International Design and Architecture Award Shortlist

Firstly thank you for all the emails we received from all our past and present clients, suppliers and friends in response to our notification that we had been shortlisted for the 2012 International design awards.

It was a fabulous evening and very glamorous. Sitting amongst some truly amazing designs and witnessing really how a very small percentage of the population lives is quite something. Both good and bad.

The award for ‘best beach house’, the award for ‘best ski chalet’, ‘best spa hotel’ and ‘residence over £20 million’. To see the images of the contenders flash up on the big screen was jaw dropping to say the least.

Then we came to glass houses over £50k. By that point in the evening, the table we were sat at had already scooped two awards in other categories. I thought surely there couldn’t be a third. Alas I was correct, and we did not win.

However, I was extremely proud of our work as it was flashed up on the big screen in the presence of designers of the Corinthian Hotel London and The new bar in the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong.

So I was happy.  But – and there is always a ‘but’.

The design that won our category was beautiful and worthy – but is it practical?

A complete glass building on the back of a house will look amazing, but I liken it to a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. Beautiful, but for the majority of us – implausible and impractical. Or so the girls tell me!

My observation is, we are more Nigel Slater than Heston Blumenthal. I love Heston and his passion but could I live like that every day? I love Nigel and his passion for simply living. He’s aware of the very best and works with the very best, yet he can bring this down to a level that is ‘do-able’ and ‘workable’ for all. His recipes mean that we can all attempt to have a try one evening or weekend.

Our rooms work every day, we sit amongst the best designs in 2012, but could I ask a client to live with a glass box on the back of their home? Only if they had a beach house and a ski chalet !

So I have learnt that we can do all we can to make design work better. And I know how important it is to look at and keep abreast of the latest, most expensive architecture out there.

But for me, finding the best design means finding the solution that works for our clients. And I am ever mindful of that fact. So a great evening and thank you again for your support.

James King,
Founder and Owner of Oliver James Garden Rooms

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