The completion of a 12 year restoration at Boconnoc House, Cornwall

The completion of a 12 year restoration at Boconnoc House, Cornwall Sarah Fortescue

The final revival of Boconnoc House

I began work on completing the first floor bedrooms and bathrooms of Boconnoc House in September 2011. An undertaking I thought that would only take a few months, as an individual new to the field of interior design. Four months on, I now imagine that my father had envisaged only a number of years to bring Boconnoc House from the dilapidated ruin it was in 2002 to the house that stands today. The house is very much a monument to my fathers' dedication and focus of over a decade, to resurrecting and continuing what was begun when it was bought by an ancestor, Thomas Pitt in c1726 with the Pitt diamond. The stone walls and cornices radiate the workmanship put in and once again with the busy schedule of events the house has a heartbeat and certainly a twinkle that I feel every morning, when I drive up the drive towards its glistening facade. Boconnoc house is nearing the end of the undulating road that has been its resurrection over the past decade and is close to completion once the bedrooms are decorated.

The rooms themselves at Boconnoc have their own tales and embedded footsteps of those passed is captured in the slightly unparalleled floor boards that a marble would adore, the off centre door frames in the corridors, the window frames that are a little wonk in the bedrooms and the slanting steps throughout the first floor and the attic. The house has quite clearly had a dance and it’s not afraid to shake it. Over years movement has occurred and the resulting structure is a fascinating spectacle to be admired and to scope out the inaccuracies which add to its entirety as a really encapsulating structure. Everyone likes something unique and having got to know this house very well over the years, it is an endless excitement to enter, explore and discover. However not the most straight forward task to decorate!

Where the inspiration came and where the passion found for carrying out the interior design of the house.

Boconnoc has a magic felt by all who visit, whatever the season. If you view the colours in nature you will see where every colour in our palate comes from. Looking over the naturalist landscape of the park at Boconnoc through out the year, one is continuously in ore of the surroundings. The pink sunrises in the winter and sun that makes the frosty grasses standing to attention, glisten. The 500 year old oak trees in the park, in position like wise old men having seen a lifetime of those who have come and gone from Boconnoc, as they remain, stark and tall coated in a light frosting from the cold night before. In the spring the colours erupt in response to the warming sun and the park is abundant with the most beautiful of flowers. In the summer the trees dance as if reaching as far up and out as they can, green and full with the long light days. Boconnoc in autumn is breath taking too. The palate of rich reds and yellow leaves scattered along the tracks and hedgerows and the rich brown bark of the vast trees reaching up out of the valleys is the greatest spectacle.

The richest of colours detected all year round from the house looking over the park was one that I wanted to draw into that of the rooms. Looking to the out doors your attention is drawn to the vertical, horizontal and linear formations, the irregularity of nature and the abundance of colours certainly inspired me to create something of a unique interior and to create something strong with great depth. Strong use of colours that enrich each other can also appear satisfactorily neutral within an interior.

I have always loved colour and for me the greatest excitement is to walk into a room and feel enthused by the energy it throws out at you as with what you sense when walking in the park at Boconnoc. Doing up the house was gave me the chance to go for it and with this in mind I pulled together ideas of really quirky and different looking things to get my eye onto what I was eventually going to go for. I studied interior design books, looked through interior magazines and then rediscovered Chelsea harbour, which I have visited numerous times whilst designing the house. I wanted to keep things traditional but freshen the feel up a little. Like a little lemon juice to a 1980's mousse recipe to zest and spice it up a jot. Boconnoc house is exciting therefore the rooms have got to add even more.

On completion in 2011 the House, due to my fathers dedication to its restoration, Boconnoc House was awarded the Historic Houses Association / Sotheby’s Restoration Award and the Georgian Group Architectural Award for the Restoration of a Country Mansion in 2012. A great accolade after the years of work and love that went into it.

Each season at Boconnoc brings about more ravishing beauty and truly it is spectacular. Stay for a week end, or take the house for the summer as Boconnoc, with its beautiful cottages that surround it can sleep 40 guests. It is a world away from the busy day to day, a peaceful treat and somewhere to gain total restorative peace. The air there is extremely soporific so you have the deepest and greatest sleep imaginable.

Visit the website on and see its beauty unfold before your eyes. For direct appointments please call the office on 01208 872 507.

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The Print Bathroom

The interiors at Boconnoc shed light on the houses history but with a subtle contemporary freshness that gives that house its energy.