The Windmill Suffolk
A windmill that had been left derelict in a back garden for much of the 20th century has been transformed into luxurious holiday accommodation following a bold conversion project.
The Windmill Suffolk is located a few miles from the quaint village of Lavenham and offers guests a unique countryside getaway experience. With stunning panoramic views across the landscape, The Windmill features bespoke contemporary fittings internally and a domed zinc pod (which won a category at the 2016 National Roofing Awards) on top.
Approximately £350,000 has been invested into the renovation of the 60ft tall tower by owners Steve and Natalie Roberts. The Windmill boasts two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen diner and private garden area. The highlight of the space, however, is the living area and external balcony located in the top of the tower.
Work started on the project in late 2014 and took two years to complete. Since finishing in October 2016, The Windmill has garnered a great deal of attention from both the general public and the construction and architectural industries. It has been nominated for, and won, several awards and most recently has been shortlisted for both the RIBA East Awards and the RICS (East of England) Award in the ‘Tourism and Leisure’ category.
Steve Roberts spoke to Premier Construction about The Windmill project and the early success of its makeover:
“When we moved to Suffolk nine years ago The Windmill was in the back garden but didn’t have any of the original features. None of the workings remained inside so basically it was hollow shell with a concrete slab on top. It had been sat in this idle state for a long time before we decided we really wanted to do something to bring it back to life again.
“When we were thinking about the design, the obvious thing originally would have been to put a bedroom up in the dome. However, we thought given we spend most of the time awake we would make a living space where guests can greater appreciate the views.”
Creating the pod to house the living area proved to be the project’s most difficult aspect, involving the use of materials that were both flexible, to be moulded into the pod shape but were also easily maintained. It has been this unique architectural structure that has drawn so much attention to the restoration.
Entering the structure via a personal keypad entry code, guests will be met by the ground floor lobby space leading to the spacious kitchen diner. Finished with high quality surfaces the kitchen is furnished with all the utilities you would expect and some well-thought-out treats – including a Nespresso coffee machine. Double patio doors lead from the kitchen lead onto a private garden with views over the surrounding fields.
Sweeping stairs lead up to the first of two bedrooms, each one stylishly decorated with super-soft linens, throws and cushions. The bathroom is decorated with luxurious marble and mosaic shell and features a double size oval bath and walk-in monsoon rain shower.
In addition to the stunning views, the pod living space has two handmade velvet sofas, a 47” curved internet enabled TV complete with Sky and a viewing deck complete with a swivel chair and telescope to view the stars and the scenery with. There is also an external balcony with a bistro dining table and chairs to take in the Suffolk landscapes from.
Despite the short time since opening, The Windmill has so far proved a huge success with its redevelopment offering a both a unique and luxurious alternative to the classic holiday home.
“Feedback has been amazing and guests who have stayed here really love it. There is lots of lovely traditional holiday accommodation in the area already so we wanted to create something unique and to position The Windmill to a high-end market. Everything inside The Windmill has been made bespoke. The sofas, beds, mattresses and headboards have been handmade, partly to fit the curve of The Windmill but we also wanted a luxurious and indulgent feel so that guests know they are staying somewhere really special.
“I am not an experienced builder and to an extent this was a self-build. After working so hard on the project, to receive award nominations for what we’ve done in conjunction with our architects and contractors is a massive achievement.
“It’s only when I stop and step back that I realise what we have achieved and I am so pleased that The Windmill will be here to be enjoyed for many more generations to come.”
For more information on The Windmill Suffolk, please visit www.thewindmillsuffolk.com.