David Tayler and Zana Rajin have remodelled an unexciting bungalow, adding a sizable oak frame extension, to create a dramatic home set within private woodland.
It took David less than an hour to buy the small timber frame bungalow which was to become the starting point for his stunning new home, set in an idyllic Cornish valley overlooking ancient woodland. The property stood on a five-acre site near Falmouth, and David found himself making an offer for the asking price after a brief viewing and a chat with the elderly owners.
“I’ve always had a fondness for this part of Cornwall and when I spotted an ad for the property, I decided to take a look. The sun was shining and other prospective buyers were milling around” he recalls. “I realised that if I didn’t act quickly I was likely to regret it, and so I bought the bungalow there and then.”
“We rented it out for a year before eventually moving in,” he explains. “I used to sit here looking longingly across the valley at the woodland on the other side, and realised that if I could buy that view, and the privacy it would bring, we could consider building something really worthwhile.”
Negotiations with the owner eventually led to David and Zana purchasing an additional 13 acres of ancient woodland, complete with a lake and natural spring, and the couple began to plan how best to develop their picturesque site.
David wanted to create a bold and expansive two storey extension which would still retain the ridge height of the existing single storey bungalow by taking advantage of the naturally sloping site. “I drew up the plans myself and then contacted English Oak Buildings, who designed and built our oak frame,” explains David, who has previously built and remodelled a number of homes.
The resulting house is a dwelling of grand proportions which feels as if it has always stood on the site. The first three bays of the five-bay oak frame are open to the roof, with a fully glazed gable elevation giving the already extensive living area a cathedral-like quality. Light pours in through the glazed sections of the frame, lending the space a contemporary feel without compromising the traditional character of the building.
The south-facing kitchen/diner and living room in the existing bungalow have been combined to form an extremely spacious kitchen/diner, almost 16 metres long, which overlooks the garden and woodland beyond through a wall of newly inserted oak French doors which open onto a slated terrace.
“We look out over our own land so there’s no need for curtains,” says David. “If we hadn’t been able to buy the woodland we definitely wouldn’t have gone ahead with such a major project. The extension has given us all the space, light and views we could have hoped for and the oak frame introduced instant character and drama.”