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At Home With

Richard
Found

Photography by Unique Home Stays.
Architecture and Interiors by Found Associates.

Architect Richard Found on his Cotswolds home
and
how it forms the perfect sanctuary away from
the frantic
pace of London.

At Home with Richard Found - the guest bedroom

The guest bedroom, with seamless views of the adjacent countryside. Featuring bed by MDF Italia, rug by Paola Lenti and bedside lamp by Artemidé.

A feat of engineering and a steadfast determination turned this Grade II-listed, 18th-century gamekeeper’s cottage into a contemporary and tranquil haven nestled in the heart of the English countryside. Reminiscent of an Ibizan villa rather than a historical home in rural Cotswolds, the property is as breathtaking as it is secluded, blending seamlessly into the surrounding area. For Richard Found, it is a sanctuary away from the frantic pace of London, a place of creativity and solace, immersed in nature.

Lucy Siddall: Tell me the story of your Cotswolds home.

Richard Found: When we started looking for a home outside London, my wife subscribed to a Cotwolds local magazine, where I saw an advert for the plot of what is now our house. The accompanying photograph showed a long field falling away from the cottage, surrounded by trees, and I was enthralled. I made an appointment immediately and fell in love with the plot as soon as I saw it. The isolation and the privacy are quite intimate. The landscape around the house is incredible; the land undulates, rising and falling. It’s incredibly lush. And the lake at the foot of the garden fulfilled my requirements of being near water. I made an offer then and there and paid the deposit the next day. But it was a big job, not for the faint-hearted - I don’t think the gamekeeper’s cottage had been touched for 80 or 90 years. We bought the house in 2006 and spent our first night there in 2011.

LS: What structural changes or additions did you make?

RF: Getting the house through planning was a challenge! I had initially hoped to knock down the cottage, which would have been a crime, but after the sale, English Heritage spot listed the house, meaning it was untouchable. I took the call in my car and just froze. I thought I had wasted my entire life’s savings on a property I couldn’t develop. However, it became clear that the planners simply wanted the cottage to be the focal point of the house. We decided to build the extension behind the cottage and that the total square footage wouldn’t exceed the original outbuildings’ square footage. We were lucky the planners understood my rationale because I didn’t want to build a pastiche and extend the cottage in the same language. We did, however, source materials sympathetic to the original property, such as dry stone. To respect the main house, we excavated behind it into the hill, which presented a significant engineering challenge. But it worked, and now the cottage is the main feature. If you stand in the garden, you can see the cottage and the bedrooms or the cottage and the living room, but you never see the full extension.

At Home with Richard Found - the Hallway
THE OLD AND THE NEW

Richard Found’s Cotswolds home seamlessly marries the original 18th-century with a modern extension.

At Home with Richard Found - the Living Room

The living room. Featuring the Kennedee Sofa and Swivel Lounge Chairs by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poltrona Frau and T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings Teak Daybed.

LS: If you had to keep the cottage the same, what does it look like now, post-renovation?

RF: It needed a lot of work after sitting untouched for so long. We had to strip everything, including the beams, back from black. We designed the kitchen and bathrooms in a contemporary way but used materials that nod to the heritage of the building. Reflectively, I love that we couldn’t demolish the cottage as it’s a part of history, and it increases the contrast between old and new. Looking past the wrought iron window fittings, you see a contemporary extension, and I love that dialogue, the back and forth between historical and modern.

LS: What was the most complicated part of the renovation?

RF: I’m obsessed with the view from the house to the lake, so structurally, I didn’t want any intrusions. I could have saved a lot of money if I’d interrupted that view, but I wanted it to feel immersive, so we cantilevered the entire roof. The structural engineer had a wonderful time calculating how 200 people could stand on the top at any time!

At Home with Richard Found - the entry hall

The entrance hall, featuring wooden bench by E15.

At Home with Richard Found - the living room
At Home with Richard Found - the Cotwolds Home

LS: How did you make the house into a home?

RF: My wife and I have differing views on this, so I’ll give you mine. I’m very happy sitting in the living room looking at a roaring fire or out at the birds and the ripples on the surface of the lake. For me, home is minimal and clutter-free. I want to limit distractions to focus on what matters in the space. I want to be able to find solace in my environment. We live in a world with so many distractions, the internet, social media and so on, so there’s even more need to find calm in the chaos. For me, home is the place to find peace and quiet, so the architecture and design needed to reflect this minimalism.

For me, home is minimal and clutter-free. I want to limit distractions to focus on what matters in the space.

LS: What inspired the design and aesthetic of the home?

RF: It was all about the orientation of the sun, feeling connected to the outside and designing a contrast to the cottage, which is much smaller, cosy and intimate. I wanted the extension to feel spacious and light. I love natural daylight and seeing spaces change because of how light moves around the room. I also have a passion for concrete. It sounds perverse, but it’s true. The entrance hall is all concrete, this incredible breathing space. When you walk in, there are different shafts of light that stream through the windows, and it’s beautiful.

Richard Found in the study

Richard Found in his study. "For me, home is minimal and clutter-free. I want to limit distractions to focus on what matters in the space."

At Home with Richard Found - the Guest Room

LS: What is your favourite part of the house?

RF: Probably at the far end of the living room, on the large white sofa. The view dictated the design of the living room, and now when I’m there, I feel like I’m in nature. I love spending time in the cottage for a game of cards and a drink at the end of the night, though. I like to experience the extension during the day and then relax and hunker down in the more intimate setting of the cottage at nighttime. I like the contrast.

LS: What are your most cherished pieces at home?

RF: We bought a piece of artwork for the entrance hall, and for me, it’s to die for. I absolutely love it. It’s just a black square on a white canvas, but it perfectly connects with the architecture’s purity. Some of our black and white photographs also work so well with the clean extension.

LS: Where did you collect/ shop for/ find your favourite pieces?

RF: Once we’d finished the property architecturally, we didnt want to rush into buying the furniture. Fortunately, in the new build, the design meant a lot of the furniture, the wardrobes, etc., were integral to the structure, so we didn’t need to buy a lot before moving in. Also, I see furniture, especially collectables, as pieces of art, items you slowly gather over time. I didn’t want to just “dress” the house. I wanted it to be meaningful. I love Viaduct, and we use them to source various pieces. We tend to buy antiques or older works for the cottage as they fit the tone, or sometimes we design things ourselves and make them bespoke.

At Home with Richard Found - The Guest Room Detail
Simplicity

...our black and white photographs ... work so well with the clean extension.

At Home with Richard Found - the cottage

The Cottage Living Room. "I love spending time in the cottage for a game of cards and a drink at the end of the night."

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