The Chalet has a cosy retro feel and definitely a place to relax No
wifi no TV
My husband is a professional musician and holds noisy
band practices in there there are 8 members of the Klezmer Band
Simcha We have made it available to other musicians as basic
accommodation when they have been gigging in the area and need a
bed for the night
I have a small workshop in part of the building
and that will be used for my hobby of signwriting Im a graphic
designer and my ladies Book Group is held in there too The best
use of the Chalet so far was the Hippie Party our friends reliving
their youth in July last year great fun We have plans for more
During lockdown we seized an opportunity to buy part of the neighbour's garden when the property was for sale in 2020. The garden was large, with a kidney-shaped swimming pool and 'sauna cottage' – a Scandinavian 'log cabin' type building with sauna and showers, built c. 1970. We heard there were many wild parties held there in the 1970s!
We acquired the part of the overgrown garden with the log cabin but not the pool. The cabin was in a poor state, although the structure was sound. With the help of a friend and also professional tradesmen, we spent several months of hard graft restoring the building to its present condition and LOVE the result!
We stripped out all old wiring and plumbing; the pool boiler room was converted to a kitchen; we installed an infra-red heating system and rewired completely. Removing the sauna involved removing lethal asbestos, too! Renewing and insulating the roof was the hardest part, we now have a steel roof instead of felt and bitumen. We used the new roof for 10 solar panels which now generate much of our electricity for our house as well as the Chalet. The interior was redecorated and we re-used fittings from the sauna benching and old furniture. The interior uses many other 'upcycled' items and budget furnishings to good effect. The best ‘salvage’ item was the collection of old and rusty shelving in the workshop which was almost discarded but then sent to a local powder coating firm instead and restored to new condition. The stunning multi-coloured steel Tomado shelving turned out to be designed in the 1960s by Dutch designer A.D. Dekker and has a display in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam!
The entire exterior of the building has has 3 coats of Cuprinol Garden Shades, a huge transformation from the dull and depressing dark brown former colour.
The final job was to completely rebuild the decking around the building with Siberian larch. We think this was how it was originally in the 1970s but had rotted many years ago. It's now a stunning suntrap in the summer.
The first thing to do when lockdown restrictions were eased was to have a 1970s hippie-themed party – we hope the first of many. It's also a great place for parties and for friends to 'crash' after a night out…