Working as part of the Arctic Cabins team I see cabins every day, on our show site, in production, being stained, being packaged up, photographs on our website, photographs that customers send in all of which I can honestly say I enjoy seeing. You can’t fail to be impressed and happy around these beautiful buildings. What I haven’t experienced in the time I’ve been with Arctic is how, you, our customers and cabin owners live with and use your cabins in your everyday life.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Woodhall at his home. Phil and his family purchased a cabin over 3 years ago after seeing them at Grand Designs Live at the NEC in 2010.
The very first thing that struck me about Phil was his enthusiasm, passion and the obvious enjoyment he got from his cabin. Here is an insight into ‘One man and his cabin!’
Phil and his family were looking for something that solved the problem of needing/wanting a little extra space in their house. They were considering a conservatory but were fearful that it would be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
One October weekend, seeking inspiration they headed off to the Grand Designs Show. They spent a pleasant morning wondering around. Eventually, Phil and his wife; Kelly wondered off in different directions. It wasn’t long before Phil got a call from his wife telling him to stop whatever he was doing and come and see what she had found. Kerry had found the Arctic Barbecue Cabin. They both loved it. After some umming and ahhing they signed on the dotted line and ordered a cabin.
Phil openly tells me that his biggest concern was that he had just spent a serious amount of money on a timber building, that could just become a shed in his garden! He said ‘I thought the novelty might wear off.’ He very quickly adds ‘It hasn’t, the cabin is the best thing I’ve ever bought.’ Phew, I can breathe again.
With that comment Phil invites me to come and see his cabin. We walk through to the garden, which is a lovely family garden, it’s very pretty and backs onto woodland and there sits the cabin. As you step onto the patio you are drawn to it with the garden layout and the landscaped paths. Within 20 minutes we are chatting over a cup of tea by a roaring fire. Over the years Phil has become somewhat of an expert fire lighter. He knows exactly the right wood to use (seasoned hardwood) which is all stacked neatly around his cabin and in the wood store he built. It’s lovely. I sink back into one of the corners, pop my feet up and soak up the atmosphere. It’s wonderful, so relaxing and its only 10am on a Tuesday morning. You instantly start to realise what it is about these cabins that make them so special.
Phil tells me that he uses the cabin 1 or 2 nights a week. He says if he slopes off to the cabin and lights a fire he won’t be on his own for long. His son, daughter or wife usually end up joining him – if not all of them.
It’s not just quality family time that the Woodhall’s benefit from, it’s the fact that they always feel like they’ve somewhere to go. Phil tells me a few of the other things he uses the cabin for, these include committee meetings, work meetings and get togethers and parties, birthdays, Halloween, bonfire night and Christmas is just magical. Phil says ‘the cabin has made us more sociable.’ We invite people round much more than we use to, an evening in the cabin is so easy, we light the fire, open the wine and away we go, we don’t even have to tidy the house.’
Seeing and talking to Phil has been a joy and has shown me how their cabin has become an extension to the Woodhall’s home and their way of life. Phil summarises everything by saying ‘this is the best thing we’ve ever bought and I can’t imagine ever not having one now!’
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