Border Oak are currently building a very sweet little cottage, on a teeny plot we have owned for a while, in a lovely Herefordshire village called Eardisley.
Now, it has been a bit tricky to build because the site is very small (bearing in mind you need scaffolding, skips, security fencing, storage etc) but thankfully we have been blessed with understanding neighbours and a super organised Border Oak project manager (they are all super organised and skilled of course!) And this little cottage is really growing on me - not just because it looks so pretty, but also because it is a clever house and different to what we usually do nowadays.
It is increasingly uncommon to build a simple full oak framed house at the moment- ie without SIPs, softwood framing, weatherboard or brick - just a green oak frame, pegged and infilled - and I had forgotten how lovely and pure the craft of oak framing could be. Proportionally it is perfect, but the detailing is also timeless which I love.
I have been specifying the interior finishes and generally annoying the project manager, buyer and boys on site with my ideas and requests - but I think it is called client perogative or some such nonsense.
Here are some pics I had used for the 'mood board' to help me put together the look I wanted for the kitchen and bathroom. Not sure if it will look at all like these - in fact I know it won't, but I really find it helps me to distill the visuals and aim for a cohesive look. These photos are from PlainEnglishKitchens, Lightlocations and 1st Option locations
When it is finished in around 8 weeks ( I have made that up but thought it sounded plausible.......) we will hold a few open days and get some pics. Can't wait to pretend it is mine!!
Although the bathroom will be small in the cottage I have ordered the 1930's suite from Baileys, seen below. I chickened out , last minute, from having a roll top bath, so will now have a standard bath with a tongue and groove panel. I am also thinking of having T&G on the plain landing wall, but am concerned it may look a bit fussy with the oak beams - maybe I should go for wall paper instead, to give visual interest without adding another texture?
This wall paper is lovely don't you think? And the arm chair fabric is gorgeous (does anyone know what make it is by the way?), the shabby chic chest of drawers is devine - but the wall mounted TV is .......well, it's not for me.
I would have loved wall cupboards and shelves like this but instead I have to have a boring old extractor hood - does anyone ever use an extractor? Building Regs are such a pain sometimes.
And this final Plain English Kitchen is nothing like the cottage kitchen at all, so is really surplus to requirements here , but it just seems to have such a nice atmosphere (and we do have slightly similar french doors, does that justify using the photo?)
This months CH & I magazine (a good read if you like country style houses) has a feature on one of our houses - a lovely country cottage, built a few years ago for a great family. I think you can tell the owner has an eye for detail. Here are some of the photos that didn't get used.
Constructed using SIPs, lime render, a brick plinth and clay tiles it has blended perfectly into the hamlet and is a deceptively spacious house (with many clever design features such as a walk through office behind the stairs and hallway, a playroom/4th bedroom adjacent to the utility and wc (for easy possible conversion to a ground floor bed/bath suite), an en-suite bathroom hidden in the roof of the adjacent garage etc). It is unusually designed to face to the front lawn (with a minimal area at the rear) with lots of door and windows to access the garden easily which illustrates how intelligent design can be used to minimise the negative aspects of a plot (in this case an unsightly building) and still suit your family perfectly.
MAY ISSUE - Country Homes and Interiors - OUT NOW
I love the atmosphere of the house - it would be hard to tell that it was only a few years old.