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Our grand design for Grand Designs.

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

Most people would be delighted to live in a charming old boat house by the Thames, but not Lysette and Nigel Offley. They decided to knock the whole thing down and start again – with a new house that took inspiration from the river with waves and curves – and a huge glass porthole of a roof-light.

Their plan to build a dramatic new cutting-edge home by the River Thames proved difficult, costly and not very popular with their neighbours.

And just a few weeks into their project, the problems begin. They couldn’t find a contractor willing to tackle the difficulties of building over water; their architect unexpectedly left and the costs came in much higher than anticipated.

Not only that, but they then decided on a minimalist garden to match the dream home they were building. With no previous experience.

And of course, along came Kevin McCloud and the CH4 Grand Designs team to film the whole thing!

To assist the couple, Student of the Year (2011/12) of the Oxford College of Garden Design, Ana Mari Bull, produced the fabulous garden design already seen by viewers.

To complement this design, we made a frameless firebox and combined it with our Signature weather-resistant outdoor gas burner and remote control.

Building our gas fireplace into a masonry enclosure integral to various other feature structures within the long, but narrow, garden created a natural focal point for entertaining or just chilling with a glass of wine.

The garden wasn’t actually finished in time for the show, but it is now in absolutely pristine condition, as you can see by viewing the images here or the larger gallery on our website.

Full details of the different types of outside fireplace and fire pits that are available from Urban Fires can be viewed here.

Reach out to us here.

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