In 2015 Swordsman Historic Architectural Design was approached to design a new family home for a young couple, relocating to the Oxfordshire area from London. They had been trying to find their ideal property and had been unable to find quite what they were looking for, both within the area and within their budget. We were therefore commissioned to come up with a completely new house to fulfil their requirements. The building eventually became a 100 sqm two-story cottage, with a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The main feature of the house however, was an open fireplace and working chimney, to create a traditional cottage feel. To achieve a vernacular appearance, whilst compiling with modern building regulations, we specified an outer leaf of limestone masonry, with a 100mm cavity insulation and an inner leaf of blockwork. The interior was then lime rendered and a timber framed fenestration and handmade glass were specified, to create an appropriate cottage aesthetic.