I have always been a bit of a whirlwind. I started dating my husband back in April 2002, we bought our first house in the June, we got engaged in the August, and then got married on my husband’s birthday on Christmas Eve. All in less than a year!
The birth of The Little Horse Box was no different. We came up with the idea on the Sunday, and we bought the horse box itself the following weekend. My Dad would tell you that I have never been one to let the grass grow under my feet. I have been like this since I was a little girl.
I love the story behind The Little Horse Box, and one of my favourite tales to tell is how we found it on a little Norfolk farm on Booze Lane. How about that for a coincidence!
We got the horse box home and our neighbours must have thought we were mad. After a while, their curiosity got the better of them and they asked what we were doing with it. I joked that we were getting a donkey!
Our first task was to find a steel fabricator. Keen to work with local people on the conversion, we found Decorative Steel in Gressenhall. I loved receiving their photo updates and watching the work in progress.
I then placed an advert on Gumtree, seeking a creative carpenter for an unusual project. I had one response from JM Carpentry and Building, who lived just two streets away! I wanted to use scaffold boards for our worktops, which I had always admired in restaurants. Then there was the sink. I really did not want anything traditional. Whilst on Pinterest, I fell in love with a quirky upcycled wine barrel and simply had to have it!
We also used upcycled and restored parquet oak wood flooring for the interior walls. My poor husband had to travel twice to Essex and back to pick it up in my little red Mini. The back bar is tongue and groove, and it was my Mum’s idea to paint the wood in three different colours to give it another dimension. It looks beautiful now, but it was quite a job!
The flooring is Moroccan-inspired vinyl in pretty pinks, blues and greys. From a distance, it looks very much like real tiles. And for the lighting, all I kept thinking was I needed it to be twinkly and pretty. Given the height and size restrictions, this proved quite a challenge. I went round countless shops and spent hours online, and then I stumbled upon them. Close up, they look like two old-fashioned trifle bowls.
The twinkly look was achieved via colour-changing LEDs inside and out, which helps to set the mood. Huge thanks to SP Electrical Services in Norwich.
I used a traditional sign writer, Mike Amiss Signs, to paint the back and front door. When closed, it looks like just a normal horse box, but when it’s opened up, you can see it’s a beautiful bar.
We have two bars in total, one to the side and a larger bar at the back. The back bar is the show-stopper (even if I do say so myself!). The ramp has been distressed to give it a shabby chic feel, and we had some rails fitted to complete the look.
I am so happy with the end result. It reflects my personality to the letter, packed full of the things I love. I hope you like it!