Country houses for sale

An iconic artist’s studio in Padstow is on the market for the first time in two decades

On Duke Street, there's a rare opportunity to see behind the curtain of the famed artist Sarah Adams, who has created a home of intrigue, elegance and style.

Born in Berkshire in 1962, the artist Sarah Adams’s connection with Cornwall begin in 1980, when she went to study at the Falmouth School of Art. Her life as an artist has seen her travel extensively, living and painting in London, India and Jersey, before she returned to Cornwall in 2005.

It was here that she decided to move into this house in Duke Street in Padstow, for sale for £1.5 million with Inigo. It was in the property that she founded the Padstow Studio, showing her own work and that of a circle of friends.

‘The oldest part of the building houses my gallery and studio,’ she says. ‘There’s not a single square corner, it’s full of strange angles, and a stairwell shaped like a piece of cheese. It looks out onto Duke Street, where children still roll eggs on Easter Sunday (mayhem) and the May Day processions pass by: the ‘Oss and Teaser, accordions, drums, and dancers fill the street. In summer, squadrons of swifts scream past the studio windows.’

The studio on the second floor.

As talented as she is as a landscape painter (she is one of the few living artists represented by Rupert Maas) so too should she be celebrated as an interior designer and house restorer. The property is a satisfying collection of architectural styles and auction finds, creating a residence that is more than the sum of its parts.

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The bespoke log burner by Dan Harding.

The building itself is spread over three floors, incorporating stone, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, and more contemporary additions, such as the 80sq m timber framed extension by Carpenter Oak. With some 2,500sq ft of living space in total, a lot has been packed into (what seems from the outside) a small space.

The Padstow Studio as viewed from the street.

At the moment, the property only offers two bedrooms, but a gallery and workshop on the ground floor, as well as studio on the first floor, could be converted into bedrooms if so desired. It’s a characterful home, with plenty of split spaces and small staircases and very few 90º angles anywhere.

The study. Note the split level approach to the building.

Highlights of the property include the aforementioned extension to the rear, from which you can see the Camel Estuary. The bespoke wood-burning stove is of particular interest; beginning life as a spun steel bobbin from a trawler net, it was converted into a double-sided stove by Dan Harding, who invented the ‘hot pod’ at his blacksmiths shop in Hayle.

The kitchen.

As exciting as the house and owner are, so too is the location, located at the foot of a hill of pastel-painted cottages in Padstow. A trip to the picturesque harbour takes no more than two minutes on foot, while a footpath that leads out of the rear of the mature garden provides easy access to the Estuary and beaches, skipping the town centre entirely. 

The artist Sarah Adams. Credit: Elliot Sheppard Photography

‘Visitors are often astonished to find such a large space here, so private and yet full of light, with views of the Estuary and across to Rock,’ adds the artist. ‘It has one foot in the bustle of the old town, and the other in quiet seclusion, while the cliff path is only a stone’s throw from the garden gate. It’s been a dream space for me to live and work.’

The Padstow Studio on Duke Street is for sale with Inigo for £1.5 million. For more pictures and information, click here