Saturday, 30 November 2013

Border Oak Cottage

I thought you might like to see the photographs of a fantastic Border Oak cottage taken a few months ago. A bespoke Border Oak classic design - combining some elements of Pearmain Cottage with exposed oak framing, brickwork and weatherboard, and the fabulous oak porch to complete the look.

 Mr W, the owner,  first contacted Border Oak many years (and many self build shows) ago when the project was to be more of a batchelor pad for a successful, young graphic designer. But the future Mrs W soon came into the picture and the cottage now really represents the very happiest of 'happy-ever-afters' - a beautiful new home to begin married life. I hope many many lovely memories are created here - Mr and Mrs W deserve it after all the hard work and energy that they have lavished on this pretty home.

An external boiler or air source heat pump?

Love the punch of colour coming from the fridge and the light

maintaining a 'view through' always helps a cottage feel larger - enabling you to see from one end of the house to another

ground floor bathroom

A vaulted ceiling - what oak framing does best.

I love shots of the stairs like this

 One of the two spare rooms - just shows that contemporary design and oak framing still work well

The bath is modern, but with a lovely organic shape so not harsh or gimmicky - and it very cleverly allows you to see a lot of floor and therefore makes the room feel spacious. The pillar tap also means two people can share the bath without one person ending up with the tap end.

A really great self build project by the owners, with an immaculate finish and excellent attention to detail - I hope you like it too.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

so this is what we have done so far at the cottage

just a quickie to give you a progress update........

exposed brickwork - isn't it lovely

perhaps a bit black in places?

But already it looks better

carpets have been ripped out - I was debating keeping the floor boards exposed, but there are quite a lot of holes......

there's a hole

bathroom - GONE!

kitchen cleared out

sitting room door blocked up

so you can now see from the kitchen to the front door - light, spacious and oh so simple

and you can see from the front door to the back garden - which will be even more dramatic once the rear extension is built

the only way to the kitchen was through the sitting room - not any more!

but this is where the big change is - look how much space we have discovered - I won't tell you what else we discovered though......

And it will be worth all the upheaval when you realise that this is the view you could wake up to - gorgeous!
 oh and there is a post about some oak framing coming next - seemed sensible to include a bit of wood given that we flog oak frames?

good night!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A little job on the side

So while we wait (and wait and wait and wait.......) to hear about the planning application I have decided to keep myself busy. It would be very easy to become obsessed with the soap opera that the application has become, but we really are trying to 'rise above' the endless, relentless to- ing and fro- ing and carry on with life as best we can. And it just so happens that I have the perfect distraction pretty much on my doorstep.

Let me introduce you to Court House Cottage - an unloved little gem of a house, sitting in the very heart of Medieval Pembridge (literally sandwiched by the medieval market hall and church)
CHC (I am so lazy!) is a brick cottage, Victorian semi detached and empty for several years. My Dad bought it (well, strictly speaking I bought it for him while he was on holiday - he had never been inside) last summer. It was a pretty quick purchase because it was repossessed but it was so close, had potential and was in a fab location we decided to take it on despite the general 'run down-ness' and neglect it showed.

We applied for planning for an oak porch and teeny tiny oak extension to the rear - as well as replacing the doors and windows, interior alterations and a some landscaping. Luckily there were no objections (I think everyone living near by was keen for it to be restored, and lived in once again- it really lets the village down, like a broken tooth in an otherwise shiny smile) and planning approval was actually fairly quick.

There are some lovely details - such as this inset hand engrave stone name plaque

and there are some not very lovely features, such as the carpet, front door and pointless tiny vestibule thingy which makes you feel breathless with claustrophobia.

We debated keeping the kitchen as it is - just replacing the cabinet doors.......I'm joking.

 Seriously - why two washing machines?

So, just to try and explain - the front door leads to nowhere, but you can turn right to the sitting room (which then leads onto the kitchen), or left to......the under stairs cupboard (the closed door in the photo above). Yes the doors are reminiscent of a university halls or residence and the walls have been painted in that distinctive ointment pink usually only sold to Village Hall Committees or council run nursing homes

But there is a reasonable 'with potential' fireplace and wood burner

And a shed load of stuff that the repossession company didn't want. Nor did the hospice charity shop.

A better photo of the aforementioned excuse for a door - which makes me think.....presumably there were Victorian doors here at some point, so whose clever idea was it to take them out and put these godforsaken little numbers in. I just hoped you flogged the originals for lots of money.

The orange/brown and white colour scheme is loyally retained through out, as the perfect compliment to the oinment pink. Free Tip - it is unnecessary to match your lino to your back door.

I know - it does look like something bad has happened in here. Apologies for those sensitive to dreadful interior design.

But the stairs are solid and will paint up a treat - imagine a lovely greeny grey, or maybe moley brown for a change,  paint with a jute stair runner..........

but, things start to look up when you see the view from the stair window.....and this bit of land over the lane came with the cottage.......mmmmm, 'potential' I think is the word?

Main bedroom is big with lovely high ceilings and doesn't need much more than a bit of patch plastering, painting, new carpet, new window, new electrics/lights, new radiator, new door.......oh, that actually sounds like quite a lot of work when I list it all. Thanks goodness I am chief list maker and not the actual person 'doing'.

the view down the stairs- showing the window that is half stairway/half under stairs cupboard. Weird.

The back of the house - taken from the church yard - just to give you a reprieve from the internals, even I was getting depressed looking at those.

But here's a funny story (not that funny, more semi amusing). The bathroom cleverly picks up the pink theme once again, and I'm sure I am not being a snob by saying that pink suites are pretty undesirable? If you had the chance you really wouldn't buy one or install one would you? So how come, when this little beauty was stuffed in the skip, someone came under the cover of darkness and stole the big pink bath - driving off at high speed with the pink plastic hanging out the back of their car?!! Very odd (especially as if they had asked during daylight hours, the builders would have helped load it). Now I want to know where it is and what it is being used for. And why, oh why, did they leave the poor matching sink and moulded vanity splash back with special spaces for the toothbrushes??

green carpet in the bathroom  - hmmmm

The spare room is a good size, and doesn't need much work, but it does have the best view of the house - the church and detached bell tower. Gorgeous.

A random loft hatch shot to show the height of the ceilings

And finally a turquoise carpet. I have no more to say.

Anyway - as you can see I have a bit of a project on my hands. Work started last week, and already the transformation is underway. I will post the current photos in a few days, but don't worry the carpets and doors went the same way as the pink bath - into the skip. Funnily enough nobody came to collect these.....