When Cathy Farr moved house her husband converted the garage into an office for her.
Six years later as an established children’s author she uses the room to write in.
“It’s a lovely white space with a timbered roof,” Cathy says.
“I love the room to work in, it’s a beautiful space”
The house in Dinas Powys near Cardiff was too small to include an office so her husband, a building consultant, immediately set to work transforming two thirds of the garage into Cathy’s work room and the last section into much needed storage space.
As a space at the bottom of the garden it’s the perfect undisturbed work room and retreat Cathy says.
“I can look out of the window at our very small garden, there’s lots of bird song and you sometimes hear steam trains when they’re running to Barry,” she says.
It’s almost too idyllic to work in, but Cathy has books to write so she has installed two computers – one to work on and one to keep in touch with the outside world.
A successful self-published author, whose first children’s book Moon Chase sold 2,500 copies, Cathy runs the Penarth Book Festival and often visits local schools to talk about her work. As she also works as a magistrate, she needs one computer for writing and one for the rest of her life.
“When you come into the room there is a conservatory and then you walk through sliding doors to the office so it’s lovely and light,” she says.
The 20ft by 10ft room has a big L-shaped desk for her writing computer and a smaller one for her ‘keeping in touch’ computer.
Piles of books lie on the desk and shelves as Cathy likes to consult dictionaries and other children’s stories for inspiration.
The walls are decorated with colourful prints, a sketch of two Arab women in burkhas and two seascapes, keeping a light, refreshing theme.
The floor is oak finished laminate but it’s never cold because Cathy’s husband thoughtfully installed underfloor heating.
“I take my shoes off when I walk in, it’s lovely,” Cathy says.
There is a small section of carpet for her five month old Irish Wolfhound puppy Mojo, who has taken over from her last dog Finn, as her muse.
Mojo sleeps at Cathy’s feet while she writes and accompanies her on school visits to talk about her books.
Mojo knows it’s a work room though and always behaves himself there, Cathy adds.
“It is a work room. I come in at about 10.30am after taking Mojo for a walk and sometimes I can still be writing until 7pm.”
Spending so much time in the room it’s important Cathy likes the space, one reason she created it just the way she wants.
Cathy’s favourite object
The sound of water trickling over rocks soothes Cathy as she works.
Her mini indoor fountain is her favourite object in the room although she admits it doesn’t look very nice.
“It’s the most hideous thing with a slightly 1970s look but I bought it because it sounds lovely,” she laughs.
“It’s about one foot high and the water comes from the top and falls down steps of slate and through a bed of pebbles.
“I rarely listen to music but the sound of trickling water is lovely.”
Cathy bought the fountain at a local garden centre and it sits on a wicker table helping keeping her mind in tune while she taps at her computer.