Seaside attraction

PUBLISHED: 01:16 30 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:40 20 February 2013

Seaside attraction

Seaside attraction

Claire Holmes heads to Southwold to find out more about the stunning transformation of a seaside holiday home

Claire Holmes heads to Southwold to find out more about the stunning transformation of a seaside holiday home

Once a typical red-brick bungalow with no extraordinary features, Burchley House is now an impressive three-storey timber-clad holiday home.

Richard Godfrey, who bought the property with his wife Amanda a few years ago, realised the potential in the property as soon as he saw it.

"Id been looking for a property in Southwold and although this wasnt the prettiest of bungalows I thought it sat nicely in its plot and I saw there was an opportunity there," Richard explains.

"I rented it successfully as a bungalow holiday home for about three years but we had various ideas to do something with it."

And so, at the end of last year he set about making his own mark on his house.

Richard is no stranger to renovating properties. He and Amanda live in Beccles and run Tywfords caf. Both their house and the caf were renovation projects
and Richard says he has enjoyed the challenge of these ventures.

The bungalow was built in the 1960s and the property sits in about half an acre of land something which is quite rare to find so close to Southwolds town.

"When a house is under 100 years old, people dont think theyre worth renovating but I think there are lots of opportunities for houses from the 60s, 70s and 80s," Richard says.

He kept the bungalows footprint the same but built two extra floors and clad the entire property in timber, giving it a colonial New England feel.

Richard has kept the propertys name too simply adding house to the end. In fact, he even found the old wrought iron sign and had the extra word made to accompany it.

Inside, the property has been designed and decorated with a beachside theme, as well as a homely feel.

"It makes me smile whenever I come inside," Richard enthuses, and its

Originally Richard expected to run the property as a luxury B&B and there are features which mean he could do so in the future.

All the bedrooms have bathrooms, for example, and the space on the top floor space could be used as accommodation for Amanda and Richard.

For the time being though, lucky holiday-makers can rent out the entire property for their own use.

Inside, a hallway leads on to a large open plan kitchen, dining room and living area. This area benefits from plenty of natural light, which pours in from sliding doors at the rear.

In the living space, a tongue and groove effect works alongside seashell patterned wallpaper to create a welcoming seaside-themed haven.

"Whats unusual in this property is that we put a lot of thought into the lighting," Richard says.

LED lights have been used throughout the home to subtly brighten the rooms.

"Sometimes you can have lights on in the day and it can feel awful, but it doesnt feel like this with the LED lights you dont really notice theyre on."

In the hallway there is a particularly impressive mirror, which combined with cleverly placed LED lighting creates a lovely feature, noticeable as soon as you walk in. Also on the ground there is a bathroom, bedroom and living room.

On the second floor there are a further four bedrooms. Each of the bedrooms has its own name downstairs there is Beach Hut and upstairs there is Ferry, Lighthouse, Harbour and Pier.

The rooms are all themed and feature carefully chosen wallpaper, matching lampshades and cushions.

Each bathroom also features pictures of Southwold from a local photographer, which relate to the rooms name.

In the smallest of the rooms Beach Hut space has been utilised as cleverly as possible, and the ensuite is hidden away behind what looks like a sliding wardrobe door.

Pier, the largest of these rooms, features beautiful Ralph Lauren striped wallpaper, a super kingsized bed and a large ensuite bathroom, complete with a roll top bath and mirrored wall.

From the first floor landing, there are stairs to a family suite upstairs, comprising a room with twin beds, mini kitchen area, super king sized bedroom and ensuite.

When building the house, heating and insulation were a priority for Richard.

The house is fully insulated and has underfloor heating on the ground floor.

Outside, the lawns are drought tolerant and Richard has had the entire perimeter of the plot fitted with beautiful woven willow fencing from Brampton Willow.

The front of the lawn also features a circular willow folly complete with table and chairs.

"Its a great, locally-sourced product," Richard says. "Its completely natural and gives a natural finish. I like it because of the flexibility and also the shapes you can achieve, which you cant really do with anything else to the same effect."

(To read more about Bramptom Willow, see pages 96 and 97).

All in all, Richard is more than pleased with the result. "Its beautiful," he says. "Whats nice is when you get feedback and comments. When people stop and look, you know youve done the job."

obvious that hes very proud of his achievement.

To book Burchley House as a holiday home, visit and search for Burchley House.

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