As you approach the property called The Pandy House for a well-earned break, nestled within a remote hollow of the Conwy Valley in Snowdonia National Park and surrounded by staggering rural beauty, you are in for such a treat.
Yes, it’s a stunning location to relax and unwind in the garden hot tub or enjoy all your meals alfresco only joined by the occasional inquisitive lamb, the sound of the birds in the nearby woodland and the constant backdrop of the exceptional Welsh countryside.
But arguably it’s inside this holiday let that you will experience a Welsh holiday home like no other, as it offers you arguably the most visually distinctive one that you can find. The Pandy House might inspire you to redecorate and this cottage that took 22 years to complete from wreck to dream home might too – read about that transformation here.
If you think The Pandy House looks amazing from the outside, wait until you step inside; it’s a truly unique surprise – a flamboyant mix of colour and pattern, and furniture and accessories finessed to eclectic perfection.
It’s likely many guests will go home from a stay at The Pandy House bursting with ideas to titillate their own home using incredible aspects of imaginative interior design they’ve noticed and fallen in love with at this distinctive house.
But before you step over the threshold and into a wonderland of the wildest and yet totally successful interiors of arguably any holiday home in the country, knowing a few snippets of history about the house gives this chapter in its history more context. The Pandy House seems to have always been destined to be unique and to do its own thing.
It began life as a fulling mill used to cleanse the wool of sheep and then it was owned by a fanatic stamp collector, but his tenure at the house ended in heartache with a fire that sent stamps, as well as smoke, billowing into the rural sky.
And now it can claim to be visually appealing both inside as well as outside and arguably the best dressed holiday let in the area.
The property hasn’t always had a historic stone exterior and pretty heritage blue windows looking this smart, or many marvellous moments to connect to the outside from the inside spaces; in fact in 2018 it was a very unhappy building.
Rebecca, who owns the holiday let and is the creative genius behind the breathtaking interiors, says: “It needed to be saved and brought back to its former glory; it was dark and imposing and it had a discombobulated interior due it originally being a pandy mill.
“Luckily, it was love at first sight and that gave us the momentum to keep going even at challenging times such as lockdown and home schooling.”
Practically, the substantial detached property has five bedrooms that can sleep up to 10 guests.
Two of the bedrooms boast super king-sized beds and an ensuite, two have king-sized beds and an ensuite and the remaining slumber space has built-in bunk beds. There’s also a family bathroom and separate WCs on both floors.
The open-plan kitchen features a large American fridge-freezer, wine fridge, microwave combi oven, Nespresso coffee machine, two electric ovens and a five-ring gas hob. There is also a washer, dryer and cleaning products in the stylish utility room, along with extra little toiletries for those forgotten items.
It’s at the centre of the ground floor where the biggest structural and renovation changes have happened to create this central space crucial for the socialising of groups of up to 10 guests; a kitchen, dining and sitting area where the best parties can occur.
The addition of huge walls of glass and doors out to the garden create the much-longed for indoor outdoor connection needed for the party to spill out into the sunshine.
Rebecca says: “There was a lot of reconfiguration to make new and existing spaces work for families that may want to both spend time with one another or alternatively enjoy some idyllic time alone whilst listening to the Afon Roe trickle by.”
But it’s the interiors where The Pandy House comes alive with the personality and imagination that Rebecca brings to the property, with every room offering quirky curios, vintage finds, and carefully curated mixes of strong patterns and colour at the heart of the whole scheme.
Rebecca says: “My style could probably be described as a bit bonkers – a misspent youth at car boot sales and antique fairs!
“Ha – it is funny when people arrive, they just run from room to room debating which one to stay in but there is always an overwhelming standing back and an absorption of the colours, the fabrics, the pictures and the decor.
“There is a lot to take in and each space has many hidden details which only become visible to the eye after many visits.”
And it’s this layering of elements of this property’s interiors that creates its distinct, eclectic style.
But although each room has its own flamboyant and resplendent style, colour, patterns, furniture, accessories and atmosphere, the overall scheme inside the property is linked beautifully by its dedication to an eclectic mix at its core; it’s a house that totally and completely engages you as soon as you arrive.
We’ve launched a new property group on Facebook.
Whether you love nosing around beautiful properties or always keep an eye open for your latest project, this group will bring you the best in Welsh homes, properties, renovations and more.
Join our new group for all the latest.
But don’t be fooled, there may be splash of strong colours and accents of multiple patterns across all the spaces.
There has been a lot of careful thought about how each room looks, the choices made, how each accessory finds a home and how each room greets a visitor with its own atmosphere and personality.
And Rebecca says it’s the landscape surrounding the property that has inspired her the most to create this masterpiece of colour and style.
She says: “Everything was born from the views, the smells and the sounds of the property – its situation and its environment.
“And Welsh stone is very beautiful but certain colours and textures really bring out the majestic and versatile nature of this material. There were some practical additions such as the panelling, but we tried to restore all that we could.
“Everything started with the fabrics and then evolved into themes, textures and colours. As I have an eclectic style there is very little that is off limits when mixing all these up together! I have a similar vibe in my own home but never done anything on this scale before.”
The hall greets you with a vintage hotel suitcase trolley, restored parquet floor, wood wall panels and sections of emerald green wall tiles combined with the prettiest of William Morris wallpaper.
The high standard of engaging decor has been set already then, and it only escalates from this room, as you’re let lose in a wonderland of wonderful interiors that reward you with vignettes of visual feasts to gorge on at every turn.
The kitchen diner and lounge is a vast space where the majority of the renovation work has been done.
Walls have come down and huge contemporary glass doors and windows have gone in, ensuring that the colours, texture and environment of the landscape, from intricate wildlife to huge skyscapes that so inspired Rebecca, are a large element of the design – for her, the connection to the outdoors was imperative to the transformation of this period property.
This vast central, sociable room layers tones of contemporary grey as a backdrop to create a space that showcases distinctive patterns, pops of colour and Rebecca’s personal choice of artwork.
Visual warmth is ensured mainly via the use of wooden flooring and leaving sections of the wall as exposed stone, especially in the adjoining television lounge space.
Of course, tactile textures are a must to make any room a welcoming and inviting space and Rebecca is a master at this, as each room tempts you in with its vivacious interiors scheme and once you succumb, it’s hard to tear yourself away.
Where Rebecca has been bold, the bravery has visually delivered in interior buckets.
One of her key trends throughout the scheme is using multiple patterns within a space, bringing visual interest and sometimes even texture.
Rebecca has used eye-catching patterns on carefully chosen feature walls and on accessories placed where they will enhance the scheme and, in some cases such as the statement wallpaper, inform the rest of the room’s interior.
Rebecca has played with pattern and is not afraid to mix them in different sizes and colours, on different walls and multiple accessories but, as with the whole scheme, she has curated them to perfection.
The patterns are similar in overall style, use the tones of the room so they harmonise with the surroundings and each other, blend strong with subtle and mix large with small. Most designers suggest choosing three main patterns and sticking to that number will ensure the room does not look over-loaded.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a unique property market, with prices rising in many areas.
Strike is promising to undercut rivals by selling homes free – saving customers up to £3,600 when they sell their home. Strike says people can check if their postcode is available for the free offer here, where you can book a free valuation.
This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it.Learn more
Patterns, especially on accessorises such as cushions and art work, can also pull the whole colour scheme of a room together – if you have three main colours in a space, then finding them on some or all of the soft fabric accessories, or even on the upholstery of a statement piece of furniture like a chair, can tie them all together.
One classic way to use multiple patterns is to introduce spots and stripes – they add interest but don’t usually fight with the more extravagant or highly detailed patterns – they’re like the magnolia or grey of the pattern world.
Where there is an island that has no pattern Rebecca has added texture with a mix of accessories such as rough and smooth, and metallic surfaces. There’s even embossed wallpaper – a great choice for bringing ‘stealth’ pattern to a wall – the texture is there but most people then paint it in one block of colour.
A rainbow mix of colours can be found throughout the house too, either using tone on tone of a few colours or, for more dramatic effect, opposite colours but always grounded by the use of at least one neutral tone such as a shade of grey.
So if you’re enthralled by Rebecca’s style and want to give it a go in a space or a room in your house, then getting a colour wheel, or at the very least researching relevant images online as a reference, is a must.
There are multiple nuanced ways to use a colour wheel to inform your decor, but the three main guidelines are using different tones of the same colour, using colours next to each other on the wheel or choosing colours that are opposite on the wheel.
In the built-in bunk bed Rebecca has chosen a strong blue with an accent red tone that makes a dramatic scheme and in another bedroom yellow and green, next to each other on the colour wheel, sit happily next to each other as splashes of colour in this space.
Other elements to notice and copy from Rebecca’s amazing property is the bravery to paint the ceiling in a dark colour but taking it down to the picture rail means the ceiling is blended well into the room – there’s no hard joint between the wall and the ceiling and between two colours.
When mixing accessories, copy the way Rebecca has placed items together to create collections of curios – a good mix of height, texture and shape with an over-arching theme means more visual and cohesive design interest.
There is so much overall vibrancy and yet intricate detail to see in every space in the house that picking out details is very challenging, but Rebecca says: “My favourite space is the kitchen dining area because it has stunning views of Tal Y Fan and everything from snow to sun and even the rainbows appear to be in high definition.”
Rebecca says she has a special place in her heart for the original waterwheel because it ‘reaffirms the original purpose of the building and is spectacular against the lime rendered Welsh stone backdrop’.
It is hard for Rebecca to chose her favourite piece of furniture and accessory in the house, as there is so much to choose from, but she eventually decides it’s the vintage Italian cocktail trolley.
Find out what’s happening in your area here:
She says: “I purchased it eight years ago and everyone said it was hideous and now they are back in vogue everyone suddenly appreciates its beauty and practicality!
“My favourite accessories are The Pablo Van Cuckoo artworks in the kitchen because these original canvases were painted in 2018 when we bought the house and to see them on the wall three years later is a wonderful mark of achievement.”
And if Rebecca’s interiors have inspired you to be braver and make your home more vibrant and intriguing, her advice is rather surprisingly not to do what she has done with your interiors – unless certain elements are in place.
She says: “Don’t do it unless you have lots of empty garages, cellars, lofts and a partner who is happy to lug things from room to room until you get the right feeling about it! I also suffered from my unrealistic deadlines and working through lockdown was a challenge.”
Rebecca also says be patient with how each room scheme comes together as, although the style looks eclectic and a real mix of imaginative elements, each space has actually been thought through and curated very carefully to create an overall scheme that visually works.
If you don’t think about each space and just decorate and dress it in a haphazard manner, it will look messy and cluttered, with the essence of the room not able to breathe and visually delight.
Rebecca advises: “I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve in each room, but I still moved each item of furniture, embellishment and decoration around at least 50 times before it found its current home!”
Of course, one room of a home that people sometimes ignore or don’t give the same thought to is the outdoor room – the garden – but even here Rebecca has sprinkled her design magic.
She says: “The garden is layered into spaces including a secluded log burning hot tub which sits behind a pink curved wall for added privacy.
“We retained all the established shrubs and plants and worked with the national park to make safe the existing well as well as replanting new trees for the next generation to appreciate. There is also a summerhouse room with festoon lighting and a warming firepit for cosy nights under the starry skies.
“The house is nestled in a rural spot near Rowen and has its own bridge crossing the Afon Roe and spectacular 360 degree views of Snowdonia. It took three years to complete the whole thing and I would absolutely do it all over again!”
You can stay in The Pandy House and see the designs for yourself by booking with uniquehomestays.com and then once you get home if you’re fallen for Rebecca’s style, you can get working on transforming your home into an interiors wonderland.