Mulberry Keytes is an 18th Century Grade II listed house in the village of Milcombe, near Bloxham, Oxfordshire. It was originally two cottages that were combined into one home some time ago. Our clients asked us to create an imaginative and inspiring plan to improve and extend the ground floor spaces.
The cottage was pretty but had a cellular layout, with small rooms separated from each other and from the garden.
An outbuilding, originally a bakery, was set back from the rear of the cottage and used occasionally as a garden room. An old rundown conservatory filled the space between the cottage and the old bakery, but didn’t connect the two successfully, or open on to the garden.
Our solution rearranges the east side of the original cottage to create a large dining and living room and move the kitchen into a new modern, purposeful piece of architecture that replaces the old conservatory. This is now the hub of the house.
You walk from the living and dining room in the existing cottage into the new kitchen, and then through to the old bakery garden room. From the new kitchen, you can also access the yard and the garden through folding glass doors.
This increases the square footage and improves the flow throughout the ground floor.
We wanted a volume change as you walk from the cottage into the new extension, to clearly define the new from the old. To do this we created an unusual inverted gullwing roof design with a ceiling height to 2.5m – significantly higher than the original cottage.
This also provides lots of natural light and great views. Sitting beside the inglenook fireplace in the original cottage you can now see through the new extension to the garden.
The materials used on the exterior of the new extension include zinc cladding, stone and timber. The colour palette of these contemporary finishes complements the original cottage.
Planning approval and listed building consent have been granted with limited conditions.