Wednesday, 28 October 2009

you can't beat a bit of old oak

Border Oak used to do lots of barn conversions - in fact the very first Border Oak house, 30 years ago, was part conversion, part extension, part relocation ( and my mum and dad still live there) - but nowadays we tend to steer clear of these gorgeous old barns. Not because we don't love them, we really do, but because they were becoming fraught with issues. Bats, Voles, Newts all needed rehousing at the right time of year, the planning powers wanted 'live work units' and multiple occupancy, and the costs are notoriously unpredictable (and who can afford the proverbial bottomless pit?)

But every now and then a barn has stumbled into our path that has either been too beautiful, or dare I say it, too easy to pass by. And because we used to do lots of conversions we have all the necessary skills to renovate and restore even the mankyiest (is that a word? oh dear!) chicken shed, as long as we can go at our own pace and with our own solutions (i.e. we can't do conversions for clients only 'in house').

This barn wasn't really that manky, but it wasn't that beautiful either. What it did have was a huge plot, great views, no onerous planning issues and a straight forward conversion (there wasn't much old oak remaining so we could rebuild from the bottom up). One of the Border Oak  senior designers bought it after the conversion work was completed - and I think it turned out to be quite lovely.
the outside is a mix of oak weatherboard, glass and stone, with old Welsh Slates on the roof and copper guttering - in other words top end specification  - aka expensive. Internally we saved all teh old oak, even retaining the angled walls and dubious slopes. New oak framing was added in an obvious fashion as were new contemporary  fittings such as lights and free standing kitchen units which leave the old fabric of the structure to be seen.

Luckily we had no neighbours to consider so there are lots of floor to ceiling windows - and lots more new windows than you would normally be allowed under planning legislation.

The floor plan is very well suited to modern living - big rooms, high ceilings, no wasted space There is a smaller connected barn sitting at an angle which created the perfect snug/office/ playroom/studio or annex - with more floor to ceiling glass.

1 comment:

  1. I love the kitchen in this barn! Is it possible for you to tell me what sort of kettle is in the pic? Also, do you know if the owner ever installed a rangehood over the cooker?