I've seen many settings in my career.
Victorian built schools, newly built modern schools, portacabins, converted houses, new, old, big, small.
It's taken a lot of thought, and a serious amount of research to make a decision about a building. Should we build something? Convert something? What kind of building?
Ultimately it needs to be somewhere I want to spend a serious amount of time; where it is homely and comfortable; it needs to make as little visual impact from the road as possible (so not a tower or a lighthouse!); it needs to be beautiful.
Inspiration struck while I was eating cake...
One of my favourite places to go is the garden centre cafe at Pity Me Nursery and Tea Barn. If you're local to Durham and you haven't been you really must go. They do excellent food, and a wide range of cakes. Their plants are extremely reasonably priced, and their staff are friendly and helpful.
I was eating a slice of chocolate orange cake and looking thoughtfully at the ceiling in the original inside part. I started thinking about all our lovely holidays in Lapland, how calm and comfortable the log cabins are to stay in, and how wholesome it is to be surrounded by natural wood.
It's not quite a "eureka" moment, but it was the start of a lot of research. Coincidentally, the wonderful people at Fruitful Durham have just been fundraising for a log cabin for their space in the walled garden at Ushaw.
I've looked at bespoke cabin classrooms, and I have to say if I were hoping to get rich then maybe I should switch careers and sell these! However, I returned to Fruitful's page and looked more carefully at who they had chosen.
I've scoured the website, read about their business philosophy, blog and reviews with great interest and decided that I'd really love to work with Tuin.