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Traditional English Abode Hides a Trove of Modern Details

Faced with a limited budget, a supremely narrow plot of land, and the somewhat tricky desire to both blend into its Oxford, England, surroundings and take a more modern approach to home building than the building's stodgier neighbors, local firm Waind Gohil Architects came up with the deceivingly simple (from the street view at least) Elmthorpe House. Clad in rough-sawn oak siding, the three-story structure was built for a family with young children, and thus balances a dash of austere, all-white coolness with warm wooden floors and antique decor. Its boxy living room opens onto the backyard and comes with its very own wildflower grass roof, which "offers a reference to the garden from well within the property," or so the design team explains. "The grass is very long and can be seen through many windows and roof lights, offering a sense of intrigue."

Besides the lush yard (which even offers a second writer's retreat-style structure,) the best part of the home is the sun roof-lined, attic-style top floor, which houses the master bedroom and one extremely glassy bathroom. Take a closer look, right this way.

· Waind Gohil Architects puts a contemporary
spin on Oxford's gabled houses [Dezeen]