Painting a garden studio dream
Initially, with two older teenage daughters and a passion for painting that was confined to the kitchen counter, Annabel recognised her family was outgrowing their home.
Seeking extra space for her art and to give her girls an outdoor hangout, Annabel decided a backyard studio could provide the perfect multipurpose addition.
“We thought it would be a good idea to have a cabana at the back of the garden for a teenager retreat and a painting studio for me,” she tells us.
A shift in life and plans
It was an accidental encounter during a shopping trip that led her to Greenspan, passing a Display Centre on her way to Birkenhead Point, Sydney. Annabel recalls, “When I came home, I said to my husband, ‘I think I have found what we need.’”
Purchased and installed at the start of 2020, the garden studio could not have come at a better time.
As the world shifted to lockdowns and remote working, the Melwood was an unexpected saving grace, taking on an additional purpose as a quiet home office for Annabel’s husband.
“He set up his little desk in the cabana…overlooking the pool and the flowers…happy as Larry,” she says.
How this garden studio helped heal a shock diagnosis
As 2020 rolled on, this multipurpose teenage retreat/ art studio/ home office proved invaluable. Essential work-from-home space, it also provided much-needed solace when being cooped up together got too much, and a change of scene from the same four walls for some quality family time.
And then the shock cancer diagnosis.
For Annabel, the studio became a haven and a refuge from her health battles. “During all the chemo and radiation process, it was really good to go into the cabana and paint,” she shares, adding, “It was a very healing and peaceful environment”.
Her relaxing hobby was a welcome distraction from her gruelling treatment, with the studio providing solace on her dark days.
Now for something different
A year later we caught up with Annabel, now cancer-free, and the garden studio is still the heart of the home.
Now taken over by Annabel’s two young adult daughters, the private studio provides them with some independent hangout space and the ability to come and go as they please without disturbing the household.
“If they want to have a bit of a party in the backyard and play games until 1am, they can go back via the side lane, so they don’t have to come through the house,” Annabel states.
By day, it’s a hub of activity, especially with a pool close by! “In summer, those doors are always open,” Annabel confirms, “When we have lots of kids coming over for pool parties, they use the deck to sit down to eat.”