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Upstairs the problem of being one room thick has been neatly overcome by having two staircases.  The main one is in the hall area, which extends right up to the apex of the roof and has an eye-catching sloped ceiling featuring oak “rafters” (not structural) fixed to the real roof timbers concealed behind the plaster.  The double-bedded guestroom with ensuite bathroom is in the centre of the building and has access from both sides.  It can thus be used as a “corridor” to get from one side to the other of the upstairs when nobody is in residence.  Alternatively, it can be shut off when the guestroom is occupied.

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The Bunkers have made great use of oak as a feature material – both in the ceiling in the sitting room, hall, and in the master bedroom, which also takes in the roof pitch and features oak “rafters” fixed to the concealed roof timbers, as in the hall area.  The hall floor is random oak boarding from the North Devon hardwood specialist who also made the Bunkers’ beautiful kitchen table, with a top of English tiger oak.

There is also impressive use of reclaimed local sandstone as feature walling on some sections of the inside of the building.  The Bunkers have achieved the same effect on the outside of the house, where Tim was keen to break up large areas of white rendering with some traditional local stone.  It looks particularly effective on the outside of the dog-leg section at the front of the building that houses Tim and Sue’s offices, and also breaks up the front elevation and gives it a more interesting shape.  The eaves sweep down there so the edge of the thatch is only about six feet from the ground.

“We are very pleased with the total effect,” said Tim.  “We designed the roof both for visual effect inside and out and also to give us large loft over one section of the building.  The garage extension has given us a total of six bedrooms.  “We think it is the ideal family house, as well as a building that fits in well with its surroundings.  But it is the thatch that really makes it all work.”

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Hallworth & Martin Thatching
Leisure Leigh
Station Road
EX21 5XB 
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