Swannaton Road
Dartmouth, Devon


Architect: Nic Bailey

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“A mid-century gem, with spectacular views across the valley”

Originally built in the 1950s, this wonderful mid-century home was the subject of complete renovation in recent years by architect Nic Bailey, formerly of Norman Foster Architects. Occupying an elevated position on the edge of Dartmouth town, the inverted layout optimises the incredible views across the valley, with internal living space of over 2,700 sq ft spanning two storeys. The interior is full of innovative and well crafted design details, and full-height glazing brings fantastic natural light. Tiered private gardens extend to the rear, with level terraces leading out from the upper level. The town centre is within easy walking distance, while stunning beaches along the coastline, Dartmoor National Park and the popular towns of Brixham and Salcombe all lie within easy reach.

The Tour

Approached via a quiet country lane, leading up from Dartmouth town and harbour, the house is perched high on the hillside. Entrance is via an external staircase, leading through to the hall, with space for coats and boots and access to the primary living areas.

Arguably the most impressive room in the house, the living space is devised in a predominantly lateral open plan. Filled with simple linear forms, the room is orientated towards the wall of glass, which frames the verdant valley backdrop. The expanses of glazing throughout optimise the views from every room and invite an exceptional quality of natural light to flood in throughout the day.

In alignment with the rest of the house, the kitchen has been cleverly conceived for the practicalities of daily living; a bright and clean space with appliances neatly housed in bespoke cabinetry positioned in the centre plan to create a versatile, sociable layout. A log-burning stove forms a natural focal point in the living area, flanked by seating areas built into the walls. Timber runs underfoot and overhead, adding to the sense of refined materiality consistent throughout the interior.

In contrast to the main living space, the adjacent snug has pitched ceilings, three large skylights and plenty of deep storage cupboards running the length of the eaves on either side. A study or home workspace is also positioned on this upper level, with views out to the garden through timber-framed glass walls.

The lower level houses the five beautifully proportioned bedrooms, each with a good provision of storage and views onto the front gardens and out to the valley. A secondary reception room, with a dramatic pitched glazed roof, offers great flexibility of use and would lend well to an impressive dining room or studio.

Outdoor Space

Externally, the gardens and terraces are an integral part of the overall experience of the house. Primarily laid to lawn, with herbaceous border and specimen trees, they are accessed via several points around the house, including the timber-clad balconies. The views from the upper terraces are breathtaking, and the outside spaces are teeming with wildlife; buzzards, jays, woodpeckers and tawny owls are a regular sight.

The Area  

Known as the jewel of the South Hams, the pretty waterside town of Dartmouth is a popular boating centre boasting a world-famous regatta. Steeped in history and known for its naval college, the town is characterised by its narrow streets and cobbled lanes. It has a good selection of independent shops, galleries, pubs, cafes and and several well-regarded restaurants. Dartmouth lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within easy reach of the stunning beaches along the coastline and Dartmoor. Brixham and Salcombe are also easily accessible.

Totnes is around 30 minutes’ drive away and is also well renowned for its independent cafes and eateries, notably The Hairy Barista, Greenfibres and Willow and also its charming Friday market that sells local produce, vintage clothing and antiques. Nearby Dartington Trust is set within a beautiful 1,200-acre campus and presents a series of arts and cultural events throughout the year.

For commuting and access to the South Hams, Exeter has an international airport, Plymouth has a ferry terminal and Devon benefits from a comprehensive rail network and road links to the M5 motorway giving easy access to the rest of the UK and Europe.

Council Tax Band: E

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

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