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17th May 2019

Small but Perfectly Formed; Charlbury Annex offers the ultimate garden retreat (vintage bench seats not included!).

At the risk of seeming ‘annex fanatical’, the Barr Group newsletter revisits this phenomenon, simply because converting all manner of outbuildings into extra, detached living space, is high on our clients build agendas. The Charlbury Annex conversion project was commissioned by clients for whom the StuartBarr CDR team have worked many times over the years. The team were delighted to be returning to the Old Vicarage, to what was to be a thoroughly rewarding ‘Direct to Client’ project.

The aim of the conversion was to create a self-contained space, completely separate from the main house, but retaining a feeling of informal comfort. The main use was to be a home office, but plans allowed for hugely flexible living potential. Successfully fulfilling this remit, Charlbury Annex certainly ‘draws one in’.

Our clients carefully selected the fixtures, fittings and furnishings throughout to strike the perfect balance of cosy and stylish. The wood burner, with exposed stone surround and built-in log store, offers a tangible warmth and the painted timber clad walls are ‘softer’ than their plaster finished alternative.

The vintage table and bench seats have made their way back from our client’s previous home in Australia. Having survived several years of garage storage they have found finally the position for which they were destined! The pheasant feather wreath nods to the annex’s wonderful countryside location, along with a menagerie of canine and feline friends, who wander freely in and out, further adding to the already homely feel.


Casement windows, which align perfectly with the half-glazed stable door, compliment the architectural heritage of the main house. Vaulted ceilings make the relatively compact space seem deceptively large. Painted exposed beams add character and charm, cleverly zoning the space, aided by the interspersing of copper lined industrial pendant lights.

In the words of our client, “The plans were simply and efficiently drawn up by architect Laura Donald. From there we worked with Chris Noonan to pare things back to meet our specification and budget. Together we changed and stripped out elements to get the build into our cost envelope. The team did a great job - we LOVE our new ‘shed’!”

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