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An oak frame home nestled within the heart of a Hampshire village

Having lived in their Hampshire family home for nearly 30 years, David and Judy Bishop began exploring their options to downsize.

“I’d built another house way back, and all our friends live here,” explains Judy. “So, we decided we wanted to self-build and stay in the area.”

And it was not long at all before they had their hearts set on a fond and familiar plot of land to build on: their tennis court, which was just a stone’s throw away…

Project Details

  • Hampshire
  • November 2016
  • Village style
  • 522m2
  • £1.6m
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Choosing to build with oak 

Having previously learnt about our services here at Oakwrights during village discussions to add an oak framed extension to their church, Judy later approached our teams in 2015, armed with ideas and inspiration for an oak frame home design. Soon after, David and Judy met with one of our Regional Architectural Designers, John Williams, and from here the Bishops’ wish list for their self-build project turned into a visual design concept.

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Inspiration and personal touches 

“Judy knew the key views she wanted to catch from the new house, looking out across the fields to the hills, and she was keen to create a seamless relationship between internal rooms and external garden spaces, all the while taking advantage of the movement of the sun through the day and year,” explains John. “This informed the position of the house, its orientation, as well as the arrangement of internal rooms and the design of the garden.”

During their architectural design journey, David and Judy had booked a stay at our show home, The Woodhouse, however unfortunately at this time, David’s health began to decline. So, they worked closely with John to evolve their home design, ensuring it would be wheelchair friendly by incorporating a consistent floor level both inside and out, space for a lift facility and extra wide doors.

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Key design features 

Judy had a modern and eco-friendly design in mind and dreamt of combining these requirements with her love of barn-style homes. Inside, she envisioned rooms filled with natural light at all times of the day, while benefitting from expansive garden views, so there was almost a sense that the inside and out were one. However, the Bishops lived in a Conservation Area, meaning strict planning permissions were in place which would influence and determine aspects of their final architectural design.

Sadly, David passed away before planning permission was approved, and at Judy’s request, John sensitively adapted certain aspects of the original oak frame design, while the initial vision for this home and the majority of the future-proofing elements detailed below remained the same.

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Unique external features 

As you approach this home along the driveway, your attention is immediately captured by the plethora of materials working together to achieve the characterful exterior. Although they were a conservation requirement and contrast in texture and tones, the Flemish bonded red bricks and knapped flint stand out to create striking feature walls, while also complementing each other and adding architectural intrigue; for example, around the oak frame windows. In addition, cedar weatherboarding has been incorporated into Judy’s design to encase her adjoining oak frame room above garage, which has naturally aged in colour and blends in perfectly with both the bricks and flint, while all materials sit beneath a natural clay tiled roof.

“Judy’s new home took inspiration from the local vernacular and the neighbouring buildings along the lane from it in the village,” says John. “Flint is found in a lot of these nearby houses, combined with brick and clay plain tiles. The texture of the flint and the use of brick detailing around window and door openings from Woodbase Joiners and in external quoins was intended to give the house a timeless quality, at one with the quiet village setting. Oak sits sympathetically alongside these materials.”

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Step inside...

Positioned on a stone patio and surrounded by both garden greenery and the backdrop of treetops, Judy’s home is nestled beautifully within its countryside location and even from afar, it is clear how much thought and love has gone into its design.

Inside Judy’s hall you are greeted by a beautifully balanced blend of oak: the bespoke frame, the framed face glazing and additional oak joinery take centre stage, complementing each other, while the natural-coloured stone floor remains in-keeping with the warming timber tones. An impressive oak beam runs horizontally above this room, drawing your attention to the varying ceiling heights here and in turn, to the sweeping ZigZag Design Studio oak staircase positioned to the left of the front door, and the vaulted first floor. To the right-hand side is Judy’s living room, featuring further windows and just one of the many sets of oak French doors leading out into her breathtaking country garden oasis. There is also a study on this side of her home, along with a cloakroom and a WC.

Through the hallway and to the left of the ground floor, you can either partially or fully open the internal oak bifold doors connecting the spaces to arrive in her OptiPlan Kitchen made from oak cabinets. The floorplan then flows right into an open-plan dining and sitting area, where oak bifolds welcome in as much natural light as possible, while inviting you to explore the beauty awaiting outside too.

Moving on from the kitchen, there is a large utility room to the left, with a further WC and also a wine store. Here, you can also access Judy’s oak framed garage, which benefits from a room above that is used as a studio.

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Light and airy oak framed home 

“It helped that I knew exactly what I wanted, such as the double-height windows in the hallway and a statement staircase,” explains Judy.

Gliding up this staircase, you arrive on her vaulted landing where light quite literally streams in from all angles, while king post oak trusses and purlins ahead draw your eyes up and down the space. To the left of the landing, careful consideration has been given to the layout of the master bedroom, which comprises a large dressing room, en-suite bathroom and spacious bedroom. To continue the theme and feeling of creating a light and airy oak framed home, this room also benefits from glazing and an oak frame Juliet balcony, so Judy can enjoy her garden by day and night. A large, en-suite guest bedroom can also be found on this side of the property.

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Beautiful landscape 

Stepping to the right of the landing, there are two further bedrooms which share a family bathroom and again, amazing amounts of oak joinery has been incorporated into these spaces, so the outside is always welcomed in.

Downstairs and outside to the rear of Judy’s home is where you can truly immerse yourself in her beautifully landscaped south-facing garden, which is sympathetically overlooked by the windows and doors detailed above. Adding to Judy’s external material palette, she opted to integrate our 3i infill panelling system in between the ground floor and first floor, giving the illusion that both levels are united while subtly exuding a quintessential look of a traditional oak framed house sat within such a bucolic setting.

It was a pleasure to work with Oakwrights...


An oak home built with the future in mind

From a sustainability perspective, Judy opted to encase her oak frame with our highly insulating and airtight WrightWall and WrightRoof encapsulation system. This was designed and prefabricated alongside her frame by our teams here in Herefordshire to ensure a seamless fit, while saving construction work time required on-site, which began in the winter of 2015.

Judy finds her home cosy in the winter and cool in the summer thanks to her WrightWall and Roof encapsulation working in conjunction with many other elements to achieve near-Passivhaus levels of airtightness. There is underfloor heating on both floors, glazing that deflects excessive solar heat, and an all-house ventilation system that changes the air every seven hours. An air source heat pump, rainwater harvesting tank and a three-phase electrical system ensures her oak frame home will remain sustainable for years to come, and will continue to achieve excellent levels of energy efficiency.

Looking forwards, Judy worked with her main contractor Darren Blackwell from Oakland Vale to determine an exact location within her architectural design for a lift in the one corner of her kitchen which she chose to install.

In November 2016, Judy moved into her truly magical oak frame ‘home away from home’, and she could not envisage living anywhere else…

“On a warm day it’s as if I am outside: I can sit in the living area and have three sides of glazing open to the garden. I am so excited to be living here! I love it all,” concludes Judy.

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