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27 Best Front Rooms Whitstable Ideas

Whitstable Tea Rooms High Resolution Stock Photography And Images
Whitstable Tea Rooms High Resolution Stock Photography And Images

You see essentially the most exceptional skies right here – like a miracle of heaven and earth collectively,” says artist Rachael Dickens of the view from her newly constructed dwelling, between Herne Bay and Reculver on the Kent coast. A eager outside swimmer whose work is usually impressed by water, Rachael was first drawn to this web site by its setting. “I stroll on the seaside and swim within the sea practically every single day,” she says, “and the imaginative and prescient for the home was very a lot about with the ability to see the ocean.” The result’s an arresting modern dwelling whose jet-black weatherboarding and corrugated roof echo the tarred fishermen’s huts and internet lofts usually present in close by Whitstable.

Rachael got here throughout the plot accidentally throughout a day journey to Whitstable together with her sister in 2014. On the time, she was house-hunting with out success in south London, after promoting her dwelling in Sydenham with a view to transferring nearer to Brockwell lido. (Rachael has been chilly water swimming since 2006 and helped to reform the lido’s unique 1930s swimming membership: The Brockwell Icicles.) Whereas strolling alongside the east Kent shoreline, looping again from Reculver, the sisters stumbled throughout a small 1930s bungalow on the market proper by the shore, however it was in want of modernisation.

Outdated meets new: the kitchen cabinets from the unique bungalow had been retained and repainted. {Photograph}: Bruce Hemming/The Observer

“It wasn’t a pleasant home, however it had essentially the most implausible views and fairly an enormous backyard, so I knew I might construct a studio on the again,” Rachael recollects. “And since I had carried out some constructing work earlier than, I might think about the way it might be refurbished.” She rapidly made a suggestion and moved in that October.

As her unique intention had been to rework the home, Rachael commissioned a neighborhood architect, Michael Shoobridge, to attract up plans for a recent inside structure. Nevertheless, when builders started work in 2015, it grew to become clear that the bungalow’s timber body was perilously rotten and it must be knocked down. “I used to be a bit terrified – however excited as effectively – once I came upon concerning the demolition,” says Rachael, who has two grown-up kids nonetheless dwelling in London, and shares her dwelling with a Staffordshire terrier cross named Zoot. “It did make it much more costly.” A buy-to-let flat she had simply bought in Westgate-on-Sea needed to be offered to pay for the undertaking. In the meantime, Michael Shoobridge revised his plans to create a brand new timber-framed constructing, designed round Rachael’s twin passions for the outside and artwork.

Having already arrange a studio within the backyard (constructed by Homestead Backyard Rooms, full with bathe), Rachael made this her dwelling for a yr as she project-managed the development. “My aunt, uncle and cousin had been all architects; my dad constructed concrete and metal buildings as a civil engineer and my grandfather was the son within the constructing agency Bailey, Dickens & Son, so I’ve a lineage of concepts about type, construction and supplies,” she explains. “It was enjoyable – and I had each religion within the builders.” The completed two-bedroom home, constructed by Chris Dew at San Ris, is ideally suited to her lifestyle. The bottom flooring has floor-to-ceiling home windows to the entrance and rear, in order that from her backyard workspace she will be able to look straight by means of the home and out to the ocean.

Rooms with a view: the bottom flooring has floor-to-ceiling home windows to the entrance and rear. {Photograph}: Bruce Hemming/The Observer

The vaulted, open-plan lounge and kitchen is painted white and has a pale plywood flooring, taking advantage of the pure gentle. To maintain inside funds, the kitchen cabinets from the unique bungalow had been retained and repainted, then teamed with a reclaimed timber worktop from a faculty science lab. Rachael’s collections of classic finds and modern artwork, displayed on midcentury Ladderax and G-Plan items or floating cabinets, lend vibrant color to the ornamental scheme. A few of her personal work seem right here, and all through the home, alongside works by south London artists Liz Chisholm and Christopher Noulton, plus cushions by weaver Margo Selby, whose studio is in Whitstable. A restored pinball machine, from RG Scott’s antiques emporium in Margate, provides a jaunty contact.

The theme of seaside nostalgia continues into the comfortable, – a second sitting room, tucked away on the bottom flooring – the place kitsch curios, reminiscent of vintage shell artwork, nautical embroideries and 1960s ceramics, are displayed towards a heat backdrop of unpainted plaster. Rachael’s wit and creativity are additional in proof within the downstairs rest room, impressed by the home of architect César Manrique on Lanzarote, which opens out on to the backyard. Rachael sourced some potato crates from Quex Park in Birchington and, in change for a donation, broke them up to make use of as cladding for the tub and WC. “All that white porcelain is admittedly boring,” she smiles. A lid constituted of a salvaged door conceals the tub when not in use.

The primary-floor bed room provides a way of being afloat on an ocean liner, with its beneficiant glass-sided balcony, beside which stands a stack of time-worn leather-based suitcases. From the mattress, the marine outlook extends throughout the entrance backyard, which is full of hardy, salt-resistant vegetation, interwoven with objects discovered on the seaside, reminiscent of a totemic driftwood pillar, which Rachael thinks was as soon as a part of Herne Bay pier.

‘I discover scraps of fabric on the seaside and marvel how far they’ve travelled’: Rachael Dickens in her studio. {Photograph}: Bruce Hemming/The Observer

At the moment, her art work is prompted by the shocking issues she discovers washed ashore. “I discover scraps of fabric, which had been clearly as soon as clothes, and it makes me marvel whose garments they had been and the way far they’ve travelled by means of the tumbling oceans to land on my seaside.” These fragments are then included into stitched-cloth items, evoking human vulnerability, which have featured in exhibitions throughout Kent. Along with a current sequence of ceramics exploring the experiences of displaced households, she makes silver boat and bronze anchor pendants in assist of Kent Refugee Motion Community.

Following her transfer, Rachael rapidly grew to become concerned within the Whitstable arts scene and opens her doorways each autumn for East Kent Open Homes to welcome admirers of each her work and distinctive dwelling. Amongst her future plans for the property is an extension throughout the again, to create a 3rd bed room and yoga studio. A educated yoga trainer in each Sivananda and Kundalini, Rachael spends time in India, persevering with her apply.

The artist considers her common sea swims, accompanied by Zoot, additionally to be a meditation. “Shifting right here has been the very best factor ever,” she confirms. “Simply getting out into the open so calms the spirit. Swimming each day is a implausible ritual. This can be a very particular place.”

East Kent Open Homes takes place on 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25 October ( To see extra of Dickens’s work, go to