Fixed Flat Rooflights Let The Outdoors In At The Beautiful Linhay

Restoring the crumbling ruins of the Linhay was Nick and Caroline Welch’s main priority when they undertook significant renovations of the fragmented, unloved shell – which sits hidden within the picturesque 30-acre site of Butterhills, North of Devon.

Having been passed down through generations, Butterhills is now owned by Nick and Caroline who live there with their two teenage children, after making the beautiful valley, meadows and woods their home in 1989.

The couple desperately wanted to prevent any further deterioration to the Linhay and give the building a meaningful purpose to reach its full potential.

Prior to the restoration, the initial plan was to convert the building into an open camping barn for friends and family to enjoy leisurely. But following unexpected redundancy, Nick and Caroline decided to use the building to provide a source of sustainable income as a holiday let and focused on transforming the space into a stunning, environmentally friendly cottage.

Sourcing materials from the surrounding environment and using local tradespeople was important to Nick and Caroline. With that in mind, oak trees from Butterhills wood were felled and milled to provide the roof timbers and floor.

A contrasting modern extension was added to the side of the building to create an impressive shower room. Nick, a building services engineer by trade, had the skillset to introduce a sustainable water supply, plumbing and solar electrics – which was vital as the site is off-grid.

Speaking of the restoration, Caroline, who took responsibility for the interior design, said: “Nestled in the ancient oaks wood overlooking the water meadow, the Linhay is in an idyllic location, which is why we wanted to bring a sense of the outdoors in when designing the interior.”

Caroline used a mixture of materials, such as slate worktops and oak flooring, to reflect the natural surroundings, she also created a plywood wall feature in the living area to bring the outdoors in. Instead of artwork, large mirrors line the walls to create a sense of depth and add light.

Letting in natural light to the Linhay was important, explains Caroline: “It was so important to gain as much light as possible in the shower room, which led me to choosing the stylish fixed flat rooflight by Roof Maker for its clean sleek design, which mostly consists of glazing and minimal frame.

“The rooflight is a fantastic feature and all of our guests at the Linhay have loved it – you can be in the bathroom and you simply need to look up through the branches of the oak trees and watch the buzzards swooping overhead.

“It also offers a lovely view of the Linhay’s gable end with ancient stonework and cedar soffits and fascias – a great contrast with the clean lines of the rooflight and shower room. When first installed the rooflight brought so much light into the space that we kept thinking the builders had left the site lights on!”

The Linhay, which was lovingly brought back to life within seven months using a budget of £50,000, opened as a holiday let in August 2018 and is testament to what can be accomplished when choosing restoration over demolition.

Following the restoration success, Nick and Caroline have exciting plans for more Butterhills-based projects in the future.

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