Sanctuary House. By Porcelanosa


Situated within the picturesque scenery of Devon, Sanctuary House is a phenomenal example of dynamic architecture designed precisely for the owners’, Rosemary and Ian, needs. Making the move was brought about by necessity after Rosemary was diagnosed with macular degeneration, meaning she is slowly losing her eyesight.

They had already decided to move and were considering what sort of design choices to pursue on their new home when, whilst driving up to Scotland, they were passing the PORCELANOSA showroom in Braehead and decided to pop in. “It was at this point we started to realise just how wide the PORCELANOSA range is and that we could source almost all that we wanted from just one place”, states Ian.

Rosemary first noticed something was wrong with her eyesight when she realised that she could not differentiate the edges of stairs. As such, controlling the effects of light and contrast in their new home is essential.

“In the kitchen, which is all PORCELANOSA, we have a lot of contrasting colours, for example the grout is all dark and the STARWOOD™ planks are light. The kitchen is white with dark rich brown wall units; everything is matt, and that’s essential for my eyesight, so I don’t get reflective glare. The use of KRION™ was also really important as the material is completely matt. In addition, and for the same reason, the sanitaryware is also mainly KRION™.”

Because of Rosemary’s deteriorating eyesight, they needed the same surface to be on the inside as the outside and at the same level, which is difficult to find within the market, but PORCELANOSA can offer this.

By providing the same style tiles throughout but ensuring the external tiles are anti-slip, Rosemary and Ian could maintain a consistent design throughout the house without mitigating practicality. “It’s great being able to have the same products inside and outside, as well as on the walls and on the floors. We’ve ended up with a house that is very congruent throughout because similar products, all from PORCELANOSA, have been used”.

The couple said that when they first applied for planning permission, neighbours didn’t understand why they wanted to change the house that was already there. Since seeing their new home and the manner in which it effortlessly blends in with the landscape, Rosemary exclaimed they’ve received a number of compliments “We have a wildflower meadow, and we have people stopping at the house to come and tell us how wonderful the house looks in the context of the wildflower meadow and the bird sanctuary across the road!”.

The personal touch offered by all of the PORCELANOSA team involved with the project was something that really stood out for Rosemary and Ian. Rosemary stated “All of the people involved from PORCELANOSA Scotland maintained a really intense interest in making their products usable by someone with my particular needs.

“They investigated what would be possible, what would make it work, so to have people who are prepared to take the time to conduct research themselves in order to help a client has been brilliant. I couldn’t recommend them enough!”. Ian added “they understood what Rosemary’s needs were whilst creating really interesting designs. When somebody comes into the house, they don’t see the alterations for Rosemary’s eyesight, they see the spectacularly equipped kitchen, or beautifully designed bathroom”.

When getting onto the topic of favourite element of their new home, there was a bit of debate! Ian is particularly fond of the great sense of space achieved by using the large format PORCELANOSA tiles, “the fact that we’ve got this wide STARWOOD™ planking gives a sense of space that a different style of floor tiling would not give. We’ve also got very big tiles in the bathroom also providing a sense of space”.

For Rosemary, it is the overall congruence of their home achieved throughout their home “I love the continuity from the inside to the outside, they blend into one another and, for me, that gives me a great sense of peace and contentment”.