Owner’s Story


It all started when…

Having lived in London and working in advertising production for last 10 years, I decided I wanted to do something completely different. On an overdue holiday to the South West, my girlfriend and I drove along the picturesque north coast. The idea of finding somewhere I could get away from my intense and stressful life in London started to take form. After rousing from a scone & clotted cream induced coma, I starting researching the local property market.

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Before I can move forward with this story, I need to go back. I spent many a summer ‘working’ on various building sites. My father was a prolific self builder for 30 years having the widest possible range of experience and skills. With him on my side, I knew we had a fighting chance of getting this project completed. Without him this project would not have been possible.

One of our original plans was to demolish a house in a good location and start again. So the idea of buying a period property wasn’t surprisingly top of our list. Thankfully we went to see Lemons cottage, after getting lost. It was one of 9 properties we saw that day and something clicked. My father and I looked at each, not wanting to appear too eager in front of the owner. We both immediately started to mentally visualise how we’d improve and renovate. I grew up in a period house in the East Midlands, so I have fond affection and respect for the historical and an understanding of the down sides.


One of my early terrible ideas was to remove the wood panelling adjoining the now Cinema Room and the lounge. In my defence, I wanted to open out the space and create a large lounge for all to enjoy. It later turned out to be a highly regarded feature of historical importance. The wood most likely came from a sailing ship, which is why it has markings cut into each panel to show how it can be reassembled. More on Lemon’s cottage history can be found HERE.

It’s now August 2017, the mortgage has been secured and the agreement ink has dried. The deal is done. I’d purchased a Grade II Listed cottage in Devon. Better get on with it. We soon decided that alot of the work required was mainly cosmetic. The rooms were well sized, everything worked, but everywhere I looked I saw a sea of brown painted wood. There wasn’t a natural unpainted beam or post anywhere.

Fast forward to July 2018, the cast iron bath has been dragged up the stairs, the kitchen had been replaced and countless other jobs have been completed. We were proud and relieved to welcome our first guests. We really hope you love it as much as we do.

Rowland x