Near Henley, Oxfordshire.
The sympathetic upgrade and refurbishment of a quaint worker's cottage in Oxfordshire to create a characterful, restful home.
What was the client’s brief?
Period refurbishments offer an exciting opportunity to strike a balance between the preservation of original features and the introduction of new elements designed to enhance comfort and convenience. Situated on the fringe of a picturesque Oxfordshire village, Asher House is typical of the local stone-built properties that characterise the area, with original beams and impressive hearths, but it was ready for a fresh start. Our client wanted a charming holiday home for all the family to enjoy – complete with stunning swimming pool. The cottage was the perfect canvas – lending itself wonderfully well to a comprehensive yet sympathetic upgrade, offering the added inducements of a lovely south-facing garden, ample parking and unspoilt views over the countryside.
What did we do?
Our design included stripping back more recent additions to the cottage, exposing and showcasing its original character and establishing a lighter-feeling interior that had a better flow and a more direct connection with the outdoor space. The creation of vaulted ceilings in some of the living areas effectively opened out the space, drawing the eye upward and making a feature of the beams. Original details – such as the stonework and timber – were complemented by stylish new installations, including kitchen and bathrooms, that make a design statement without overwhelming the overall effect. The inclusion of a handful of statement pieces, like the dual aspect fireplace between cinema room and pool room, have helped to elevate the finish to the highest standard.
What challenges did we need to overcome?
With the cottage located in a conservation area, it was crucial that all of the external modifications were faithful to the spirit and period of the original build. This included upgrading the clunky 1980s replacement windows with lighter-framed double-glazed units in heritage colours. The cottage was ready for some overdue repairs, too. For example, the stunning original stonework needed to be stitched to improve structural stability, while the timber work was sandblasted to remove the impurities and accretions from centuries of wear. The plumbing needed to be upgraded and all joinery items were replaced inside and out. Roof coverings required an overhaul and chimney stacks were re-flashed.
What was the finished result?
Asher House is a perfect example of how a characterful home can be transformed into a comfortable, modern family living space without compromising its authentic charm. The original features create an even greater impression now they have been given the opportunity to take centre stage against a backdrop of cool, elegant surfaces. The link from indoors to outdoors is more clearly defined with the addition of french windows leading out to a garden that’s been beautifully redesigned by the team at HollandGreen Landscapes. Exquisite joinery from Barr Joinery complements the contemporary cottage palette provided by Lara Clarke Interiors. Unique tiles and textural wallpapers complete the look and make this a cosy home that will make the ideal venue for family holidays.
Photography reproduced by kind permission of StuartBarr construction.
We’ve helped transform many wonderful living spaces through renovations and extensions over the years.
Whether you’re looking for a contemporary glass addition, a complete makeover for a period Victorian or Edwardian property, internal remodelling options for houses built more recently, or a complete restoration of a derelict building, we’ll be able to help.
Using our 3D design process, you can explore a range of alterations before embarking on the more detailed phase of your renovation or extension.
With our wealth of experience working on listed and heritage properties across London and the South East, HollandGreen has successfully negotiated consents with Local Authority Conservation Officers and with Historic England for a wide range of renovation and extension planning requests.
We work with Specialist Heritage Consultants, and Archaeologists to provide detailed assessments of historic buildings, and have gained approval for ambitious, but sympathetic alterations to properties of historic interest, including those Grade ii* which fall within the top 3% of protected properties in the UK.
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If you are fortunate enough to have a plot of land that has the potential to be built on, or a house that you would like to knock down and start again with a blank piece of paper, we’d love to help.
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From traditional listed stone walled buildings with slate roofing, to more modern metal clad farm sheds for the modern, industrial look, you can create luxurious country living perfect for you. What a great opportunity to create a characterful family home that’s sympathetic to its rural setting, and generally larger in volume and scale than a modern build.
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Please do get in touch if you have any specific questions around what can be possible within a Conservation Area, even if you are just at the early stage of purchasing the property.
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If you’re battling to add space to your property, creating a basement storey can provide the perfect option to add significant living space, without having to move.
To find out whether adding a basement to your property will add value to your house, we recommend seeking advice from your local estate agents. Talk to us about Permitted Development Rights, as basement extensions are often possible, if a cellar space already exists.
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The way people use their living space is changing. We find that for most of our clients, the kitchen is now the hub of the modern home, and we’re proud that we’ve become known for our inventive and aspirational kitchen extensions.
We’ve helped hundreds of home owners across London and the South East create open, bright and contemporary kitchen living spaces that combine cooking, dining and living within one social and inviting area.
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