‘We can now live together as a family’ – the log home that reunited the Becketts
“We can be together and it will be so much easier. It’s the start of the next chapter of our lives,” explains Wendy Beckett, who is sitting with her husband Wayne, in the stylish kitchen that forms the centrepiece of their new log home.
For years, the couple and their two children had been forced to live apart. Wayne was based permanently on-site, living in an old static caravan, at their large secure storage business in Warwickshire - five miles away from the family home.
“Wayne had always wanted us to live on the land as soon as he bought it, that had always been the ultimate goal, but when the kids were younger we just couldn’t afford to do it,” says Wendy.
So, with true British grit, the family had to adapt. “It was difficult because I was trying to deal with the kids and he wasn’t there. And if I needed help around the house then it would take even longer to sort as he wasn’t even with us. But we just got on with it.”
With the children now grown up, the couple started to look again at how they could live together on site. “We knew a brick building would have been out of the question from a planning perspective and a Norwegian Log home would be the best option as it is classed as transportable,” says Wendy. “We got some brochures and began to think – well may be, could we!”
“I read the Norwegian Log brochure and then we went to Reading to visit them, met Nick Forrester, and we liked what we saw. Nick then came on a site visit and was really helpful, giving us advice about planning,” explains Wayne. “They were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble. We didn’t feel obliged to buy and there was no pressure. They gave us all the options but didn’t pressure us.”
“We could also design the interior exactly as we wanted it,” adds Wendy. “I found some free software as I wanted to design the floor plan myself, which wasn’t an issue for Norwegian Log. They were brilliant. I’d ring them with changes, they’d tweak the plan and issue new versions to me.”
As Wayne had been living on site for years in a mobile home, there were able to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Use for a log cabin home from the local planning authority. The Norwegian Log team started on site in November and by Christmas the shell was up. The team completed the build at the end of January. “The guys were really helpful, just brilliant and totally trustworthy,” says Wendy.
The couple and their son - their daughter bought a house with her partner last year - are now about to move into their gorgeous new lodge which boasts four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen/dining room, utility area and a spacious living room.
The exterior is finished in a contemporary pebble hue, matched with anthracite windows and doors. The sleek grey kitchen is showroom-worthy, cleverly designed to encompass a utility and lobby area. A wood burner takes pride of place in the large living room which has bifold doors onto a spacious decking area. Wendy and Wayne’s master bedroom boasts a luxurious shower room, and the family bathroom has a shower as well as a full size bath.
One of the bedrooms has been designed as a sewing room as Wendy is a keen embroiderer. Shelving stores her fabrics, a bespoke reel-holder shows off her vast collection of threads, and a built-in desk holds her sophisticated sewing machine. The room even has a TV so Wendy can shut herself away and enjoy her hobby for hours on end.
“Visitors just walk into our new home and go ‘oh wow’!” says Wendy. A fitting start to the next chapter of their lives.