Inspiration from the UK: Building New Houses that Look Old


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This weekend I came across homebuilders Border Oak, located in the UK, and was incredibly impressed at how they design and construct new build homes that look like they’ve been around forever.


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I have to imagine this is all the more appealing a look in the UK, where people have in mind the perfect English cottage when they’re shopping for a home. Living in an old place, I’ll admit this idea has huge appeal – lots of character but modern ‘guts’ and spaces? Sounds like all the charm with none of the upkeep.

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Obviously, the main thing that stands out in these homes are their trademark oak beams.


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How gorgeous are these? They add substance and structure yet still create such airy spaces.

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The exteriors are lovely, and fit right in to the countryside.


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If you notice, in many cases the oak beams continue to the exterior. In the US I would say this gives the homes a Tudor look, but in the UK it just creates a gorgeous English cottage or home.

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They build everything from one story homes to humongous mansions.

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I think my favorite thing in these homes is the woodwork and joinery – it’s just stunning post and beam construction.


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I love how you can see the wood pegs throughout the joinery. Really lovely work.

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These homes are classics for a reason – beautiful hand-done woodwork never goes out of style! On top of that, this style looks beautiful in the mountains, countryside or even on the northern coasts. Really versatile. Maybe not so great in, say, Arizona, or Florida, but otherwise? You’re in pretty good shape.

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They manage to incorporate kitchens and baths that feel timeless, fit in, yet incorporate modern elements (like the console sink and towel warmer above).


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Love this combination of modern wood stove with classic lines in the room.  And when I say you get modern ‘guts,’ what I mean is things like that recessed lighting you see above.  As someone who lives in an antique home I can tell you I dream of recessed lighting (or even floors/ceilings where electrical can be run, period).

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All in all, really lovely and impressive, and a great source of future inspiration!

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