Stuart Barr
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6th Dec 2016

Bringing the Art of True Craftsmanship to Christmas

Set in the heart of a quaint, traditional Hertfordshire village, on the edge of a National Trust estate, this fascinating 1920’s Arts and Crafts former rectory has been a total joy for StuartBarrCDR to extend, renovate and refurbish.

The property was built on the one-acre site of a much older building, part of which has been retained in the current 20thC structure.  The house exhibits a host of original internal features, which form a stunning visual backdrop for this fabulous interiors masterpiece.

The entrance hall greets guests with a classic Arts and Crafts feast of stone work and oak beams, leading to a stunning curved stone staircase with hand carved wrought iron balustrade which forms the centrepiece of the residence.  A particularly unusual drawing room leads off the hallway (for more detail click to the project page) with a stone minstrels gallery and below level bar, exemplifying the unusual and eclectic nature of Arts and Crafts architecture.

The Arts & Crafts movement spanned a period of around 30 years and spread across much of the UK, reaching its height in the early 20th century. The look is all about simple, traditional building forms, the use of natural materials and the celebration of craftsmanship and individuality.  In an Arts and Crafts house the first floor is likely to be at least partially within the roof space, often with dormer windows to some elevations, and there may well be a further attic story, with another row of dormer windows. Larger footprints, as seen with this property, are achieved by grouping together a series of two or three pitched roofed bays, often with gables facing both front, back and side elevations. Large chimneys are a very important part of the building form, often tall and wide with stacks ornately decorated in traditional brickwork or stonework.

Although large the property remains un-austere, with an asymmetric roofline giving to a softening of external lines. Inside multi level living gives the house a degree interest and character not available to more classical architecture.  As a result guest bedrooms have their own wing, as does the master suite and the family quarters. The gym and pool house, also completely renovated, are attached to the house by a walkway but retain their own separate identity. Feature windows appear in many of the rooms and one literally only has to turn the next corner to find yet another delightfully unusual fire place, arched doorframe or handcrafted piece.

Every inch of this renovation has been carefully considered and skillfully worked, with quite literally no stone left unturned. To take a closer look at the architectural detail and the fabulous work of interior designer Bun Einchcomb click here

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