origin Global. And, of course, our hardware and fittings are sourced from nearby Corston, and are built to last.