Oxford mum’s ‘Wendy dream house’ up for UK shed of the year award

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An Oxford mother’s handiwork put her in the running for an award in the 2022 Shed of the Year competition. Rebecca Cariad created a Wendy house as a project during maternity leave and lockdown.

Rebecca’s garden sanctuary – used as a play space by her son and daughter – was shortlisted in the lockdown category. If she wins, she will receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 worth of products from Cuprinol, the competition sponsor which brings in entries from across the UK.

Writing on the Readersheds website, Rebecca described her summer home as “a Wendy children’s dream house“. She said: “It’s a miniature studio full of retro and vintage toys and children’s furniture.

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“There is a miniature kitchenette and a dining area and a small bed and a doll’s bed. The summer house was bought in used parts in Gumtree during the 2021 closings.

“I built it with the help of my dad who was my support bubble. I dug the foundation and filled it with rubble and rebuilt it and sanded it down and painted it all with a baby in a sling on the back and a toddler on the loose.

“We’ve filled it with used finds from Gumtree or left on the street. We live near narrowboats and have been getting vintage boat sales and scoops.

“It was an amazing project that got us through a really tough time. It was exciting and incredibly educational for my three-year-old son.

“Now my children love to play in it. And thanks to the many windows, I can give them a taste of independence watching them from afar.”

For a chance to win, cabin enthusiasts had to enter one of seven categories: budget, cabin/summer house, containment, nature paradise, pub/entertainment, unexpected/unique and workshop/studio. Three candidates from each category were selected for the shortlist.

Chief Judge and Contest Founder, Andrew Wilcox, said: “We saw some one-of-a-kind designs, which makes it nearly impossible to narrow down to just three from each category. A big thing that’s come from successive lockdowns is how much it’s inspired people’s creativity, and it’s great that it’s been channeled into designing their own little escapes.

“The past few years have shown more than ever how our gardens and sheds can play a role in our lives and the different ways they can be used. It was great to see shed enthusiasts, old and new, come up with some truly fantastic ideas, which we hope will inspire the next generation of shed enthusiasts.

Visit https://www.readersheds.co.uk to vote. The deadline is July 15.

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