You may remember me saying that we are going to build ourselves a home. In the Cotswolds, on the edge of a lake.
First things first – we have given the house a name – Rainshore. This is the name my Grandfather gave to the house he built in 1929. The house was passed to my brother who sold it eventually, so this is a way of reinstating it, and remembering my father and his family home.
I mentioned work would start in six weeks. However the design development has taken a little longer than we hoped. And now it needs to be agreed by the Planning Department, so building won’t start until October, or maybe later.
But not to worry. We have spent the time really working carefully on every aspects of the plan. Want to see what we are going to build?
I read a lot of plans because my job involves the construction of homes. It is just like “reading” a dress pattern. You have to know some of the symbols, but mostly you have to have a sense of scale, proportion and the ability to construct a 3D view in your imagination.
This is not a huge home – it has four “bedrooms” on two floors. It doesn’t have a traditional garden (the open space is communal and very extensive), but it has a roof garden. Or at least an accessible flat roof big enough to eat out on, and sunbathe too. It is basically a modern design, a bit like a shipping container (which are used for homeless people sometimes). It overlooks a lake and is south facing, so as good as it get in UK terms, making the most of the 26 nice sunny days we get each year.
Starting from the left on the ground floor, we enter with a bedroom to our left. This (like most of the rooms) has sliding doors so that it can be left open to give a sense of space, and closed when visitors come to stay. In addition the bed (like most of the beds) is a swivel/pull down bed so that all the rooms are multi-purpose. We can use the rooms for our hobbies. This one is for my husband. It has an ensuite bathroom, and the staircase next to it. The next bedroom will have pull down bunks for children who come to stay. But it is also the laundry and utility room.
At the front of the house on the ground floor, overlooking the lake is our bedroom, with alot of glazing and a door to the outside, and a terrace for sitting out on.
The drawing in the middle is of the first floor. At the top of the stairs to the left is another room which can double as a guest bedroom. But this will be my sewing room! It has a pulldown bed, but also cupboards for storing materials. Although it is north facing it has a balcony with a door to provide lots of light and the chance to go out for a bit of the fresh air. The sliding doors to the living room would normally be retracted. There is a toilet and basin nearby so that visitors would not have to go downstairs if they were staying up here, except for a bath or shower. We are just trying to see if we can get a shower in here too. The large space is our kitchen-living-dining room. I expect to cut out my sewing projects on the large dining table which is of an ingenious design (more of this later). There is a large outdoor balcony area ideally situated (as they say in estate agents brochures) for outdoor dining and staring at the lake. We wanted the living room on the upper floor to give us the opportunity to look out at the lake and the wildlife.
Although there is underfloor heating and the house will be very eco-friendly, we have specified a wood burning stove in the sitting room. Although it may never be needed in terms of temperature, we like to see wood burning – it is a lovely feature.
The stairway leads up on to the roof in the third picture. We will probably plant some bushes to give privacy and shade. Nick is considering a camomile lawn. But in the end I think we will probably have wood.
So far, so good. There are a few more changes yet, but we are close to signing off the plans.
I will give you another update fairly soon. We hope to specify what the interiors will look like before we start on site.