Case Study

Jackie Cartwright

When Jackie Cartwright celebrated her 50th birthday she did so in style – with the purchase of one of Gillies & Mackay’s first-ever bespoke Garden Rooms, which she uses as her home art studio.

Blackstone Garden Room

Work, Rest & Play

You need more space. A nice quiet space. Somewhere away from all the noise, the never-ending laundry pile and the constant bickering over who gets control of the remote.

Maybe you need a quiet space to channel your inner Roald Dahl (he loved his writing shed). Or a place to run your business empire that isn’t overrun with dirty dishes. Maybe it’s not even for you, but a ‘child’ that just won’t leave, no matter how many hints you drop...

How it All Started...

An accomplished artist who lectured at both Dundee College and Abertay University before leaving to focus on her art, Jackie now exhibits in galleries in Dundee and Edinburgh. Working in a variety of media she loves nothing better than spending her afternoons in her studio where she says she loses all sense of time as she becomes immersed in her work.

But what prompted her to take the plunge and splash out on her own bespoke studio? Why did she choose Gillies & Mackay? We’ll let her tell the story...


"I always had to tidy my art materials away to make dinner before my husband came home from work. Art can be a messy business, and I couldn’t use pastels in the house because of the dust that was produced."

“When you paint it’s like a form of meditation, so you ideally need your own space in which to do it where you’re free from distractions. Working in the house meant that the housework was always on my mind and I could never really fully focus on my work."

Jackie Cartwright

Jackie and her daughters had bought a guinea pig run from Gillies & Mackay many years before (back when we made pet housing) so she knew us already and had a personal connection with the family. When she started thinking about her studio in the run-up to her big birthday she discovered that we had begun building bespoke garden rooms and knew straight away we were the company for her.

“I went to look at the Show Area and identified the one I wanted immediately, with slight modifications to suit my needs," Jackie explained to us. "As an artist, you really need to think about the light at various times of the day so my studio has more windows and I also have custom-made blinds for when it gets too bright. It really helps me to make the most of the space and means I can work on as long as I need.”

Jackie found the Gillies & Mackay service to be 'first class' – and she was really pleased to find that even a couple of years later when she experienced a leak due to unnaturally heavy rainfall Grant came out on the same day to fix it.

“Now that I have my studio, it doesn’t matter if a little paint gets on the floor and I can leave my pastels and paints laid out ready for the following day. “
Jackie Cartwright

Image Gallery


“You can tell that they are very conscientious and proud of their work. And when they say they have a 20-year guarantee, they really mean it.

“At the time of buying my studio, I wondered if I was having a bit of a mid-life crisis due to my birthday and retirement but I think both my husband and I would agree that it was a very good decision, and one which has really enhanced both our lives and given me my own little retreat from the world.”

Jackie Cartwright

Looking for Your Own Shedlife?

Whatever the reason, you need a space that will keep you and your family warm and dry. Somewhere with lights, water, electric and heating. All the cosy feelings of a house – but, well... separate.

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