A Unique Project in the Lake District by Charlotte Findlater

home renovation lake district wine cellar

Charlotte Findlater takes us behind the unique touches she implemented in this renovation project in the Lake District

This was a two-year project in the Lake District, where we worked to specifics briefs room to room. Here’s a snapshot of our design thought process.

The Wine Cellar

home renovation lake district wine cellar

Our clients are passionate about wine and required a dedicated space for their collection. Identifying what was once a pantry in the large basement of this historic home, blessed with a consistent cool temperature throughout the year, we used locally sourced Oak with gorgeous natural edge detailing to create a stunning wine cellar which can also be viewed from the dining room above. A large piece of architectural glass was inserted into the original wooden floor allowing our clients to enjoy their champagne collection from a different angle.

The Bar

home renovation lake district bar

Being lovers of sport and entertaining, we were asked to create a bar and space in which our clients could watch matches with capacity for up to 12 people. The brief here was to give the space a real feel of a pub with seating at the bar, a space that was not too precious and connected to the garden for those late summer evenings to continue when the evening temperature drops but the party’s still going strong.

The Kitchen and Diner

home renovation lake district kitchen diner

Whilst the kitchen space existed, our clients who had recently purchased the property were not happy with the way the space functioned and required both additional appliances and storage. The kitchen was hand repainted, cabinetry changed to house extra ovens, Quooker boiling water tap incorporated into the island unit and a custom foxed mirror was commissioned and installed behind the existing Aga. This mirror allowed our client to be more interactive within the space whilst cooking, clearly being able to see friends and family sat up at the large island bar behind them.

home renovation lake district dining room

Our client wished to have a bespoke dining table made for the space, something completely unique to them. Taking our cue from the Walnut island unit we proposed a large river resin table. This table would evoke the Lake District landscape in which this fabulous and historic property sits. We wanted to capture the movement of water, rivers, and woodland that the area is famous for.

Being passionate musicians, it was important this being the social hub of the house that the sound system runs through the building. This space was given special consideration as to how we would incorporate speakers with our clients request that they did not become a feature in themselves. We opted for four plastered in speakers that are invisible whilst outputting the most incredible audio.

The Snug

home renovation lake district snug

Leading off the kitchen we created a snug, a space in which family members could retreat to read the daily papers or relax watching the TV, but still feel connected to the kitchen and the daily life that revolves around this space. The snug was to have continuity from the kitchen, incorporate our clients’ love of pink and African animals and yet reflect its Lake District location. We love challenges!

We used locally sourced and produced Herdwick Fabric for the blinds, the carpet is also made from the wool of Herdwick sheep and again produced locally, we ran this carpet through all the bedrooms and principle lounge. The fireplace adds a real homely feel to the space and is always a welcome home after long winter Lakeland walks.

The Study

home renovation lake district study

We chose to go dark on the bespoke in-house custom-made cabinetry, including in the design a pull-out map drawer which our clients love. The light is a real focus, echoing the distinct colours represented in the cat, the main feature in the gorgeous wallpaper. The colours within the paper connect to the mountainous landscape beyond, thus creating a dialogue between inside and out.

The Dining Room

home renovation lake district kitchen

The dining room had some wonderful architectural details that we wanted to highlight including the original fireplace that we restored and the mirror above that we carefully repaired. Our clients wanted to keep some of their own heirloom furniture, so we incorporated these into our design as well as commissioning a stunning hand-blown central pendant and glass wall lights which evoke a plate and bowl. We sourced a collection of antique Royal Copenhagen fine bone China plates representing various freshwater fish that can all be found within the rivers and streams that abound the area. Every detail was meticulously planned and sourced for this space right down to the dinner service, even the napkins!

The Lounge

home renovation lake district bar 1

The lounge had to accommodate up to ten people and would be used often for entertaining. A glamorous rich but eclectic look was the brief harmonising with the rest of the home. The seating in the lounge is meant for conversation, this room is a perfect example of what good art does for a space.

Master Bedroom

home renovation lake district master bedroom

The brief was to create a master bedroom suite that would be glamorous with significant amounts of pink and gold to feature but not dominate. The client loves the colour pink, but was unsure how this colour could be incorporated into the bedroom without making it overtly feminine – we did need to take account of her husband!

This room had previously been used as a master bedroom and leading off was a huge en-suite that felt very cold. Our challenge was to divide this space up to provide our clients with a dressing room whilst still retaining a two metre shower, luxurious bath and his and hers sink unit.

home renovation lake district master bedroom 1

Our starting point was the layout of the space, by moving the bed onto the back wall we were able to incorporate a bespoke Emperor bed, something our clients had always coveted. Blocking up the original doorway into the en-suite allowed us to utilise the depth of the doorway and commission bespoke joinery incorporating deep drawers and a space dedicated to the hanging of shirts. We created a new opening into what would become the dressing room and divided the original en-suite into two sections, the larger lighter space facing out to the beautiful gardens with a stunning feature bay window that we used as the focus for the luxurious Mother of Pearl bath.

home renovation lake district master ensuite

Our clients required more space to house their clothes, so our solution was to convert the loft space to create optimum storage, commissioning a bespoke automated staircase that operated by the simple push of a button, seamlessly descending from the ceiling in the dressing room. Very James Bond!

The thread we used thought the home was the consistent use of the colour green. Our client’s favourite tree is Willow so we selected a stunning wallpaper for the walls in the bedroom and continued this into the dressing room. A blush pink chaise lounge was incorporated into the large bay window so our client could relax and recline, observing the beautiful Lakeland backdrop. The curtains continued this subtle pink shade, which was echoed in the stunning silk rug and used for the colour on the bespoke commissioned dressing room cabinetry, designed by us. Opulent lighting added the sense of glamour along with the Art Deco inspired bedside tables. At the push of a button a TV appears from the chest at the end of the bed, bespoke commission from our in-house carpentry team, then silently disappears back into its housing in order not to dominate the space.


home renovation lake district bedroom

Each of the four guest bedrooms was to be given its own identity with the use of strong color palettes to reflect the client’s love of travel and animals and adding elements of fun where possible.

One of these rooms had a small space on the other side of the wall, previously used for storage. We saw this space as an opportunity to create an en-suite, revealing an original fireplace covered many years ago, now highlighted as a stunning feature. In forming the new access into the en-suite, we had to knock through an old flu from a hidden fireplace in the room below. Instead of covering this up, we decided to make a feature of it, lit it with LED, adding a climbing man sculpture as a pop of fun!

Attic Bedroom

home renovation lake district attic

The attic bedroom was previously used as servant accommodation in its Victorian heyday. Taking off layers of plaster revealed the old wooden purlins, which we sanded to reveal their inherent beauty. The house is large and spread over four floors, we wanted to evoke the sense of being in the clouds, a feeling of being high up in an immersive yet deeply relaxing space. The wallpaper we chose is stunning and represents clouds, staying true to our clients’ wish to represent animals or birds in all rooms. This paper had the playful element of monkeys, which we took a step further and incorporated two hanging monkey lights. The area was large enough to add a sitting area at one end and utilizing the sloping ceilings we created lots of storage cupboards. A custom four-poster bed sets the room off, adding to the sense of drama. A small shower room was installed, tiled with large format ceramic Verdigris tiles, and we incorporated a stone pebble sink that connects to the rugged Lakeland landscape outside.

Find out about other unique projects by Charlotte Findlater at charlottefindlater.co.uk.

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