One of the key reasons Rhys bought his 1970s bungalow was the garden and brick-built garden annexe, which he knew would provide an outside space he could really enjoy.
The owner: Rhys Mann, a works programme co-ordinator for the unemployed, lives here
The property: A three-bedroom 1970s bungalow in Pwllheli, Wales
Total project cost: £22,100
Rhys spent a year saving and used the time to plan the project. His girlfriend Ffion’s brother, Daron Evans, who works in the building trade, became a great source of help.
Daron checked the existing block structure was sound enough to repair, and explained Rhys wouldn’t need planning permission as long as he didn’t change the size, height or profile of the building.
Together, they decided to remove the door and windows on the front of the building, install large bi-fold doors, and turn the space into an outdoor cinema room.
When it came to the look of the new space, Rhys knew he wanted the feel of a log cabin.
Rhys looked for furniture he could upcycle and sourced the brown sofa and cupboards from Antur Waunfawr, a second-hand shop in Caernarfon. He painted the cupboards in Annie Sloan’s Gray chalk paint, leaving some of the wood exposed; for similar upcycled cupboards, try Vintage Archive. The coffee table and rug are from Ebay; for similar, try the Quebec coffee table and Triangle white and grey rug from Wayfair. Cushions, Dunelm and The Range. Projector, Richer Sounds. A similar bar sign can be found at Sign Buyer
‘I decided to smarten up the outside with composite wood cladding, and installed a wood burner inside to make it feel cosier.’
Building work: £14,000
Wall tiles: £2,000
Log burner: £600
He also spent time finalising the small details. ‘I wanted the wiring concealed so I worked out a wiring plan and fed the cables for the heating and cooling system, TV, projector, lighting, speakers, internet and power outlets into the walls,’ he explains.
Daron pulled together the necessary tradespeople and work began with the annexe being stripped back to its shell. They then installed a steel beam to support the bi-fold doors, as well as a new roof and composite exterior cladding.
Rhys saved money by taking on the first-fix electrics, and a qualified electrician completed the connections to the new fuse box. ‘Fire regulations for the woodburner were complex but worth it,’ he adds.
The log stacks flanking the wood burner were an idea Rhys saw in a local restaurant. The stove came from Ebay; for a similar design, try Stovax. Porcelain Barn tiles surround the stove, while Antique Vintage wood plank tiles, both from Walls & Floors, line the walls. Karndean’s wood-effect vinyl planks in Rustic Timber are used on the floor. A projector screen from Sapphire AV is hidden in the ceiling – it can’t be used when the stove is on but the room can still be heated thanks to a heating-cooling system
‘We had to leave void of around one metre behind it, and all the wiring had to be a certain distance away. We also used fireproof plasterboard and grout, plus heat-resistant adhesive for the tiles.’
Within two months, the new-look space was finished. Rhys then introduced different textures in a palette of browns and creams, as well as upcycled furniture.
Rhys Mann enjoying his new space