A new year is here, but it will still be some time before we feel the warming rays of spring sunshine brightening the days! And while oak buildings naturally lend themselves wonderfully to summer months – the opportunity for walls of glazing that allow light to flood in; open spaces and lofty ceilings; garden rooms and pergolas that can be enjoyed when the sunshine is out – they’re also perfect for wintery weather, and can be the most cosy of homes with a few touches.

Country-Cottage Kitchen

Don’t you just love the effect that exposed beams have on a kitchen with a lower ceiling? Hyde Barn in rural Hampshire is used as a holiday cottage, and this room shows just how cosy and comfortable a room can be with an English Oak Buildings frame. Clever spotlighting, nooks and crannies, and curved braces all create a real farmhouse feel.

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Fireplaces in the Lounge 

If there’s one thing guaranteed to evoke feelings of cosy comfort and the wish to snuggle down under a throw with the latest PD James novel, then it’s an open fireplace. Flickering flames and the smell of woodsmoke is hard to beat in the English winter. Meadow Cottage has been extended with a very traditional-looking oak frame whilst retaining the stone facade to the property, and this room, with the low beamed ceiling and wide open fireplace, has incredible character.

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Warming accent colours

Back to Hyde Barn, and the owners know that a way to inject warmth into a space is with a bold and fiery accent colour. This pillar-box red not only draws the eye, but also looks wonderful against the pale golden beams of oak. The sloping ceiling also adds a sense of intimate cosiness.

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Soft furnishings 

So what if you’ve got high ceilings and a large amount of glazing – is there an easy way to introduce comfort when the sky outside is grey? Well, nothing says come and relax like soft furnishings. The owners of Menkea Wartha have a  fully glazed gable elevation that gives the living area a lofty height, but things are kept from feeling draughty with ample amounts of clever fabrics. Turkish rugs, soft velvet materials and cosy plump cushions are all wonderful ways to welcome in the cold weather.

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