An oak frame family home in Buckinghamshire

Project overview:

Area: Buckinghamshire
House Type: Village home
House Size: 325m2
Build Route: External Architect, Oakwrights and self-managed

Rachel and James Good were looking for the perfect rural location to raise their family. After searching several locations that were commutable to good schools, they chose a house in Buckinghamshire that ticked many boxes on their wish list, which included land and stables for their horses.

The house itself wasn’t what they had in mind for their future home, but they fell in love with the location and its views. The existing house “was topsy turvy and only had three bedrooms,” says Rachel. “However, it was in a fantastic location, and it had land and a stable block. The house already had consent to extend so we knew the planning department were not against building something bigger. Our idea was to buy, knock down and build something that was right for us.”

After living in the existing house for four years, James and Rachel appointed an Architect and began their self-build journey.

An exterior view of the Good's new home layout

Choosing to build with oak

James had always admired the beauty of oak framed homes and so from the outset, the family had their hearts set on building with oak. James and Rachel approached our in-house teams to design and supply their frame, and worked with us to create a home that was individual and remained in-keeping with the local village vernacular.

The house design has its very own unique story, “the two-storey part is the farmhouse and the kitchen is the subservient barn,” explains Rachel.

The oak is the most beautiful feature and it gives the house character and warmth. We’ll never tire of it.

Rachel Good

Key design features

We suggested complementing their oak frame with more brickwork than they were originally planning to do, so the farmhouse itself is built from handmade bricks from a local company, while the kitchen is clad in oak. Additionally, their new home was positioned further away from the road than the original house and was reoriented to take advantage of the view towards the Chiltern Hills.

“It was very much about the view when we were designing the house,” says Rachel. “We installed large windows with as fewer panes as possible in the kitchen because we wanted to see the view, and we also opted for big sliding windows rather than bifolds to keep things open.”

The natural warmth of the oak frame complements their Cotteswood kitchen design

For Rachel who loves entertaining and cooking for friends and family, the new kitchen needed to have the wow factor.

“The kitchen is a real focal point and the oak frame gives it the most amazing character. When we got planning permission, the first thing I did was put a deposit on a Cotteswood kitchen. I am so pleased with the result. The design works so well; it feels very open and it’s perfect for entertaining. It’s an easy kitchen to live in and I also have a walk-in larder that’s oak framed too…” says Rachel.

When it came to the decor, Rachel turned to Henley-based interior designer Anne Haimes.

“Our brief was to create an informal house. I wanted relaxed family living – not too formal, but also quite grown up with calming colours. Annie came up with all the ideas for the colour palettes, paints and furniture.”

After working through their designs with their Architect, planning permission was applied for and granted. The total build took 10 months, and during this time the family moved into a rental property close to their build so they could be on hand whenever needed.

Julian Pilkington, a Senior Oak Frame Designer here at Oakwrights, notes: “This is a home I remember fondly. The project was a combination of all the right ingredients: fantastic clients with a love for oak along with the design and build process; a charming plot with rolling landscapes; and strong architectural design for a modern take on a family farmhouse.”

Rachel and James are thrilled with their new home.

“The oak is the most beautiful feature and it gives the house character and warmth. We’ll never tire of it,” concludes Rachel.

An oak frame family home in Buckinghamshire

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