Tuesday, 24 August 2010

front cover house

Hello friends,
Firstly I must say a humungous 'sorry' for not writing much these past few weeks - and when I do write something it's not even very interesting - so I am very VERY grateful that you even bother to visit this blog. Thank you - I will try much harder.

The reason I don't get to blog much at the mo is that

a) I seem to be a bit busy doing my 'proper' job (the job I get paid for, not sure what the 'job' is exactly but hey ho)

and b) the tiddlers are on holiday and there is too much fun to be had making aliens out of scrap paper and baking cupcakes (although it was me that made the alien - can you believe they didn't want to make scrap monsters after I had ruined my Country Living mag by cutting thousands, well dozens, of scary eyes, arms, spikes, hairy bodies and grizzly mouths? Ben was very impressed with my creation however, although he thought Min had made it so looked at me pityingly when I confessed. Oh and it was me that made the cakes because they were too bus eating the raw mixture and dipping licked fingers into the sprinkles).

And to try and prove that I do actually have a 'proper' job here is a front cover Border Oak house from Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine - out next week. I had forgotten about this house which I handed over to the magazine more than a year ago, but sometimes that happens I guess. There was also a Border Oak cottage in Country Homes and Interiors Sept issue (still in the shops) take a peek at the house on www.windfallcottage.com) - but I can't take credit for that article or website- I was too busy making gallons of pink icing........

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Halfpenny or Ha'penny?

Many moons ago my Dad came up with a design based on the medieval cottage next to our offices - a little black and white house that unusually had masonry gable ends. As gable oak frames are time consuming and expensive to make he thought that a more 'affordable' house could be designed with softwood and brick gables instead. And if the roof was simple and the floor plan followed traditional bays it would be even more cost effective. And if you designed an 'annex' in weatherboard that contained the utility room, WC, en-suite and other functioning bits (boiler, larder etc etc) then surely you were on to something.........

Well, the resulting cottage was called The Halfpenny (it had a baby brother called Farthing Cottage but it was a bit too dinky for most) and formed part of the Border Oak 'Affordable House' concept. With a starting price of around £60,000 for the frame it is still our most 'Affordable' - alongside Pearmain cottage - and a rebrand of the concept is currently on the drawing board (think pick'n' mix but for handmade houses).

Here is one of the latest Halfpenny Cottages, built in the garden of the owners previous house, with stunning views and every modern comfort you could wish for in a 21st century cottage. Affordable or otherwise ('affordable housing' means so many different things nowadays?) - it makes a very pretty house don't you think?