Interiors: Gorgeous Snape apartment with a cool and stylish look

PUBLISHED: 13:29 20 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:10 20 February 2013

Interiors: Gorgeous Snape apartment with a cool and stylish look

Interiors: Gorgeous Snape apartment with a cool and stylish look

A home by the river at Snape Maltings provides a perfect retreat for the owners of this apartment

A home by the river at Snape Maltings provides a perfect retreat for the owners of this apartment

Living near Colchester means that Peter and Helen Lofthouse dont have far to travel to their home-from-home at Snape Maltings. We can be home in under an hour but when we are here it is so peaceful that we could be a million miles away from our busy lives.

Everyday life for Helen, a school bursar, and Peter, working hard on his farm, means that they both have early morning starts. A tranquil retreat offers the opportunity for the couple to get away from their normal routines and ensure they have time to relax and enjoy their free time.

It had been my dream to have a coastal property for several years, and we first came to look at the conversions at Snape when they were being built. I loved the location of the Maltings and the way that the apartments had been so cleverly converted from redundant buildings. The high level of craftsmanship in the conversion was evident throughout and the security of the building means that we could leave it without worrying about it. This, together with the wonderful walks on the doorstep, made us decide it really was for us.

Since they bought the two bedroom property in July 2009, Helen and Peter have been delighted with their purchase. We feel that it is a sound investment. The enclosed courtyard and underground parking make our home very private and secure, and despite all the wonderful amenities on the site, its the peace and quiet we love. The concert hall right next to us can be full with hundreds of people but our experience here is always calm and restful, and its wonderful to have outside space on our roof terrace. The views from our bedroom window are towards the river, and from the main living area into the peaceful secret courtyard. Last Christmas there were reindeer outside our bedroom window!

Now with the addition of their one year old working cocker spaniel Rosie, Helens trips to Snape have taken on a different dimension. I love the walks around Snape, we can literally walk for miles along the estuary towards Iken church is one of my favourites. The wonderful Suffolk skies overhead and the sound of the reeds mean it really is something special.

But its not just whats outside that holds such great appeal. The light and airy open-plan living space was a real draw. Converted from the Grade II Maltings buildings by award-winning architects Haworth Tompkins, the properties are completely unique, and bringing the interior to life gave full rein to Helens creative side.

I enjoyed working with Heather Fortmann, head buyer at Snape Maltings, to select furniture and interiors accessories from the House & Garden store on site which were entirely complementary to the relaxed country feel I was aiming for, says Helen.

The furniture in the apartment mostly came from Snape Maltings House & Garden and a subtle colour theme of green and cream has been used throughout.

My friend Brigitta Fraser at Simply Living in Colchester also helped me greatly in choosing and making soft furnishing such as the headboard in the main bedroom, valences, and blinds in all the rooms. I have also found interesting antiques at Elizabeth Cannon, another of my favourite shops in Crouch Street in Colchester.

With the country-style, cream painted kitchen already in place crafted by cabinet makers Ashford & Brooks as part of the package it really was a case of refining the space to suit the couples needs.

I love to cook, explains Helen, and this a wonderfully sociable space if you are entertaining. After two years of living here I have now commissioned extra cabinetry from Ashford & Brooks in the kitchen area and to create an office space in the terrace room. But that was the joy of buying somewhere with so much history but without any real work to be done; we could move in without any stress and add our own finishing touches.

With so much built-in storage at the property, it has been easy to maintain the simplicity and calm in this home. Mercury glass, flowers and special toiletries add the finishing touches, and Helen is always ready to welcome guests.

It is really lovely to be able to share this special place with friends and family. Although once they have gone, it is equally wonderful to enjoy my own space and the tranquillity I relish so much here!


The second phase of residential properties at Snape Maltings are now on the market and being snapped up fast. Due for completion next summer, 40 per cent have already been reserved. The three bedroom properties start at 499,999 and all have wonderful unspoilt views across the reed beds and river. To find out more about Iken View, please contact Snape Maltings residential sales office on 01728 688303 or go to

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