I literally woke up to find our garden in Ideal Home magazine – and it wasn’t a dream!We bought our unique brutalist 1970s house about 15 years ago, convinced that we could make it work as a family home and errr, well, slowly we got there.When we first bought our house, this was the back garden, our friends called it ‘the pit bull ring’ laughing that it was only really suitable for the bins. I hate to think what our enemies said about it? Anyway, Doug put his thinking cap on and never scared of a challenge, got to work.And here is the result – ‘Inspired by the koala enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo’ it says and never a truer word was spoken. I know this probably sounds a bit weird but Doug and I love koalas and I actually heavily identify with them. They love eating, so do I and if they run short of eucalyptus for some reason, they ‘malfunction’ and often end up in the koala hospital. I used to get bad migraines and if I did not eat and was in a situation where I could not access food, I could end up with a three day migraine and Doug used to call it the koala hospital.Front back and sides have been carefully considered and argued over. We did consider demarcation – Caroline, our neighbour, suggested this, I think she may have overheard some of our disagreements (I kid you not – we are not scared of raising our voices when it comes to plant choices) but neither of us found that solution satisfying – I think we both wanted all or nothing – somehow the thought of one area being designed by Doug and another by me was NOT good enough!!
We were quite right to battle it out though – there is nothing quite a crap as a compromise. When you get married and design a house or a garden together you have to agree and it has to be beautiful – you have to battle it out.We have a beachy lunch spot at the front, above and a more tropical area at the back, where you can enjoy a morning coffee or an afternoon tea in the sunshine.Perhaps the secret of our long, happy marriage, despite our differing opinions on plant positions is our garden office, people often ask me how we manage living and working together and I always honestly reply that I love it, but if you are in any doubt – don’t do it – arguing over plant choices is one thing, arguing over financial strategies is a different level of stress and we honestly don’t. We complement each other in our business, Douglas has a great eye for detail and is extremely conscientious, whereas I am good at connecting with people and moving on to the next thing. These two skills definitely require two different spaces and a garden building is an excellent location for Douglas to refine and perfect all his work and my office in our house is a great space for me to jolly everyone along by email and on the phone!We shopped around for ours and did a lot of research, we were mightily impressed by the Oeco range.
This beauty, pictured above, called the ‘Canopy Classic’ 5mx3m comes in at £16,644, including VAT and delivery and a completely stress free installation. Based in Ripon in Yorkshire Oeco Garden Rooms is a family run business and have been manufacturing and installing timber framed structures for over 10 years. The company was initially founded to satisfy the growing number of people who work from home and the essential need for more space and a separate working environment away from the main house. However over the years our garden rooms, offices and studios have been purchased by customers from all backgrounds to extend their living space for a multitude of uses. We loved the scope and the details, do get in touch and wherever you are they will put you in touch with happy customers nearby who will be happy to show you round.