Tuesday, 17 April 2012

scenes from the Open Day - April 2012

Here are just a few external pictures from the Border Oak Open House day we held last Saturday. 

A team of us left Herefordshire on Friday morning and drove for 4 hours to Essex to set up our 'satellite office' for one day only. 

After meeting the house owners and checking out the fabulous property we headed off to stay at the glamourous Premier Inn - passing Teddy Sheringham's pad on the way. We were all a bit miffed to see that Lenny Henry doesn't work behind reception.

We marveled at the jaw dropping gates that must be the 'in thing' down south - almost causing an accident each time we stopped to take a picture of the fanciest, glitziest, largest and most ornate gates we have ever seen. I know - we are true Country Bumpkins! Twas fun anyway.

After dropping our bags we had a 'strategy consultation' at the adjacent conference centre (Okay, we went to the pub for a drink and some food and tried not to laugh our socks off). After a great meal (for the company and banter, rather than the food) we went to bed raring to get started and show the house.

Luckily the weather was incredible when we woke and so we set off at 8am to 'meet and greet'.

We only had a limited number of slots available for the day and a continuous flow of people came from all over the UK starting at 10am with the last people leaving at 5.30. 

We left Essex feeling exciting and incredibly proud of what we do - we also met lots of lovely potential and existing clients and we all enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time with the wonderful house owners. We are very grateful that they allowed us to 'borrow' their beautiful home for the day, for all their hard work getting it ready, and for taking the time to chat to all the people who came.

We got home at 9.45 after devouring a bag of wine gums and jelly babies on the way.

A huge thanks to everyone who came - we really hope you enjoyed your visit.

I have some interior photos for tomorrow.

P.S Don't eat the veggie chilli at Cheiveley services - it is VERY hot.

The back of the house looks out over London - we could see Alexandra Palace and Wembley. The house is almost completely oak framed, which is fairly unusual nowadays. It also has lots of chimneys (and 6 fires/woodburners internally)

The front was planted up while we were there - amazing! But I only got photos before the planting sorry. The frontage is a classical Border Oak arrangement - but has three jetties (the first floor projection) which is very traditional and a significant part of the success of the design.

The door was almost 2 inches thick and based upon the Border Oak office door.

Herringbone brick panels bring another texture to the house - you could always build this lower section from Brick and block (ie without oak framing) and sit the oak above.

Here is a detail of the jetty - no one does a jetty as good as we do, rounded and champered jetty feet, angled end jetties and jetty brackets (some times called knuckles) with shaped profiles and just the right number of pegs. It is very authentic and therefore always looks right. The devil is in the detail I say, and I would urge any potential clients to compare us on our attention to detail and our exemplary workmanship - we can't be bettered (in my honest, humble and very biased opinion).

I loved the mix of stone and brick - including the brick tumbled shoulders on our chimney. Another detail that is above the ordinary - but very typical for us.

Hope to post as many pics as I can of this house - let me know when I have bored you too much. More Open Days coming over the summer - watch this space.


  1. these are not boring! I love these homes and they make me homesick! and...I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award {which I accepted} and I am now passing on the Award to five of my favourite BLOGs. I love your work and have just nominated you ~ if you would like to accept ~ pop over to my BLOG to see the rules.


  2. Hi Merry,

    Not strictly related to this post, but something I'm wondering about re the windows. As someone who lives in a Border Oak house, do you think hardwood windows are worth paying a little bit more for rather than painted ones? I know the painted ones are guaranteed for a long time, but I'd rather do anything than sand/paint windows!
    Just be interested to know what you think.

    Many thanks and kind regards,