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A few words from the owner of a holiday let explaining how Oakleaf products helped introduce some much-needed period character.
"Like many period houses, 17th century Sutcliffe House in the Pennine Hills above Hebden Bridge, has seen a number of changes during its lifetime.
When we bought the building in 1988, it was a restaurant with rooms and had undergone various updates and transformations – from a humble farmhouse in the fifties selling chicken and chips to passing walkers on the Pennine Way, to a fine dining restaurant renowned in the area for its good food. Built in the longhouse style – common in the Pennines – the barn was converted into extra accommodation in 1946 (according to a date stone above the door). At first it remained full height – open to the rafters – and in the fifties when it became an overspill dining room, visitors to the restaurant remarked how atmospheric it was – jam-packed with Jacobean oak furniture and with antique tapestries and paintings adorning the walls.
Sadly in the seventies, subsequent owners decided to ‘upgrade’ the restaurant and offer bed and breakfast and this is when another floor was added to the barn to create guest bedrooms and bathrooms. Much of its inherent character was lost in the conversion.
We closed the restaurant down in ’88 and with the main house providing more than enough living accommodation, we decided to turn the barn area into a spacious home office cum library. With its stone mullion windows, it still felt like a period building, but we wanted to inject even more architectural character and turned to Jonathan Banister at Oakleaf for advice. He suggested having their Burnsall reproduction wall panelling in a limed oak finish fitted with a fabulous ornately carved Boy & Bird cornice and to complete the accurate period effect, we also had Oakleaf moulded beams and floorboards fitted to the ceiling. We were delighted with the result, the exquisite detail of grain and knots in every piece, adding to the overall majestic feel of the room. Visitors to the house were most impressed and often took some convincing that it was not real wood!
Thirty-two years later and the barn has seen yet another change. This time we have turned it into a one-bedroom holiday let and the panelled room is now at pride of place as an open-plan living/dining room. We felt a facelift was needed to suit the fresh, updated décor everywhere else, so we have painted the panelling ‘Stone, Mid Cool’ –a soft neutral shade by Little Greene. The grain detail still shows through the paint layer and the result is a more modern, stylish feel – a total contrast from the limed oak finish. The versatility of the Oakleaf panelling and beams shines through and no doubt if we were around in another 40 years, it would still be going strong!!"
Carolyn Harrison - Click to see more of Sutcliffe Barn
The two 'before' photos at the bottom of this sequence show how insignificant the kitchen ceiling looked initially with its single narrow beam. By simply fitting our beam over the existing one and adding more to make a feature of the ceiling, we have given it a more substantial feel and introduced a period character that is more in keeping with the rest of the room.
The ceiling design features our T1A as the main beam with wall plate and T2 half for the joists. All are in our mellow oak finish.
"We wanted to add some character to an old 1950s terrace. We chose the beams from Oakleaf as they looked really authentic. We are very pleased with the results, the beams look absolutely fantastic, giving a rustic and realistic cottage feel. They are light and easy to fit and I would definitely recommend this product."... Mr & Mrs Pye
A short length of the gilded, carved wood and gesso original was removed from its setting and sent for reproduction. Firstly, a mould was made of this small piece, followed by several copies, which were carefully joined together to make the 2m long production model, from which a further mould was made, and the required quantity of mouldings produced.
(Chatsworth has kindly allowed Oakleaf to offer this beautiful piece for sale - please contact our sales department for details)