Real Homes

Built to last

Ruth Milne quickly realised that having a separate space to work from, close to home, would benefit her family and her growing business.


‘After having my second child I started freelancin­g and that’s how Studio

Milne was born. As an interior designer, I needed a studio space for all of my samples. Then it became apparent that my husband Matt, who is the architect that designed the studio, would also benefit from the office. It quickly became a bigger project and has been built as if it were an extension. The foundation­s are so solid it wouldn’t fall down in a hurricane – the concrete slab cost £10,000.

‘Works took longer than for a garden studio because everything was built bespoke. We also called different trades in as we went along to deal with different aspects of the build while managing the project ourselves. We built in some separate space as a shed, which has become the bike room. There’s desk space for the two of us so that we’re not on top of each other, and we installed DIY Kitchens cabinetry with bespoke ply fronts along the back wall for storage. ‘We finished building it just as the pandemic started. It was brilliant as we could take turns with homeschool­ing and work in shifts. The space became our sanctuary – we’d walk into the studio to peace and quiet, and we could actually get on with our work.

‘When you’re sitting at your desk looking out through the huge window, it feels like you’re in the garden. The skylight, which we actually got on Ebay, makes the space really feel connected to its surroundin­gs. In general you can get cheaper solutions for a garden studio, but we didn’t cut any corners and we wanted something that would be with the house for many years to come and will stand the test of time. It’s a great feature and will be useful in the future, even as a space for the children.’

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