Picture Framing Studio

Our customer, Derek Merkl, lives in Bath & owns the beautiful Abbey Green Guest House in central Bath.  After recently retiring and leaving the running of the Guest House to his daughter, Derek needed a space to pursue his part-time business & hobby: picture framing.

After a visit to our display centre to view the wide variety of options available to him, Derek settled on a Log Cabin construction for the versatility it offered in terms of a made-to-measure solution. Our team is set to work designing this large 4m x 5m cabin with a pent roof, insulation to the roof & floor and double glazing. 

The result is a warm, dry and secure garden room, used all year round for Derek's business and an attractive space for visiting customers to discuss their requirements.Garden Studio

How long have you been picture framing?

I started picture framing in 2002. I spent most of my life as a salesman, travelling the world for Dunlop Sports. Little time to actually 'make' something with my own hands. I have always loved pictures and despaired at the prices charged to frame. I was convinced that given the correct 'kit' I could do the job myself. It was fate that I should meet a lady picture framer who was about to retire and just about to put the contents of her shop up for sale. Without hesitation, I struck a deal and bought the lot! I spent several days learning from her all the tricks of the trade, I then had to hire a truck to ship everything from Tunbridge Wells to Bath!

Where did you run the business before the garden studio?

After my wife and I gave up the 'corporate lifestyle' we decided to buy a guest house in central Bath - my first studio was at the end of the vault shared with two washing machines and a tumble dryer approximately under the white line in the middle of Henry Street, Bath! I spent my first three years working from there, I went on many framing courses and practised by making frames for the guest house. After three years we moved to a bigger guest house at Three Abbey Green and bought an apartment with three vaults! so I moved into the biggest, it was the same size and under the rear courtyard and much bigger that my previous space. It was big enough for me to expand by purchasing a high-spec Mac computer, scanner and wide-format 12-colour printer. These purchases allowed me to print fine art quality prints for artists and canvas prints from customers' photos.

What made you decide to choose a garden studio rather than rent space?

Having decided to 'retire' when our daughter took over the lead role in running our guest house, my wife and I bought a house in Bath. I imagined that I could convert the garage to use as my studio. Indeed I had it dry-lined but, it was clearly not big enough to cope with my picture business. This was the deciding factor to extend the garage space by building a garden studio in my garden behind the garage and with access to it.

What factors influenced your choice of garden studio?

My picture business has always been something of a hobby, it has grown by word of mouth I do not advertise. It has never been my main business, that is the guest house and holiday apartments that we own. The guest house had to be my priority. So I never wanted the commitment of a shop which required constant attendance or even to rent space which would cost me money. It was a simple decision to buy a garden studio which allowed me to work from home as and when I wanted to.

Why did you choose Garden Affairs for your build?

I looked at many buildings, I was very impressed with the interest shown by the team at Garden Affairs and the fact that I could change the specification of the building to suit my own requirements.

Picture frame mouldings come in 3m lengths, I needed to have an internal height which allowed me to store my mouldings upright. I needed an opening into the garage, we removed a window from the back of the garage to provide a nice large opening and created a matching opening in the new studio to give access to the garage space. An additional door was installed which allowed customers and visitors to access the studio directly from my drive so there is no need to go through my house or around the house into the back garden.

What do you feel are the main benefits of working from your new studio? 

Working in daylight, I have a beautiful spacious area to work in, a work bench I can walk all around, space to store and cut glass, and shelving for all the many accessories I have. Space for my laminator, and printers. I am now able to offer art/photographic prints of almost any size, canvasses, and bespoke framing of all sorts of things. In addition to pictures, I am asked to frame all manner of things. I have framed medals, cigarette cards and even parts from a Spitfire aero engine! 

What do you like most about your garden studio? 

Well that's an easy question to answer, after two underground studios it is a joy to work in daylight! Recently a valuer came to look at our house, he told me that it was one of the best workspaces he had ever seen attached to a house and his valuation reflected the versatility which our home now represents due to the beautiful garden studio. A great investment from every angle!

Derek offers a very competitive price for his work and can be contacted on the numbers below should anyone require a print/framing solution:

01225 318888
0775 206 1980

Get in touch

If you would like to talk to us about your plans for a garden hobby room or small business premises we would be delighted to help design the right solution for you. Call on 01225 774566 or click the button below to contact us.

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