Its unique, Its discrete and unobtrusive, Its a real hideaway, Its full of, Alpine charm and character, Its homely, inviting, cosy, snug and warm, Its a bit of a tardis once inside, It transports us to another world, It evokes memories of all the sick and disabled children we have taken to Italy skiing especially those that have lost their fight for life
Love Shack Argentum, commonly known as the shed, is mine and my partners little snug, cosy Alpine hideaway retreat at the bottom corner of our back garden in Liverpool.
In ten simple paces and a little imagination we are transported some 900 miles up into the Italian Alpes.
Often after work and especially at the weekends, even Christmas day for that matter teas, coffee and of course some alcohol are taken with good food cooked on our 9kw Spanish wood burning stove.
When friends old or new arrive we nearly always escape to the shed as it helps everyone to relax as its not just a man cave but a ladies and kids cave too.
Argentum completely transforms at night when we light all the lanterns and switch on the soft led lighting. Stoking up the wood burner takes the chill out of the air and creates a glowing warm inviting atmosphere and sense of security. Guest and friends just want to stay and talk all night as they watch the fire.
Love Shack Argentum was built with the help of my father but I guess we must have got a bit carried away as it took around 6-months to build. My partner and I decided to build it to evoke memories of our 25 years of running a voluntary childrens charity called Katies Ski Tracks, providing specialized skiing holidays for sick and disabled children from across the UK. Love Shack Argentum eventually took its name from the pension hotel Argentum that we have always used in the Flers valley Sudtirol Italy. Originally In 2008 the shed set out to be just a small cover for our twin garden love seat, then quickly the idea progressed to an open fronted summerhouse and in 2015 we then decided to enclose it into a hut like cabin so we could use it all year round.
The shed is free standing on a circular stone floor and is simply constructed from tantalized timber and pine weather boards to evoke an alpine hut effect. All materials are available at most builders yards or timber merchants. The whole structure is double skinned to give a pleasing aesthetic effect to both neighbors as well as internally and is now beginning to weathering nicely.
The roof which is constructed of 15 ml water resistant ply, then sealed and a long lasting adhesive hot felt grit role application. Love Shack Argentum was original built around two pine trees so the internal effect therefore is quite unique with lots of nooks and crannies to encompass the trees. However the overhanging trees have since been removed and replaced timber trestles secured over the roof between the remaining trunks of the trees and adorned by climbing plants. We have put in some surplus to requirement leaded double glazed windows minus the frames for a more authentic effect and adorned it with lots of bottles and jars and typical alpine ski effects some of which the sick and disabled children have sent us as a thank you.
The front of the shed comprises of 3 sections all acting as doors. Both side doors open outwards to give a summerhouse effect and the center section is on 4 sprung loaded bolts top and bottom so it can hinge and open either way, also if required this door can even be completely removed.
We like every aspect of the shed but perhaps the main features are possibly the Spanish wood burning stove, the unique quirky internal shape and fittings, also the fact we have finished the outside with various climbing plants as this gives the appearance that you are entering an hidden cave as it looks very small and non-descript from the outside but its really quite deceiving once you step inside as it can sit 6 people comfortably.
There were never any plans drawn up in its construction, we were just inspired by our some 450 children that have traveled with us and simply built it as we went along.