Ukiyo (meaning “floating world” in Japanese) denotes the concept of living in the moment, away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. In our latest owner chronicle, we speak with property owner Simon about how his modernist cliffside hideaway embodies its namesake.

One might not expect such a striking and contemporary build to overhang this quiet cove in Cornwall’s picturesque fishing village of Coverack; whose historical harbour dates back to 1724. Making its presence - with its distinctive Siberian Larch cladded exterior and somewhat Brutalist interior - ever more intriguing for the lucky few that claim it as theirs for the week.

A modern industrial lounge with a woodburner above logs and dangling lights

Armed with nothing but a brief of “unobstructed sea views” and something a bit different to the typical Cornish cottage” during their property search, it was Ukiyo that Simon and family decided to call home. "We consider ourselves very lucky it ended up being Coverack”, says Simon, “it is off the beaten track so never gets too crowded. It has some very unique scenery and wildlife, as well as a great community spirit.”

And “something a bit different” is perhaps the best way to describe Ukiyo. The property was built in the 1960's but, since being purchased by Simon in 2018, it has been reincarnated into the seductive, Scandinavian-inspired bolthole you see today. Being a self-confessed Grand Designs “super fan”, Simon was keen to enlist the help of architectural designer Kathryn Tyler, who appeared on the programme back in 2010. When I was buying the property, I contacted her to see if she might be interested in Ukiyo as a project. And fortunately she said yes”, notes Simon. “As we were roughly on the same page on the overall design, look, and feel, I then sat back and let her work her magic.” The result is a truly unique piece of design; a haven of poured concrete and sculptural furnishings, drenched in beautiful Cornish light from large windows that wrap around the property’s front. With just as beautiful panoramic views to match. 

A bedroom with a bed facing towards a giant picture window, with a bathtub and ocean views

One of Simon’s favourite things to do when spending time here is to “slide the doors open, sit on the sofa with the wood burner on, and watch the wildlife and ever-changing scenery through binoculars, whilst listening to the sea.” And if taking in the calming sights and sounds of the cove from the nookish window seat isn’t cosy enough, then the bed or bath in the idyllic sea-facing bedroom might suit instead. Or, indeed, there's always the al fresco hot tub.

It’s clear to see that guests booking a stay at Ukiyo exclusively with Unique Homestays won’t struggle to jam-pack their days with wholesome activities and discover a new-found appreciation for the outdoor world: “The South West Coast Path is right in front of Ukiyo, so you can literally run or walk from the front door onto the trails”, notes Simon. Watching the seals bobbing and the gannets diving in the bay in front of the house is a lovely way to while away a few hours, whilst the coastline around Coverack is great for exploring by kayak.” But protecting the natural environment is equally important to Simon, so he incorporated as many eco-friendly elements into the property as possible. New materials were swapped for greener, recycled alternatives, and traditional heating systems omitted for renewable air source heat pumps.

An outdoor area with deck chairs and a wood-fired hot tub overlooking the ocean

Tapping into the Japanese concept of Ukiyo, the property is designed to melt away life’s stresses in this quiet corner of Cornwall. Senses are soothed by the gentle rippling of the waves, the warmth of the morning sunshine through the glass, and the serene colour palette of stony greys, sandy browns, and seashell whites borrowed from the surroundings. For your own slice of Cornish paradise, book your stay at Ukiyo.