Mid-century by the sea – this vacation home reveals a contemporary take on British coastal style

Sepia-toned fabrics, darkened steel, and swathes of rich wood have given this mid-century home a timeless elegance that belies its age

three images of interior collaged
(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

Ensuring the house design was at one with its surroundings was the mandate behind this serene holiday home in an idyllic location overlooking the sea on the Devon coast. ‘There are sand tones, blues, and greens – we wanted the outdoors to be reflected inside, so we used a natural palette,’ says Pernille Lind of Pernille Lind Studio, who is behind this house design.

For the clients, a couple with three children, this retreat was to be the antithesis of their main home in north London, exhibiting a soothing muted palette and relaxed natural materials in contrast to the colorful and sophisticated interior of their city base. The attraction of this house was undeniably the location. 

seating corner with wooden walls and armchair and ottoman and rug and floor lamp

Moreau chair, Pinch; covered in De la Tour in Plum/Brown on Ecru, Paolo Moschino. Footstool and rug, Rowen & Wren.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

The property was redesigned by a local architect to incorporate a front extension facing toward the sea with expansive glazing that allows the inhabitants to soak up the views. An extension was also built at the back, the loft space was reconfigured and a new coach house annex was added. 

With six bedrooms, the house now has ample space for the family and guests. ‘The intention was that they could invite friends and that the house would be a social hub for them when they’re not in London,’ says Pernille. 

modern kitchen with wood and white stone

Bespoke cabinetry by Pernille Lind Studio; made by End Grain with metal panel inserts by Novocastrian. Bath Stone pendant lights, Anton & K. Oak flooring, Solid Floor. Carter wall lights, Felix Lighting Specialists.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

Pernille’s brief was to ensure that the interior was reflective of a holiday home. She comments, ‘The client loves color, texture, and traditional detailing, but understood that it wouldn’t really be appropriate for this home. However, she didn’t want it to be stark and minimal.'

Pernille continues, 'The house has no cornicing and doesn’t have high ceilings so we had to add character in a subtle way that doesn’t compete with the nature around it.’ Earthy tones provide a serene backdrop with walls painted in an ultra matt paint that imbues a smooth clay-like finish. 

living corner

Green Wave artwork by Joe Gamble, Wondering People. Cabinet, Arcadia Antiques. Lamp, Vaughan. Curtains in olive linen, Danesbridge. Sirocco armchair, Norell. Rug, Peter Page. Fire surround, Jamb.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

Natural flooring introduces texture with wooden boards bringing warmth to the main rooms, while limestone flooring was chosen for the transitional spaces and bathrooms. A chequerboard floor in the hallway marries with the traditional design details in the clients’ main home in London – ‘it’s a nod to something that’s more classic as an element’. 

dining room with wooden floros and wooden table

Ivor dining table, Andrew Dominic Furniture. CH26 and CH23 Carl Hansen dining chairs, Dodds & Shute. Otoro pendant light, Nkuku.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

A cohesive thread runs through the interior. ‘As much as we wanted to provide a different experience in each room, it’s important to tie in the elements so you have a harmonious scheme and feel like you’re in one house,’ says Pernille. Exquisite detailing is replicated in key areas. 

The snug, the perfect cocktail hour space, features sepia-toned floral armchairs and a fluted timber wall framed by bar cabinets with ribbed glazing. Fluted timber is reiterated on bathroom washstands, while a floral pattern, echoing the one in the snug, takes center stage in the main bedroom. 

modern bathroom with bath and green tiles

Bath, Clearwater. Paola pendant, Hector Finch. Blinds, Tillys. Swedish green marble floor tiles, Östersjösten.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

An eye-catching blend of materials is showcased in the kitchen. ‘Because of the contemporary feel of the house, we wanted a timeless kitchen with a nod to the fact it is more modern. Stained-wood Shaker units are inset with darkened stainless-steel metal panels. 

We infused together the soft and the hard, and the classic and the more modern. It also provides a contrast because, on the other side, you’ve got grand windows with a sea view, grounding the interior,’ says Pernille. 

bedroom in modern house

Bed by Pernille Lind Studio; made by Violet & George; covered in Pomona in Tobacco, Lisa Fine Textiles. York pendant, Felix Lighting Specialists. Rug, Soho Home. Ivor console, Andrew Dominic Furniture.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

The furniture is a mix of bespoke pieces, vintage decor, and designer items, such as the Carl Hansen dining chairs. ‘They are timeless and this is very much the essence of this house. Not too traditional, not too modern, but having the right balance between adding character but not becoming the main feature and competing with the surroundings.’

bedroom with patterned wallpaper

Gustavian sleigh bed, Scumble Goosie; painted in Sage Green, Little Greene. Poppy wallpaper, Morris & Co at Sanderson Design Group. Wall lights, Holloways of Ludlow.

(Image credit: JOACHIM WICHMANN)

Meet the designer

Pernille Lind shares her style inspiration...

Which part of the project do you consider the greatest success?

Achieving a result that is aligned with our clients’ needs and vision.

What element was your biggest indulgence?

Working with talented craftspeople and manufacturers for our bespoke joinery and furniture pieces.

Can you tell us a small change that has a massive impact?

Adding curtains.

What's your go-to color?

For such a bright and sunlit location, we specified a lot of off-whites, such as Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin, Clunch and Pointing.

Tell us a website we should get to know.


Finish the sentence, I know I'm a creative because...

I look for solutions and I’m curious to explore new ideas.

What helps you feel inspired?

Working with people who are equally excited about design and are willing to push boundaries.

How should home make you feel?


Vivienne Ayers
Houses Editor

Interiors have always been Vivienne's passion – from bold and bright to Scandi white. After studying at Leeds University, she worked at the Financial Times, before moving to Radio Times. She did an interior design course and then worked for Homes & Gardens, Country Living and House Beautiful. Vivienne’s always enjoyed reader homes and loves to spot a house she knows is perfect for a magazine (she has even knocked on the doors of houses with curb appeal!), so she became a houses editor, commissioning reader homes, writing features and styling and art directing photo shoots. She worked on Country Homes & Interiors for 15 years, before returning to Homes & Gardens as houses editor four years ago.