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3rd Mar 2017

The Coach House; Made to Measure to the Last Bolt

Every inch of this beautifully converted out building is made to measure to client requirements and architect specification.  Designed by London/ Oxford Wolf Architects, with joinery design and manufacture by BarrJoinery…not a single detail was spared.  The brief was to create a space which could be transformed easily from home office to guest annex.  It had to be warm and relatively sound proof, have lots of shelving, be child-friendly and be a technically adapted workspace… oh, and include a bathroom and a hide-away double bed!

Originally the client hoped that the sleeping area could be on one of the two built in mezzanines, but given the finished floor spaces it was not to be.  As an alternative a hideaway bed system with made to measure joinery, came into play.  A hidden pivot hinge was used on the 2m x 3m shelving unit, allowing the deep doors to fold back on themselves to a 90-degree angle, without restricting the mechanism. Shelving on the opposite side of space mirrors the pivoting bookcase, giving a library effect and the deep shelves accommodate large art books, part of our client’s life and work.  The far bookcase wraps around the second staircase maximizing the space and storage.

The two mezzanines offer distinct spaces - one a cosy TV watching / reading snug and the other a fully functional office space.  Each accessed by a separate lit staircase - at opposite sides of the barn giving each its own individual feel. Both mezzanines remain light and airy due to dormer and roof lights, as well as cleverly designed glass and beam walls to the central space. As a result the little office space feels much bigger than it actually is, with the desk almost suspended in mid-air, looking across the old beams and down to the library below.

A variety of woods were used to contrast to the old oak beams  - from mid depth oak flooring to ash veneered shelving and solid maple cabinetry.  The bespoke vanity unit a combination of solid maple and maple-veneered joinery grade moisture resistant MDF, achieving the perfect balance of aesthetics, functionality and durability. Similarly the tulipwood built in AV unit perfectly firs both space and function - simple and discrete.  

Tips for making the most of compact spaces (according to Living Etc. March 2017)

Think Tall:  Shelving which reaches the ceiling makes the space seem bigger by drawing the eye to the absolute height of the room.

Conceal not Reveal: Built-in concealed storage helps bijoux spaces to stay looking clear and therefore bigger.  Keeping surfaces clear makes any space seem larger.

Loose the Walls: an open plan layout creates the illusion of space.

Build Upwards: Use any loft/ attic space available, however small, as every square inch counts in a compact home.

So what does bespoke joinery offer that off the shelf items don’t?  The answer is elegance, integrity and a perfect finish. One piece of bespoke joinery is worth 10 pieces of flat packed furniture any day.

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