I guess that when we all imagine our 'dream' plot we can't help but think of wide bucolic views, orchards in blossom and a babbling brook (that doesn't pose a flood hazard). Dad often jokes that most people are looking for a site that is 'secluded but not isolated, rural but especially well serviced and with a thriving (but quiet) local pub with a buxom barmaid and an organic village stores next door. And with easy access to a motorway but free of road noise.' In other words IMPOSSIBLE.
And as we spend a lot of our time looking for 'perfect' plots it is refreshing to see that often the least expected/promising sites deliver the most rewarding end result.
And this fabulous Border Oak house in a typical suburban leafy road (with easy access to several motorways by the ways) , tucked within a range of mid century homes illustrates exactly how clever self builders can be. The owners took a good location, in a popular area and made it remarkable.
Read all about this project in an upcoming issue of Build It Magazine - I will let you know when its in the local shop (or rather the organic general store next to the Michelin Starred pub in a village surrounded by orchards and populated by buxom barmaids)
Although it has a narrow frontage it has interest and depth - the jetties provide intrigue and shadow with the recessed porch drawing you in. The profile of the roof is varied and strong.
It can be very difficult to build on a site this tight at either side - the brick wall to the left is a fire proof wall. The garden is very long so the house design makes the most of this feature.
The kitchen provides a wonderful view over the garden.
Mixing neutral chalky colours with textures of granite, oak and ironmongery creates a cohesive but informal country effect.
With lots of glazing sun can stream through and connect the interior with the passing seasons
The large inglenook protrudes into the sitting room slightly because the narrowness of the plot didn't allow for an external stack - but in a room this large it makes no adverse impact.
Doors, landings and corridors have been aligned to create long views through the building - a clever space illusion design device.
You really can't beat a vaulted ceiling - height, drama, space and character - definitely worth the extra cost I think.
A shaped entrance into the beautiful ensuite
And finally a clever little room over the porch - an unexpected bonus.
I do hope you like it too - it certainly shows me what imagination and vision can achieve and how an 'ordinary' plot can be transformed.
I have just commissioned about a zillion new photos by the way (well that is obviously and exaggeration) and the new Border Oak website is V-E-R-Y close (but oh so far away) so I hope to bring you more and more posts to tie up with that. And we also have some top secret news that I will bring to you once GCHQ stop bugging my landline..............