The Spaulding family enjoys life in the countryside, which is why they named their new country residence, ‘La Retreat’. Located on a working farm in Cambridgeshire, their dream is to live a self-sufficient life and grow their own food. The family have fallen in love with the area and plan to make the most of the opportunity the country lifestyle provides. They hope that by sharing their knowledge and experience, other potential country dwellers will be able to take the plunge and build a more sustainable future for themselves.
An Unusual Design
Before the move to La Retreat, the Spauldings spent over a decade living in a caravan. They made the conscious decision to leave the bustling world of city living behind, seeking a simpler life. However, they weren’t sure what kind of property they wanted to rent, so they set up an Instagram account, where they posted photographs of various properties they came across. After getting a lot of positive vibes from followers, the family decided to go for it and invested in a campervan. But instead of just using it as a recreational vehicle, they decided to turn it into an accommodation for when they go on holiday. This is when the real ‘La Retreat’ journey began.
It’s a luxury to have your very own little piece of countryside, and the Spauldings are determined to make the most of it. They don’t just want to grow their own food, but they also want to be able to indulge themselves with some of the smaller pleasures that country life has to offer. Hot-tubs are one of those pleasures, so after falling in love with the idea of a bubble bath during their stay at a wellness retreat in Bali, their dream came true. The bath is a beautiful antique piece that they bought from a second-hand store in Cambridge. It had been passed down from generation to generation and sat in a corner of the Spauldings’ loft. The bubbles were relaxing, but the temperature of the water was a little too cool for comfort. So the family decided to experiment and see how warm a bath they could have without scalding themselves. The result of their trial and error is Bath Buddy, their very own bubble bath that not only provides the warmth the family love but can also be used by people with limited mobility.
The Spauldings are determined to lead a sustainable life and avoid as much as they can getting their clothes washed and their food eaten by humans. They want to live a lifestyle that supports the natural world, and owning a washing machine was one of the first steps in this direction. However, the decision to go completely green wasn’t made lightly, as they knew what a pain it could be to wash and dry their clothes on a regular basis. When it comes to food, the country dwellers are also big fans of composting and returning nutrients to the soil. This is one of the reasons that they planted a vegetable garden at their new residence. They want to be able to nourish themselves and their planet, and growing their own food is one of the best ways of doing that.
The health benefits of staying fit and eating healthy are something that the Spauldings fully expect to enjoy. They get plenty of sunshine and fresh air, both of which contribute to good health. The house is also designed in such a way that it encourages the family to get outside and move around. It has a built-in outdoor kitchen, perfect for barbeques and inviting the family and friends around for those summer holidays.
The accommodation at La Retreat is on the small side, with just two bedrooms and a bathroom. But even with just a little space, the house manages to have all the comforts of a much larger property. There’s a double bed in one of the bedrooms, while the other has two single beds that can be made up into a big double bed. A bathroom comes with a shower cabinet, perfect for storing all those travel-size household items that you never have space for at home. A loft space above the garage can be used as a second bedroom, perfect for teenagers who want to have their own space.
La Retreat is just the first step in a transformation journey for the Spauldings. Down the line, they have big plans to build a timber-framed holiday home that is completely eco-friendly, using only materials that they can fell themselves. They want to be able to enjoy their new found freedom with their family and friends in a space that is both beautiful and functional.