How a crumbling cottage was transformed with a bright red extension and bespoke vintage finds

A bright orange extension on a cottage surrounded by plants
(Image credit: Logan Irvine-MacDougall)

On a grey day of pouring rain James and Minnie Vosper came to view an 1840s cottage on the north Cornish coast. Little did they know that it would be the start of a 3-year house extension and renovation project that would culminate in the home of their dreams. 

“The ceilings were so low James couldn’t even stand up,” says Minnie. “The estate agent took one look at him – he’s 6ft 4in – and discounted us as potential buyers.”  But while James was muttering about it being a potential money pit, Minnie was overwhelmed by the magical spell cast by the cottage. “It had clearly been a much-loved family home, but it was very tired and needed modernising,” she says. “There were three small bedrooms and two reception rooms plus an 1980s lean-to at the back — the downstairs bathroom and kitchen. There was also a conservatory.”

With contributions from