Thursday, 20 December 2012

its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....apart from the flooding and rain

Here is a pretty brick cottage from Herefordshire, with an oak frame inside - dressed for a Christmas photoshoot (in the sun) built by Border Oak for a client (this is her third Border Oak house) who has also just set up a lovely homewares company Milton &Manor ( Phew, that was a long sentence!

We took the pics in September, when the sun shone and shone

so we waited 'til dusk to get a 'seasonal' atmospheric photo of the externals - what do you think?

The interior is light, neutral and tactile. A large hall leads onto the traditional sitting room

With exposed oak framing throughout

From the kitchen you get a sneaky peak into the utility room

With a blind made from Milton and Manor fabric (our client has turned her lovely portfolio of sketches into a great range of fabrics and homewares after struggling to find the right interior products for her Border Oak homes)

The kitchen dining room leads onto a garden room area and a little study nook - the ultimate living space for a modern family I think. Spaces to cook, eat, sit, read and work but in one light, bright open room.

Milton and Manor have cushions, footstools, mugs, cards, fabric, bags, tea towels..............

 and wrapping paper (see above and below)

A lovely oak post and brace to distinguish the 'zones' - works well as an architectural feature and for texture and interest

Simple shaker units and vintage accessories

And the best bit about styling a photoshoot is eating cake and drinking tea

Could it get any more cosy than this?

A clever little area created from the eaves over the garden room - great for grandchildren sleeping over

a lovely, simple and fresh bedroom with Milton and Manor cushions to add colour

a sweet and simple bathroom

and it really was a lovely sunny day as you can see from the light flooding in - we had a great couple of days dressing and shooting this beautiful Border Oak cottage for winter to share with you all.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas - best wishes, Merry

Wednesday, 12 December 2012's frosty

I know the frost looks pretty but I can't help feeling sorry for all of our builders who are working in the chilly weather. I can only imagine how far away the sunny days of summer must feel to them, as I sit in my lovely and toasty cottage. I definitely appreciate the super insulation, underfloor heating, double glazing and wood burner of my Pearmain Cottage when things turn Arctic. 

Here are a couple of photos taken yesterday of a farmhouse we are building in Herefordshire. A very handsome house I think - with great views all around. It should be finished within the next month or so - if they weather holds.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

beautiful oak garages and outbuildings

We have decided to extend our recent show offer until Christmas - 20% off all standard oak framed garages and outbuildings. To inspire you here are two 'standard' models - showing what a wonderful addition an oak framed outbuilding can be

standard model 2.2 with an attached logstore - this model doesn't always need planning approval as teh ridge height is less than 4m

We also built a bespoke potting shed directly next to the model 2.2 - although they appear to be joined in this photo.

We added a pretty dove cote to the end - available in different sizes and can be painted.

the log store is accessed from inside the garage - I thought this photo really illustrated the quality of our oak outbuildings - beautiful inside and out

detail of the oak post and braces

 This is a standard model 4.3  - with half hipped roof and a room above

 Aren't the piggies just wonderful?

The room above is access via this external staircase - stairs, doors, windows logstores etc can all be added to customise your building.

The room above is spacious and bright - plenty of space for a double bed and ensuite

and when the sofa bed is 'away' there is still room for table football

and to finish  - the other angle of the potting shed and garage combo
I'm just working on the new garages and outbuildings brochure and the 20% offer stands until we get the new brochure so order while you can - bargains this good are hard to come by!

More photos of our oak outbuildings and size/price info can be found at

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

oak framed manor house

o I am sorry for the delay in posting any new images recently - we have commissioned so many photographs this summer that it will take a while for me to sort through, crop, edit and fiddle with them all. Some are needed for new brochures etc so I have to work quickly to meet deadlines - but there has also been a wide range of Self Build competitions that clients have been entering on our behalf so I had to get  the professional images ready to be sent in with the entry forms. Fingers crossed for everyone who has entered.

I guess I have about 1000 new pics from the last two months with 5 houses still to shoot! We have everything from thatched stone cottages to contemporary single storey homes. But the latest house was this fantastic manor house, completed only this spring if you can believe it - and so I thought I would share straight away. The new landscaping is wonderful and the house has already started to settle and 'breathe', which is one of the advantages of using lovely natural materials. I hope you like it.

The front elevation is a classic Border Oak manor house design - two gables, double storey porch, jettied overhangs, end chimney etc etc.

The rear elevation is particularly lovely - with three even sized gables and the bay window and garden room creating interest and projection - and softening the length of the house.
Lots of large windows help make the interior light and connect to the garden beyond.

Lots more windows - but still proportional to the design

Oh and I have a new favourite feature - can you see that the porch has no door? It is an enclosed lobby, or vestibule, before you get to the actual front door.

A great place for wellies, logs, deliveries, carol singers, unwanted house guests.........
The mix of brick and oak also works here - the special brick we use and the mortar mix are just right to add texture without looking too twee.

And the clients have used brick internally too to break up the amount of oak 

The garden room has no internal divide so the light floods into the kitchen and it makes one vast family space, leading onto the new lawn.

beyond this split door is the utility room and boot room

The landing is HUGE - but light and practical too. Can you see that the walk way os wider than average? It helps makes sense of the scale and anything less would have looked mean.

Sweet box room over the vestibule.

And if you were a kid, can you think of anything better than a hidden platform accessed by a ladder. My children will be very jealous. under the platform is a walk in wadrobe/cupboard and ensuite.

Some rooms are vaulted and others have flat ceilings so the loft can also be used for accommodation. Too many vaulted rooms might actually dilute the feature so a mix is good and also adds architectural  interest as you move through the space.

and finally a shower large enough for a rugby team (well a junior rugby team, not full sized obviously)
I really really like this house, it feels spacious but not all all pretentious or unnecessary. It has a fun, lighthearted and family orientated feel (they have a juke box in the kitchen - so must throw excellent parties) and it is already looking as if it has always been there.
They were a great family to work for and this somehow translates into the finished product I feel. The craftsmanship, construction work and materials are all spot on - as is the design -  so all in all a great home for really great clients - we all hope they will be very very happy there.