Malvern Garden Buildings customers Hema and Ajai on their wedding day

From First Dates to Garden Dates…

Remember Hema and Ajai from Channel Four’s First Dates? Now happily married, their love story continues and features – you’ve guessed it – a Malvern Garden Building.

Hema’s enchanting autumn/winter styling of her Studio Pent wowed us. We caught up with her to find out more about her background, what led her and Ajai to choose a garden building, plus get a dose of décor advice!

Malvern Studio with door ajar owned and styled by Hema Kalia

Food and Photography

“I became an image retoucher 18 years ago, straight out of university. I’ve worked both full time and freelance along the way, retouching everything from fashion, food, and beauty. I currently work at Estee Lauder Companies as the Senior Retoucher, managing a small team.

I am also a food photographer and an avid home cook. I first got into food photography when I decided to make a cookbook for my Mum’s 50th birthday, containing all our Mauritian family’s recipes. Since that moment I’ve been addicted to taking photos of food, spending most weekends testing out new recipes of my own, styling the dishes, photographing, and retouching them!”

A Space to Relax, Rest – And Game!

“After moving into our first home, we’d planned for various renovations to start. As both of us work from home part of the week, we wanted to create extra space, so our working environments didn’t encroach into the bedrooms or living areas. Ajai had been working from what we’d planned to be our dining and entertaining area, so we wanted a separate space for him to be able to work from home comfortably without interruptions, but also a space where he could relax and use as a gaming room.

We’d come across Malvern Garden Buildings on a visit to the Ideal Home Show. We only ever went to the show for browsing purposes, but as soon as we saw Malvern Garden Buildings set up as work from home offices, we knew it could be a great idea for our home.”

Malvern Studio with door ajar owned and styled by Hema Kalia
Malvern Studio with door ajar owned and styled by Hema Kalia

Date Nights in the Garden

“Once our Malvern Garden Building had been installed, we wanted to make it cosier and decorate it so it felt like part of the house. We painted the walls and laid our own flooring.

Prior to Ajai’s WFH office furniture going into the building, we managed to fit a few ‘dinner date nights’ in. Whilst the space was emptier, I was able to get creative with the styling – plenty of floor cushions, throws and candles can really transform a space!

Since then, the electrics have been installed and he has fully setup his WFH office in the studio. We’ve also added a few cosy furnishings for movie and games nights – rug, sofa, side table and lamp.”

And Why is Your Studio Pent Called “Rodney”?!

“Ajai is originally from Nottingham and one of his favourite pubs in there during his youth was called The Admiral Rodney, so he wanted a little reminder of home.”

Ajai at his desk in his work from home Malvern Garden Buildings garden office

Hema’s Top Tips for Styling Your Garden Building This Winter Season

Whether you’re planning a cosy date night in your garden building, or want to curate a sanctuary to relax and unwind, here are Hema’s recommendations for creating an inviting setup…

1. Plenty of cushions and throws
2. Candles of various sizes
3. Warm colours – oranges, reds, greens and creams
4. Dried flowers or foliage picked from the garden
5. Rustic tableware
6. Great food and wine!

You can find more of Hema’s gorgeous food and photography on her Instagram @hemskitchen

Are you planning to wine and dine your Valentine in your garden retreat during the month of love?

Cupid’s bow at the ready, we’ve dreamed up some of the ways you can share your love for your garden building with the special people in your life.

6 Delightful Date Night Ideas 

Date night, with a difference. Try one of our 6 delightful date night ideas to use your Malvern Garden Building to spend quality time with a loved one and show how much they are appreciated.

Garden Game Night

Dust off your beloved board game classics and enjoy a night filled with laughter alongside your partner. Leave the game consoles in the house for the ultimate digital detox. If you and your partner have a competitive streak, you could turn games night into a friendly competition. Garden games night is even better as a double date night, team up in couples! The prize? You decide!

Build a Garden Fort

Unleash your inner child and unlock your imagination to create a mini hub of cloud-like comfort in your garden building. Choose some of your favourite soft blankets, cushions and duvets from your household and relocate to a garden building to build a fort! Lay your duvet over the floor, draping blankets and light sheets over chairs with cascading fairy lights for ultimate cosiness.

Movie and Foodie Night

Take yourself out to the movies, for free! Mimic the feel of cinema snacks with a popcorn holder, hot dogs in cardboard trays and create your own pick’n’mix. If you haven’t a TV inside your garden building, use a laptop or tablet to stream a new or old favourite movie!

At Home Spa Day

Indulge in a luxurious spa experience right at home, create your very own sublime spa and pamper yourselves with the expertise of a mobile spa therapist. Allow them to melt away life’s stresses and tensions while basking in the comfort of your own space.

Sip and Paint

Sip and paint events have become increasingly popular. Pick your favourite tipple, alongside purchasing canvases of your size preference, paintbrushes, and paints. Put a unique spin on the traditional sip and paint by exchanging canvases and creating art on each other’s paintings. We’d recommend painting a favourite memory or location. You could also try jumping on the trend of painting in the dark with fluorescent paint.

Jewellery Designer Ashley Williams Studio Pent

Manifest as the Sun Sets

Talk about your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The ambient glow of the sun setting radiates a positive, relaxing and restoring energy. If you and your partner enjoy art, creating a couple’s vision board can help you visualise your manifestations. Display your vision board in your garden building and see what you wish to achieve together!

Share photos of your garden dates in your Malvern Garden Building with us and you could receive a £20 John Lewis gift voucher! Simply email them to [email protected] and don’t forget to tag us on social!

Show us how you use your Malvern Garden Building

...and you could win a gift voucher and even a photo shoot of your garden!

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