The Welsh tradition of a Ty Unnos, translated literally as ‘one night house’, where an individual of limited means would erect a house on common land between sunset and sunrise to attain freehold possession, has been magically recreated in rural Carmarthenshire. And this fairy-tale-like abode has proved to be a wonderful location for our winter photoshoot, complete with romantic realism of crafted character and authentic aesthetics; an ethos both the owner and creator of Ty Unnos and Cosi Tabellini share.
Owner and creator Dorian Bowen, who had already lavished loving labour upon restoring neighbouring Bryn Eglur, an 18th Century cottage, undertook the challenge to replicate a one-night-house a few footsteps away. During the hours of dark, in one night, Dorian and a team of 45 faithful friends and family members managed to erect a dwelling with turf walls and a thatched roof supported on trusses, within which a makeshift chimney woven from coppiced hazel wands had been fashioned to enable a fire to be lit and smoke to rise from within by dawn – which was what qualified such a dwelling to have been built and occupied within a single night.
This temporary structure has since been ‘sured’ up, as with many of these historical structures their rushed build meant many slumped and decayed all too quickly, but Dorian dedicated himself, through rigorous research alongside personal past recollections as a young boy growing up in rural Carmarthenshire a few decades previously, to restore the cottage into a fully authentic rural dwelling along the exacting lines of local West Walian vernacular so that it would last permanently.
The result is a living replica of traditional Welsh cottage, ‘thrown-up’ as if by fairy-folk in the night; its interior a meticulous and methodological merger of materials and methods from a bygone age, which gives the building the authenticity of being centuries old, evoking a reaction of incredulous amazement, when told, that the original structure was erected in a single night, and that the resultant dwelling is only a few years, rather than centuries, old! The only ‘wink’ to present-day within the museum-quality interior is underfloor heating, beautiful bedding, as well as an unapologetic nod to modernity in the form of a wonderfully contemporary boutique-style bathroom with an amazing cantilevered bath.
The attention to detail, and commitment to careful craftsmanship, as well as characterful and credible custom-made components, meant Ty Unnos is the perfect setting for Cosi Tabellini to frame some of their most iconic pieces in its photoshoot. The result is an accurate and aesthetic recreation of a simply crafted home, dotted with befittingly beautiful handcrafted pewter objects that so suit the subtle authenticity Dorian and his community crew have created in this remarkable building.
Check out our Lookbook and Product pages for Cosi Tabellini products in situ at Ty Unnos.
For further information on Ty Unnos, please refer to their website: www.thewelshhouse.co.uk