Couple celebrate new high-street offices in Hove and fourth anniversary of their garden room business
A couple who took the plunge to start their own garden room business have celebrated the company's fourth birthday and a brand-new office base in Boundary Road, Hove.
A Room in the Garden was started by husband and wife Ivana Cavallo and Lukas Brzozowski in 2017 after they designed and built their own garden storage room having struggled to find something unique.
Friends and family loved their new storage room, which included beautiful stained glass windows. Lukas said: "One evening, I was looking at it and I said 'why don't we start doing that for people?'. The next day, I went to the office and designed a logo and started putting a website together."
The couple are no strangers to things moving quickly. They had met online and were married nine months later.
Having made the decision to start the business in June 2017, the couple had their first commission in the September. They started putting more effort into the marketing and it paid off with another four projects sold in the November/December. More orders followed but the couple said things slowed as uncertainty about Brexit kicked in.
Then came the pandemic. Lukas said: "We lost nine projects in the run up to the pandemic."
Ivana added: "We calculated how long we could survive."
Luckily one big project for four garages kept the business going and then something unexpected happened. The lockdown had meant more people working from home and demand for home offices and extra space in gardens started to soar. Ivana said there was also a surge in people looking to have annex-style garden buildings so relatives living in care homes could be brought closer to families, who they had been isolated from due to the pandemic.
The extra business was a huge relief for the company but Ivana added: "The best feeling is when everything is done and you see how pleased people are and the change it brings to their lives. It is a pleasure."
Having left their successful marketing business behind to focus on A Room in the Garden, the couple, Ivana with a degree in fashion and Lukas in architecture, were delighted to officially open their new offices at 66 Boundary Road last Thursday with the help of Hove Wish ward councillor Robert Nemeth.
Lukas said: "We always said it would be lovely to have a presence on the high street." Ivana said: "It's exciting and scary."
The company is now approaching 100 garden room projects completed and employs the equivalent of five full-time members of staff. They always use the same trusted builders and reassure people that the majority of the garden rooms they build do not require planning permission.
They pride themselves on being able to offer something different and special and say 'anything can be done'. From home offices, summer houses and mobile homes to music rooms, children's playrooms and a mini hairdressing salon, the company can turn its talents to whatever the customer needs.