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After years of planning an escape from the hustle and bustle of London, Francesca Kelly, her husband James, and their seven children dreamt of a home in the wilds of the Chappaquiddick Island shores, near Martha’s Vineyard, USA. They approached Roderick James Architects after seeing Roderick’s Seagull House in the book Houses by the Sea. Within a few weeks a strong friendship and trust was established, leading to the creation of their oak framed home built in 1995.
Light and space were the key elements for the Kelly’s, while making best use of the incredible natural surroundings. Carpenter Oak’s frame designers collaborated with Roderick James Architects to create just that: vast spaces filled with light and sea views on both sides, while including quirky features such as an oak framed tower giving uninterrupted views across the bay.
"A beautifully thought out space, which captures the essence of a timber frame - every nook and cranny has the character of an old English barn" - Adam Milton, Lead Carpenter
“It feels like a cross between a church barn and an ark beached on a hill above the water”
Character was another must for Francesca, who "loved decorating the interior of this home... there was so much space for freedom. Each room has a different theme - the blue room, the eastern room, the star room". The house was also designed to include smaller intimate spaces and hidden recesses providing privacy for this large family.
This hand crafted English green oak frame was made in our Devon workshops and shipped out to the USA. This American rustic style home sits perfectly in its wild, rural landscape overlooking the sea. Internally the main living area is a vast space, a total of 5,000 sq ft in all, with open plan vaulted oak ceilings, lending a sense of majesty and drama exaggerated by the extensive glazing which floods this space with light.
Devon (UK) based award winning specialists in the design, construction and raising of oak timber framed buildings. We have a dedicated team of Project Managers, Frame designers and Carpenters who work closely with clients and architects to deliver a wide variety of bespoke oak frame projects across the UK, Europe and beyond.
We celebrate the beauty and joy of timber frames in many different styles and raise over 60 frames a year for inclusion within schemes ranging from oak sunroom extensions to extensive high-end architectural oak houses.
We love wood, we love design and we love a challenge.
We are happy to discuss your ideas with you at an early stage and can offer you advice along the way. It is helpful for you to build a scrapbook (you could use Pinterest) of your ideas and wishes – this makes your brief to us and your architect much clearer. Once you have a plot in mind we would encourage you to come and see us in the show barn at our yard to discuss your ideas in more depth and help you establish a concept design and rough costs.
You can meet with one of our frame designers and an architect if required (Roderick James Architects offer a free initial consultation). We can offer you an estimate for your budget costings at that stage based on a timber frame sketch scheme. You will then be in a position to draw up a planning application, knowing that you will be able to achieve what you want with the frame. We can offer you an accurate estimate based on a timber frame sketch scheme once you have architects drawings. Once your planning application has been approved we can get going on a detailed frame design for you.
All of our Oak is from sustainably managed woodlands located around a single sawmill in Normandy, France (PEFC certifified). When this mill is unable to fulfil our order we divert to an alternative mill in Germany. The mills have access to a plentiful supply of exceptionally well managed and very high quality timber.
Why not use UK sourced oak, I hear you ask? Sadly, the lack of investment and good timber management for hardwoods in this country over many years means our domestic supplies are generally of a lower quality, inconsistent supply and can be more expensive. Although the situation will gradually change, it means that currently continental Oak is the best option for our framing. Carpenter Oak Ltd are investing in the future of UK woodlands.
For every tree used in a project we will donate 10 Oak saplings to an organised planting scheme in the UK
Douglas Fir and Larch all comes from sustainably managed UK forests.
Yes. If you are looking for a complete build or ‘Turnkey’ service, we can offer a solution to include each stage of the process, from the feasibility assessment, design, management and construction, right through to completion. We pride ourselves on being adaptable as every client is different. We can offer a number of routes for you and your project, depending on how involved you want to get. We aim to understand your particular situation and respond to deliver what you need. For many people that means us working as a contractor alongside your architect and builder, for others, involvement at each stage or a self build project. Get in touch to find out which route would suit your project best and we can deliver a range of options from a finished frame to a finished house, ready for you to move into.