THE EXPOSED OAK FRAME BRINGS CHARACTER TO EVERY ROOM WITH THE STUNNING MASTER BEDROOM VAULTED RIGHT UP INTO THE ROOF SPACE
For 19 years Sheila and Richard Hope had lived happily in the same 1930s house in the rural market town of Crowborough in Sussex. Their daughters, Charlotte and Sarah, grew up in the four bedroom property and the family had made many friends in the area and were not planning to move on. Until, that is, some friends happened to mention they were planning to sell off part of their large garden as a building plot.
"We all live in the same road, so buying the plot only meant moving a short distance" says Sheila. "It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss - particularly as it meant that we’d have friendly neighbours living right next door. I knew immediately that we should buy it and build ourselves a new house there." The piece of land measured just under half an acre and was totally overgrown when the Hope’s first saw it, making it difficult to see the full extent of the plot. Outline Planning Permission had already beensecured for a new house, but the couple had definite ideas about the kind of home they wanted to build.
"A friend of ours, Julian Bluck, specialises in designing green oak frame houses" says Sheila, a production editor. "We loved the idea of building with oak, and although we explained what we need in terms of rooms, we left everything else up to Julian. He had a free hand regarding the look of the house, and came up with a weather-boarded barn-style design which perfectly suited the site." Sheila and Richard made very few alterations to these initial sketches, only changing the position of an en suite bathroom upstairs in order to slightly enlarge Sheila’s home office.