Monday, 28 June 2010

more of the 'wow' house

Here are the pics I promised last week - a bit late, sorry, but I had some 'guide mother' duties to fulfill - my beautiful godson Arlo had a naming day yesterday and a fab day was had by us all in the Herefordshire sunshine. I think the boys were a bit upset about the football but the makeshift water slide entertained the kiddiewinks for hours - thankfully oblivious to the inevitable fate of our overpaid and underworked footballers.

Anyway - here are some interiors to entertain you - I wish I could email you all a water slide and a glass of Pimms but these are the nest best thing?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

old skool

Every now and then I see something that makes me yearn for the 'good old days'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for progression and innovation and would probably consider myself to be, if not an eco warrior, then a pretty dedicated sustainabilty soldier - but sometimes I get the worrying feeling that we are all trying to 'fix' something that wasn't even shop soiled let alone broken.

Ever changing Building Regs, Health and Safety, Planning controls, Codes for Sustainable housing....blah blah blah - there are just so many rules and things you MUST do or are FORBIDDEN to try. And the rules all seem to advocate less and less choice rather than celebrate the artistic spirit that has made the Self Build industry in this country so exciting. I even read the other day that most of the regulations for the future will depend on our houses being so airtight that opening a window, having a wood burner or even (heaven forbid) breaking wind would send your house into some sort of atmospheric/air conditioned melt down. What is going on? Surely our climate here is perfectly suited to throwing open the french doors on a sunday or lighting the stove in the middle of winter - if not for temperature control then maybe for evoking an atmosphere and creating an lovely living environment? Oh dear, I'm ranting aren't I?

Any way the purpose of this was to show you this gorgeous house, which is built the very same way and to much the same design as an Elizabethen house - but with a lot more insulation. Each time I see a full oak framed cottage like this I get a warm fuzzy glow (I think I need to build one?)

The owners may have an air heat source pump (see at the front) and double glazed, Argon filled windows, underfloor heating and all the other high tech gadgetry available nowadays, but I just think the house looks pleasing and subtle. It isn't pretending to be old, or (heaven forbid, again) trying to look foreign (ie German) - it is just good old fashioned British craftsmanship, a dollop of vernacular design, topped off with fab natural materials that will get better with age.

Here endeth the sermon.........(for now!)

How amazing does their plot look? I think the joinery is being painted grey/green so it will look wonderful against the woodland. And I love that rickety fence in the foreground.

As it weathers down it will sit perfectly in the plot - the roof will gather some lichen and the oak will silver. The stone and brick chimney looks good too.

The brick annex is a good alternative to weatherboard, especially with the painted joinery. Perfect.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

a room with a view

Ooooh! I have got some new photos in this week - I get inordinately excited by new Border Oak pics especially if I haven't seen the house itself. And this house is a cracker - with the most amazing setting ( I think you can see about 6 different counties on a clear day!) Designed by an architect, built by Border Oak for two of the loveliest clients - I hope you like it. More photos to follow shortly, I am just resizing them all.

And to make an exciting week even more exciting, my baby sister had her own baby last night - Griffin John Edward. Welcome to the family little man - we love you already!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

one day.............

When I was at school my favorite subject, by far, was art. I even started an Art Foundation course after my A levels and toyed with the idea of studying Fine Art at Ruskin. But my father had visions of me scraping a meagre living drawing portraits of indifferent tourists in Firenze. And, in truth, I was never going to be good enough to charge the tourists money, so I switched to History of Art (much easier, less hours) and now scrape a meagre living working for my father! Any way the point of my ramblings is to introduce this gorgeous little studio that Border Oak built for an artist in Buckinghamshire.

One day, in my dreams, I will beg Mr A to build me a studio like this - and I will potter and paint and sew and stick and glue with Minnie Moo. And I will have a little shop downstairs and a holiday cottage out back. Perfect.

I love the grey door and cobbles , stainless steel barrel lights and grey painted stairs. And I LOVE the light in the upstairs studio.