Type: Full house renovation

Location: Mawnan Smith, Cornwall

Status: Complete

Collaboration: A&R Builders

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opening up


When Chris and Eleanor purchased a new property in Mawnan Smith it quickly became apparent that they needed to fix an awkward layout to make their new home whole. They heard about Marraum from a friend who had previously been a client of ours and gave us a call to help them make things work.

We love a challenge and were more than happy to help.


Chris and Eleanor’s property had previously been a two-bedroom house and separate annexe. These had been gauchely joined together, creating some serious layout problems. Two entrances and two stairways remained as hangovers from the previously separate spaces, with each bedroom only accessible from its own staircase and with no link upstairs. The awkward layout of the living room meant the TV was forced into a tight spot under the stairs. The laundry and utility room wasn’t accessible without walking through another living space. In short, nothing made sense.

The brief was to redesign the house, improving the flow to make it work as a modern home.  


We presented three designs, two based on retaining one of each of the original staircases and a third necessitating the creation of a new central staircase in the property.

As soon as Chris and Eleanor saw the one with the new staircase they knew it was the only option for them, even though it would involve more building work. 


The new design has created a new hallway and upstairs walkway with light flowing in from all angles, giving the illusion of more space. The rest of the house then flows from that central point. The awkward and cramped living space and kitchen have been opened up, one bedroom has been relocated downstairs and previously difficult to access spaces like the laundry room have been relocated.

The result is a home that’s light, bright and full of interesting features, that packs a bunch of space for a small footprint, and that Chris and Eleanor are now justifiably proud of.  

''I can’t think of anything we would change with the design. We’re very pleased with the end result!'' - Chris