Wednesday, 25 November 2009

getting blood from a stone

Now, I really, really like the Border Oak Project Managers - all 4 of them are lovely people, super good at their jobs and veritable fountains of knowledge. But trying to get hold of photos of current projects can be tricky - pretty much IMPOSSIBLE! So I nag, email, nag some more, get someone else to nag, offer to make cakes and yet I am lucky to get a handful of pics of gutter stops and scaffolding.

Admittedly some of them are better than others - Mark even supplied me with my current blog topper photo and I have a whole disc load from Ed who has kindly edited out the less interesting photos for me. 

But I do I know they are really busy people and are getting actual houses built so I will cut them some slack..........for now. 

Anyway here are some of the fabulously charming Eds lovely pics -  great projects, beautifully project managed and for which I am eternally greatful!

This house is a bit like mine but with windows and doors on the gable end rather than a chimney - to make the most of views over a pretty orchard with free range chickens.

the interior looks good too - a vaulted ceiling and open frame work

And this is a much much bigger version of our house - using the same construction methods but illustrating how bespoke a Border Oak house can be - I really like the back of this house and can't wait to see how it weathers into the plot.

I think this exposed oak frame will also look fab once it has settled in. It seems to have a very interesting facade and a good mix of materials.

I will try to remember to add this house to my list of 'to do' photos as it looks as if it will photograph really well. I love the exposed oak, the curved step and the hint of the basement below. More unfinished houses to follow - no gutter stops I promise!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I heart winter

It really feels like winter now - my favorite time of year, if only it wouldn't rain (curly hair and rain are not a good partnership). 

I love the dark nights, the frosty air and lighting the fire. I even love the long build up to Christmas (although getting my first Christmas card on the first of November has really irked me - yes it's super organised, but I think it kills the festive spirit to know you are just a job ticked off the list - oh well). And this year I have joined an ornament exchange where I make 10 Chrimbo ornaments, post them to a list of people sent to me by the exchange organisers and the wait to receive my surprise ornaments in the post - it will either be brilliant or awful but sounded like fun nonetheless. Not sure what I will do with 10 hand knitted reindeer.......

Any way back to oak framing....... I have put together some pics of an unusual conversion/new build designed and completed by Border Oak. With an open plan feel, mezzanine gallery and amazing two storey glazed elevation (looking over some spectacular un-spoilt Shropshire countryside) it really is a great holiday home - I really enjoyed styling theses photos last year and hope you like it.

p.s one of the re- edited Border Oak brochures came today - a week late but that is quite an improvement (I once waited 18 months for a brochure to be designed and printed........) I think I like it but will have another look after my cup of tea. sometimes when you work on something so closely you almost lose the 'buzz' of the delivered result. Two more brochures to do and then the website to refresh.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

too many cakes

Our beautiful son, Gabriel, was one at the end of September and the lovely Minerva was 5 at the end of October so we have had a lot of parties, presents and cakes at chez Albright recently. We moved into our house 4 years ago (on Minerva's 1st birthday) so it feels that a huge amount has happened here since then. 

Looking back on the photos of Min's 1st birthday the most shocking difference is the garden (which wasn't a garden at all 4 years ago - we didn't even have a front step, just a gaping 2ft jump) and how bare the house was - no rugs, photos, sofas or even kitchen table. 

Over time the layers of normal family stuff have grown, and we have accumulated more furniture, paintings and an embarrassing number of toys. It has happened so quietly that we didn't really notice, just as the hedges and trees have silently matured and thickened. And although I may get annoyed with the endless mucky paw prints on the Farrow and Ball paint, the trails of plastic squeaky toys and half eaten apricots,  looking back at the empty and sparse house we used to have I am so pleased that my little ones have helped us make a home.