By November 21, 2013 Read More →

Beach studio on TV tonight!

Shore Cottage beach studio on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces

Beach studioDuring Autumn Garden Office week we featured the Heath family’s beach studio in a stunning setting on the Wirral Peninsula. So we were delighted to hear that where WfHW leads, Channel 4 follows 😉 You can watch the construction of the beach studio on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces from 8 pm tonight.

I’ve been fascinated by the programme since the start of Series 1. I love the clever ways that people convert the most unpromising vehicles and spaces into places to live and work, often on a very limited budget. It also gives me a glimmer of hope that attitudes are changing and maybe there are potential solutions for the current crisis in the UK housing market.

As a longstanding home worker, home is especially important to me, and I find the present situation deeply saddening. Some people – the ‘lucky’ ones – are saddling themselves with unheard-of amounts of debt just to get a roof over their heads, while others haven’t a hope in hell of ever owning their own house. And don’t get me started on getting a mortgage when you’re self-employed.

Not that I think that’s necessary to buy. We’re currently renting, and having been both an ‘owner’ (of a mortgage) and renter, I actually prefer the latter in many ways, but in this country to say that is tantamount to admitting total stupidity. (I was hugely relieved when I read that Barbara Winter, the immensely popular champion of self-employment, feels the same way. Maybe I’m not a freak after all).

So I was delighted to discover on a recent edition of Amazing Spaces that an idea originally conceived as a garden room could have the potential for living space. A Lancashire builder has come up with Hivehaus, a way of constructing hexagonal ‘cells’ that fit together in any configuration you choose. It’s quick and simple to build, affordable, flexible, sustainable and very economical to run.

It’s the first time I’ve come across what seems like a viable solution to the present impasse in this country. I’ve read about American Tiny Houses, but despite being minimalist I can’t see myself ever wanting to go that small.

What I do find encouraging is the growing number of people who are getting tired of working to pay for a big mortgage and bills and getting rid of possessions in order to live a simpler, less materialistic life doing something they enjoy – which more often than not involves working from home.

The Hivehaus looks like it could be a solution – if I can have some cupboards and a bath, please! – and I’m longing to see how it develops. In the meantime I’ll be watching Amazing Spaces and marvelling at that beach studio.

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