Timber Frame Home – Fife

Unique oak frame design

Project Name: Kilpatrick

Company: Oakwrights

Sector: Self Build

Technology: Timber Frame


Duncan and Kirstine Kilpatrick had a unique oak frame design in mind for their new home in the idyllic Fife coastal town of Elie. They had purchased a plot of land that already had planning permission attached, and worked with Oakwrights’ Scottish team, managed by Iain Hendry, and Oakwrights’ regional Architects, Andrew Hunter and Craig Thomson, to bring the ideas for their dream family home to life.

The shape of Duncan and Kirstine’s site was long, tapered and had limited views, so careful consideration was paid to the orientation and design of their new home. It was imperative to create internal views and privacy for the house and garden. Duncan and Kirstine’s overarching brief for their home was that it needed to flow naturally and exude personality.

Location also played an important role in the initial architectural design stage. Duncan and Kirstine wanted to combine traditional Scottish building styles with contemporary conveniences that would be suitable and functional for day-to-day family life, while incorporating personal touches from inspirational trips abroad. In terms of key design features, the couple had their hearts set on a sweeping staircase, a spacious dining area and loved the concept of placing a fireplace in their hallway.

Project Type/Application:

Iain, Craig and Andrew’s primary focus was to create a free-flowing layout. Patio doors and glazing on the ground floor seamlessly links the family’s oak framed home with their garden, and the main downstairs living areas have also been designed to make the most of the surrounding views.

Duncan and Kirstine’s dream home design has two wings, with a turret acting as a hinge. The larger two-storey wing works its way down the length of the garden, decreasing in height to create a stunning double-height living room.

Natural light is welcomed in and a sense of space is commanded by the post and beam oak frame that carves out the vaulted ceilings in the double-height living areas and the upper floor. The overall open-plan design comprises an entrance hall, kitchen and dining area, breakfast room and two separate living spaces at opposite gable ends of the ground floor. Utility rooms are located at the rear of their home, along with an en-suite bedroom and a study. Three fireplaces are positioned throughout the family home; the wood burning stove is a focal point in the glazed gable of the lounge, and the open fireplace in the dining hall makes the house feel so warm and welcoming.

What about their staircase? The architectural design for Duncan and Kirstine’s sweeping, curved oak shape was approved, and has been finished with a white balustrade that leads upstairs. Three additional bedrooms are situated on the first floor, where attention must be drawn to the master bedroom’s circular en-suite which is positioned in the turret. Externally, the frame design has created an array of porches, and a further living area can be found above their new oak frame garage, which our teams also worked with Duncan and Kirstine to design and construct.

Oakwrights responsibility source their green oak from well-managed, sustainable forests to craft each beautifully bespoke oak frame. It is low impact, carbon neutral and renewable which was important to Duncan and Kirstine. Creating a cosy, extremely energy-efficient and airtight home was also essential, so they chose to insulate their home with Oakwrights’ WrightWall and WrightRoof encapsulation system. Underfloor heating also works in unity with an air-sourced heat pump that provides the family with heating and hot water.

Outcome/Results/Success Factors:

Duncan and Kirstine opted for a coastal-inspired colour palette that includes whites, greys and light blues, and selected some beautiful interior furnishings from British designers, Neptune.

To remain in-keeping with the local vernacular, Iain, Craig and Andrew worked with Duncan and Kirstine to choose local materials, such as natural stone for the external wall finish and the intricate detailing that defines the window areas around the property.

Duncan and Kirstine’s oak frame home, named Carmichael Lodge, was the worthy winner of both the 2019 ‘Best Individual New Build and Small Development’ category at The Herald Property Awards, and the 2019 ‘Best Traditional-style Self Build’ category at The Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Home of the Year Awards.

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