As a contemporary interiors company, we know that it’s essential for Bert & May to be reactive to evolving customer needs, and there’s no doubt that 2020 has presented plenty of opportunity for us to be just that.
With so many people finding themselves working from their living rooms/kitchens/anywhere they can find space for a desk over the past eight months, there’s been a huge shift in how homes are being used, and it’s our job to provide design solutions that mirror that shift. We know that creating a home office can be difficult. It’s not just a case of finding the literal space, it’s about creating a place where life/work boundaries don’t become blurred - somewhere that allows you to be creative but that ultimately, you can leave behind at the end of the day.
Achieving that delicate balance is a challenge that’s prompted a lot of people to think outside the box, but at Bert & May, we’ve been thinking INside the box. Bert’s Boxes, to be precise.
These architect-designed standalone, prefabricated living and work spaces aren’t a new concept - we joined forces with award-winning architects Box 9 Design, to launch them 6 years ago (if you’ve ever been to The Pig in Brockenhurst you may have even stayed in one of the two on-site there already) - but what’s new for 2020 is the Study Box, a smaller version of the original design, and it makes a perfect home office.
Standing at two-and-a-half metres high and built in the UK by expert craftsmen, these modular spaces are innovative, environmentally friendly and technologically advanced, but what we think makes them really special isn’t just that fact they offer a practical space solution, but that each one is a design piece in its own right. This is crucial to us, because if you have a lovely property, why would you put something ugly in your garden?
To ensure each Study Box is an aesthetically pleasing addition to its surroundings, we’ve made sure they reflect Bert & May’s raw-yet-refined look. We’ve stuck to the naturally beautiful, reclaimed materials we love, combined with full height Crittall-style metal windows and doors, Bert & May tiled floors and striking UK-made light fittings to create a space that’s inspiring and practical, as well as innovative.
"The Study Boxes are unique in the pre-fab world as they use beautiful, reclaimed, handmade and hand-aged materials," says Lou Davies from Box 9 Design. "And like with the rest of our boxes, we have curated a range of materials that allow customers to personalise their box in the knowledge that any combination they choose will work together."
The opportunity to put your own stamp on the boxes has proved really popular: “We first saw the box in a magazine feature and were drawn to the rustic, natural look combined with the beautiful finishing touches which made it stand out from more modern garden buildings that we were exploring,” says one recent client. “As we can customise the wood and tile choices, we feel we're creating a completely unique space and perfect sanctuary to work from - it has the charm of a cosy ‘cabin in the woods’ but with gorgeous, bespoke design.”
Another recent client, Nicola Oaten - founder of luxury interior design and architecture firm Bear René - is a fan not just of the look - “I love the aesthetic, it’s a cut above. Everybody comments how much cooler it looks than your average garden room” - but also the much-needed extra space her Bert’s Box has provided over lockdown: “You can escape without leaving your home…” she says.
For us, that’s job done.
If you would like to find out more about the new Study Box, Bert’s Boxes, or creating your own home office, please get in touch with our design team for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or see bertsbox.co.uk.
The Study Box is fully compliant with planning-free garden room regulations and includes internal and external wooden cladding, handmade Bert & May floor tiles; 2.1-metre high, large pane, slim sightline, high-performance aluminium framed double glazed windows and doors; high performance LED downlights and LED filament lamps with a striking selection of UK made light fittings; electric underfloor heating fitted with flat metal switches and sockets to blend with the choice of finishes, as standard.