Tag Archives: design and build project

What’s in your garden shed

Today the humble garden shed has loftier ambitions. Today it can be quite a grand affair: It has graduated to become an office, private gym, chill out room – the alternative to an extension, adding much needed floor space to the family home.

Seen as an extra room it is a definite ‘plus’ when you come to sell your house, so using your shed as a dumping ground for junk may not be the best use of its potential. If you are considering upgrading think carefully about what you want and plan accordingly. Whether you have an existing structure or not, follow these simple guidelines to create the desired effect.

garden design Lincolnshire

Here are a few things to think about before you get started.

DO I NEED PLANNING PERMISSION?

A shed or outdoor room is generally seen as a temporary structure by the planning authorities, but this does not mean you can build anything you want. Many garden rooms do not require planning as long as the structure is not higher than 4 metres, is more than 5 metres from existing structures and nearer the house than the public highway. However, it is ALWAYS best to check with your local planning department especially if you are going to install a multitude of services such as toilets, etc. Remember that to run an office from home technically you will require planning permission.

Check if you house is listed as the grounds may be part of that listing. Conservation areas also require planning approval so do check with planning. .

Substantial brick structures are best in larger gardens, as these can be considered “small houses”. These will most likely require planning permission and are the costliest of the three options. The granting of planning permission will always depend on intended use and a quick call to your local office may save you much time and money.

All garden rooms must comply with Building regulations – you will need to ensure that your outdoor room complies with structural strength requirements, fire safety, insulation, ventilation, water and energy efficiency to name but a few.

 interior design stamford

FUNCTION

What will it be used for? Do you need a quiet area away from the kids and hustle and bustle of a busy home? Is the room to be used as a studio or craft making area? A home office? Gym? Once you have decided there are decisions to be made…

interior design Oakham - Harlequin

SIZE

The building should not overwhelm the garden. As a rough guide the structure should take up no more than 25% of the available garden area. Even small gardens can benefit from an outdoor room but remember to keep it in scale.

LOCATION

Size is not everything and location is just as important. Tucked away in a corner of the garden and lightly screened from the main house is perfect for a restful retreat.

Placing the outdoor room at the bottom of the garden will create symmetry and allow a good interaction with the rest of the garden. Placing the room to the side of the garden creates more interest and is not so obtrusive.

new house interiors, Harlequin_Landscapes_09_LR

APPEARANCE

The look of the building is very important. If it clashes with the house then it will stick out like a sore thumb when it comes time to sell. There are many materials to choose from – wood and glass being the most common. Wood need not look like Grandpa’s shed! Traditional wooden structures can be painted or if you like the natural look, make sure you use a good quality wood preserver. Wood can also look extremely modern when mixed with glass walls and steel supports. Ensure the wood comes from sustainable sources, the FSC certification and seal should be “de rigueur”.

Bold colours and simple shapes work best in general but keep the nautical look for seaside properties and the Swiss chalet-type look …for Switzerland! Out of context structures can put people off when it comes to buying your property and although you may feel it makes a bold statement, others may see it as a deal-breaker.

Remember that an all-glass structure is very visible to all, so ensure you have allowed for adequate storage in an office room otherwise the mess will be there for all to see.

Folding or concertina doors are great for multi-function rooms; you can open up or divide the space with minimal fuss and disruption.

If you’re inspired to go and seek out a garden shed to install in your garden but need a bit of advice on what type to look for or where to site it then please get in touch. I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Turning a building site into a home

I love hard landscaping, paving, walls, fences, but I think it is only when a garden gets planted that it becomes a garden. Likewise undertaking a building project can be a thankless task until you get rid of the builder’s rubble and dust and get onto the creative bits: paint colours, curtains, blinds, and furniture.

Here’s a quick preview of an extension I have just completed.

The original footprint of the extension

Digging out and setting the footings

The blockwork walls go up

Blockwork is faced in stone

The underfloor heating goes down

The plastering is done  – I wanted it to be a little rough to complement the age of the original building. The plasterer hated doing it but it looks lovely! And the Porcelanosa floor tiles are laid

Decorating with Earth Born Clay paint to allow the building to breath

The furniture goes in and the blinds are fitted and we have a home!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northampton  as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Kitchen design

At long last I can report great progress on our design build and renovation project. As with all old houses, just as you think you are almost there, they throw something new at you. One of the decorators’ ladders went through a floor board upstairs which exposed a degree of wood worm, very old I hope) but remedial action was needed and so I am back to saying we are almost there – about another 2 weeks!

Today is a day filled with activity, I have 4 decorators on site, the kitchen fitter is making final adjustments and the floating shelves in the utility are going up. The joiner is fitting the final skirting boards and we are almost there – about 2 weeks! Have I heard that somewhere before?

The new kitchen has transformed life and although we are still adding the finishing touches I have the sofa in and a pair of curtains up.

 

Kitchen transformation: the new kitchen

One half is oak and the other painted with a granite top to the oak side and an oak top on the painted side ensuring that both halves are pulled together and complement each other. I have opted for a Little Greene paint colour, Rolling Fog, which gives just the right amount of colour without being too dominant. Walls are in Earthborne Clay paint which is a beautiful sailing cloth colour – quite apt for the weather at the moment as you could almost set sail from the kitchen doors earlier in the week.  I came across a lovely quote earlier this week which I feel I could live by: she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. Elizabeth Edwards. Perfect for this weather and a good mantra.

Looking into the new kitchen from the seating area

The painted side of the kitchen

We are now dealers for the fabulous Lacanche range cookers which are so celebrated by top chefs like Raymond Blanc, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. They offer cooking facilities which are of a true professional quality and performance and each cooker is hand built to the customers specifications. We have opted for a gas hob with both electric and gas ovens which gives us complete flexibility.

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Interior design details

On a large new build project or a renovation it is often the small details that make all the difference. And sometimes it is the unexpected. One of the amazing things I have noticed in our new build is the way the light moves through the building. After 4 months sleeping in our daughters room while she slept in what was affectionately referred to as the Harry Potter cupboard, we finally moved back into our original bedroom. I woke up the following morning and the shower screen was reflecting the silver birch tree outside. The dappled morning light was falling through the leaves and the picture was perfect. Yes, all the mess, the dust, the dirt, the noise has been worth it!

The Silver Birch tree which is now a feature in our new wet room

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Skip hire

 We have finally waved goodbye to the last skip as part of our design, build and renovation project. There has been so much rain in the last few weeks I didn’t think the tuck was going to be able to lift it but its amazing just how much weight they can lift. Our drive looks very bare now that you can see it in its totality! I can’t wait to start designing the garden but the house has had to take precedence – except for a bit of tree planting I couldn’t resist doing during the bare root season!

 

The old kitchen has been removed and we are awaiting the arrival of the new kitchen post the floor tiles being laid later this week. The laying of floor tiles has a similar effect to plastering – bringing the whole project together – so look out for the photos later this week.

Until then I leave with you the skip leaving!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

How our design build and renovation project is progressing

As much of the building work is now complete we have moved on to the outside wall and the rain has never stopped. It certainly has been the wettest drought I have ever seen. Back in April I was advising garden clients on how to conserve water and still keep newly planted bare root hedges and shrubs alive. Today I am bemoaning slow progress on three landscaping projects due to the wet weather!

 

Starting to tile the en suite

We are making good progress inside our new extension with a dehumidifier helping to dry the floor and plasterwork. We have painted the new extension on both levels and are just awaiting final plumbing before we can move back into our bedroom. After much head scratching and removal of both the head and handrail from the staircase and the carpets we have managed to get the shower screen up the stairs – shouts of ‘yippee’ and much clapping, plus beers all round for the builders who helped maneuver it.

 

Juniper Ash on site decorating

Liz Stephens, from Juniper Ash Decorating, has really enjoyed painting with the Earth Borne and Little Greene paint we have been using. Both have provided excellent coverage and are low odor, the Earth Borne paint has a really lovely smell! The feature wall was an inspired decision once we had seen how lovely the large wall looked. It will now make a great display case for my collection of cream-ware vases –  more on this in a later blog.

 

The finished en suite awaiting shower screen

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

 

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

 

Laying under floor heating on a design and build project

We have moved on a long way since I last put some images on the blog but I’m continuing the sequence so that you can see just how we have progressed.

Once the floor membrane and insulation was down we could install the under floor heating. We’ve opted for a wet system, having had a dry electric system before,  we know how great under floor heating is, but a wet system is more cost effective in terms of  running costs. Laying the under floor heating works on a grid system. It’s a bit like egg crates and the water pipes flow within the grid to ensure even coverage across the floor. Once this has been pressure tested a screed is applied which becomes the finished floor level ready for tiling. We are now waiting for the screed to dry out – in this weather it may be some time!

 

Laying the under floor heating

 

 

The red pipes snake across the floor

 

Platerboards are in place ready for the plasterer

All plastered and waiting for it to dry out

After you’ve plastered its important to get as much air circulating as possible to dry the room. It will be a minimum of 2 weeks before we paint but even so I have opted for an Earthborn clay paint which will allow the walls to breath. www.earthbornpaints.com

I’ve used this at our holiday cottage in Norfolk : www.pimpernelcottage.co.uk which has traditional lime plaster and where breathability was even more important. It’s been really successful: it’s hard wearing but also allows me to re-touch as needed without any visible lines – perfect if I just want to cover up a dirty mark on the sitting room wall!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

Getting to the plastering stage on a design project

Everyone always says it but rooms look so much better once the plaster board goes up. They don’t even need to be plastered, just the fixing of the plasterboard changes the dimensions and makes them look tidier. It’s a bit like a messy garden getting a fresh fall of snow, it suddenly looks lovely!

Our design build and renovation project is no exception, it all seems to be coming together now the plasterboard is going up.

Where possible the plasterboard is screwed to the joists as in the utility

Taping the joints on the plasterboard

In other places we use dotting and dabbing, where the walls are dotted  with fixative for the plasterboard to adhere to

Part way through plastering the en-suite

Stilts: the tools of the trade for Paul the plasterer

Moving around is so much easier with stilts

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Sourcing oak beams for our design project

I know I keep saying it but we really are making progress on our design build and renovation project now.

This week’s exciting event was the arrival of the oak beam. Having got quite excited about a reclaimed beam I sourced at a local reclamation yard we realized it was both too big and too heavy to fit and have had to opt or a new beam after all. This was always the builders preferred choice (you know what you’re getting with new!) but I think even he was surprised at the size and weight of it. But it is now in place and has had its first lick of Liberon Superior Danish Oil, to protect it and bring out the natural grain.

The oak beam arrives on site

Moving the oak beam is a challenge

It has to come onto site via our neighbour’s field – thanks Nick and Sara

It takes 4 people to move it, and a bit of head scratching!

Once in the garden it’s a clear run (well perhaps not a run) to the house!

Looking into the new space with the oak beam in place

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Plaster boarding a design build and renovation project

Work on our extension has moved on and we are now at plaster boarding stage. The insulation is all up and stud work for the new entrance hall is taking shape.

We spent the weekend on our hands and knees taking up the old quarry tile floors. We will now lay a self leveling compound before the under floor heating goes down and we re-tile.

I’m in love with the utility, I knew it was going to be an amazing space but now that the wall between  it and the garage is in place and insulated you can really see the space which is left. I can see a wall of art, or space for a collection – those of you who know me well will know I’m a great collector! Minimalist just isn’t me! The world is my oyster.

 

Plaster boarding to the bathroom ceiling

 

Stud work which forms the new entrance hall

 Getting started on the Quarry tiles

Removing tiles from the hall floor

Removing tiles from the old shower room and looking glamorous in my vintage 1950s head scarf!

 If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.