“We got married two weeks before the first lockdown, on my 40th birthday. In lieu of our planned honeymoon, we set out to create an extra entertainment room – an escape from the kids where we could display Ryan’s cricket memorabilia, and which we could use in both good and bad weather.
“We designed it together with Ross Pennington of standoutsummerhouses.co.uk, who was great – nothing was too much trouble. We had the bespoke bar with carrera quartz flecked worktops made by his carpenter, painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Railings’. There’s lighting and mirrors at the back, and two bar fridges. We’ve got about 40 gins: we’re obsessed with Slingsby’s Harrogate gin, and we love collecting local craft gins.
“We were worried it would make our garden seem smaller, and we panicked when we put the metal foundations in, but it seems to have expanded the space. We went for underfloor heating inside to avoid radiators, and spent around £25,000 in total. We wanted longevity, opting for Trex composite decking and aluminium bi-fold doors rather than cheaper UPVC. The outdoor furniture is the Elba aluminium and teak range from kettler.co.uk.
“It faces the house, so you can entertain with guests flowing to and from the kitchen via the garden. We’ve got interchangeable, warm mood lighting in the trees and along the western red cedar fencing, with olive trees in pots.
“It looks sleek and traditional from the outside, but we wanted the interior to be quirky. The flamingo and giraffe wallpaper is from Muck ’n’ Brass (mucknbrass.com), and is called ‘Chai Miracle’. I updated a side table with decoupage to match, and Marvellous Neon (marvellousneon.com) made the ‘Bottoms up!’ sign.
“Our copper bar accessories are from Oliver Bonas (oliverbonas.com) – we love lychee and passion fruit martinis from The Botanist. The green velvet bar stools are from my-furniture.com. It can feel like a nightclub, but it’s multifunctional – the kids can watch a film in there, and I use it as a study to work in, too.”
‘Our project was inspired by a trip to Barbados, but it’s practical for British weather’
Charlotte Clout, 49, lives in Kent with her husband, Ian, 53, their three sons Alex, 17, Harry, 14, and Ollie, 10, and cockapoo Rolo