Garden Office NickGarden Office

Nick Murphy

A growing London family have managed to combine work and play in equal measure thanks to a clever adaptation of the Rooms Outdoor Cuberno design. Nick Murphy, TV director and writer explains how the design works for him, his wife Sophie and their two young daughters.

'We've lived in our West Acton home for about eight years and as a writer working from home, the need for more space was becoming quite an issue. We had considered upsizing but the cost and upheaval was simply prohibitive and we realised that we'd be gaining very little by doing this.

'Looking for other options, we considered the possibility that a decked area at the end of the garden might provide a solution for a garden office. After much online research we concluded that Rooms Outdoor would give us the level of quality that we would need, in terms of build and design in making an office that could be used year-round.

'As plans started to formulate I was under some pressure from the female members of the family to include them and provide them with space of their own, as well as just creating my writer's retreat. My wife is an artist and was now considering the garden room as a possible studio while the girls were keen for a replacement for the wendy house that would be taken down to make space for the new office.

'We concluded that although the Rooms Outdoor option wasn't the cheapest, the additional cost wouldn't make a tangible difference in the short term as we were financing it from capital in our home, it would provide us with a much better long term solution.

'Meeting the team for the first time confirmed our decision and the surveyor was absolutely superb at accommodating and tailoring the design within the limits we had in order to maximise the space. He was even able to build the garden room around our personal indulgence, a 100-year-old olive tree which was already on the site. This was done by creating a raised bed and making it an intrinsic part of the design.

'To meet the needs of both halves of the family, we adapted the Cuberno design to have two entrances both with a porch. This also gave us the opportunity to create a storage area with access from both sides at the front of the building. This has made the garden room not only very attractive but also completely practical, giving us space to store the lawnmower and other garden tools. We were able to specify a building with exactly two equal halves keeping everyone happy.

'We really can't fault the build team either. At a time when London builders are really not covering themselves in glory it was a refreshing change to have a team that was polite, punctual and didn't cut corners. Even when they weren't aware I was keeping an eye on them from my upstairs office I noticed them being extra careful with materials and simply working hard to get the job done. There is no sub-contracting so you know that the team who are there to do the job will stay on the job. The whole build was complete within just two weeks. We couldn't be more pleased with the end result and our spare room is back in use for visiting guests again.'

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