We’ve Won Two Awards for our Themed Pirate Architecture and Interiors

It is with great pleasure that I’m able to announce that the team here at The Master Wishmakers have won not one, but two International Property Awards for the design and construction of Challis Islandthe themed pirate island that we built in the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Challis Island was borne out of our Limitless service, which is a full-scale architecture and interior design service. The two awards that we won are:

  • Best Leisure Architecture, East of England 2014 – 2015 and;
  • Best Leisure Architecture, UK 2014 – 2015

Needless to say, we’re absolutely over the moon.

Pirate Guest House

Coffer Cabin is the guest house on Challis Island

To date, Challis Island is the largest themed architecture and interiors project that we’ve worked on (although we have some big ones in the pipeline that I can’t wait to tell you about) and we still hold it dear. It’s not uncommon to hear the team in the office debating which pieces of pirate furniture they prefer the best.

Our journey isn’t over just yet though – as we won the best of the UK it means that we’ll now be pitted against finalists from some of the leading architecture and design firms from around the globe in the ultimate showdown being held in Dubai. Fingers crossed!

Now, for the time being, where did I put that champagne?

If you’re looking to create some stunning themed architecture, interiors or furniture then feel free to get in touch – the team would absolutely love to hear your ideas! Of course, any initial consultation is completely free of charge.

You can email us at enquiries@masterwishmakers.com or can call us on +44 (0) 1536 417 905

A bespoke boat for a playhouse

Prop-making and set design in the 4K age

4K Ultra High Definition TV (also known as UHD), and high frame rates (HFR) are two of the hottest buzzwords in the TV and film industries at the minute, and for good reason.

4K delivers four times as much detail as the 1080p HD that’s the norm in the industry, and indeed, in most households today, and if you’ve actually seen 4K footage you’ll agree that the increase in clarity is simply stunning. HFR is a doubling of the frame rate from 24fps to 48fps, which is much closer to what the human eye actually sees in real life. This technology has been used in stunning effect in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, where motion-blur is almost entirely eliminated and scenes look much more realistic.

You’d be gravely mistaken for thinking that these new technologies are slightly faddish – like 3D is turning out to be – as production companies are already utilising them and in only a few short years you can accept them to be widely adopted in the average consumer’s home. Even Netflix – the internet streaming company – is gearing up to offer its content in 4K.

One of the most overlooked aspects of this shift in technology, however, is the impact that it’s going to have on production efforts. Production companies are investing lots in the technology side of things (shooting, storing and archiving the footage, for instance) but it’s also become apparent that this extra boost in cinematic realism requires set designers and prop-makers to double-down on their efforts to make their creations more realistic.

Anyone that’s been able to visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter will attest to the time, effort and expertise that has gone into making all of the themed architecture, interiors and furniture look as realistic as possible. The tour guides even go to the effort of pointing out that the floor in the Great Hall is made from real stone slabs and the benches, tables and lots of other props are real wood. Long-run franchises such as the Harry Potter movies and TV shows such as Game of Thrones are seeing that it pays off to invest in such high quality. These productions are also shot over a number of years so the props and sets have to be resilient, as well as realistic.

Here at The Master Wishmakers, we’re also beginning to see this change in attitudes among production companies as we’re asked on an almost weekly basis for access to Challis Island for filming. Challis Island is a pirate island that we created in the Cambridgeshire countryside and the themed architecture, interiors, fittings and furniture lend themselves ideally to 4K filming due to the exceptional detail and quality that they exhibit. There’s no ‘trickery’ here – everything was crafted from materials such as European oak, Douglas fir and cedar by our scenic carpenters and artists, which also has the added bonus of being incredibly resilient and will survive as a location for many, many years.

Likewise, we recently exhibited a gazebo that was inspired by an old London Victorian pub that caught the attention of set designers – again due to the high quality and the attention to detail that we garnish all of our creations.

With an in-house design team and state-of-the-art production and manufacturing facilities, The Master Wishmakers are ideally placed to help you bring all of your 4K dreams to life. To get in touch to discuss any ideas you may have you can email us on enquiries@masterwishmakers.com or call us on +44 (0) 1536 417905 and we’d be more than happy to help.

We’ve been very busy with children’s bespoke furniture

Hello readers. It’s been quite a while since this blog was updated so I thought that I should quickly fill you in on everything that’s been going on since we last spoke.

We’ve been exceptionally busy in the last few months and most of our new work has been gorgeous, bespoke furniture for children. This summer saw us partner with Harrods – the world’s best department store – to sell our range of luxury playhouses, tree houses and, well basically, all of our products. One of my favourite products of the partnership so far has been Room For A Princess, which is the bespoke dressing room that we created for them. You can see this on the shop floor of their Toy Kingdom department in their flagship Knightsbridge, London store.














We’ve also been very hard at work creating some incredible themed children’s bedrooms and I hope to have all the photos online for you to see soon. As a quick sneak-peak below you can see the custom artwork being painted onto the walls. You can probably guess that this is a car-themed bedroom and you’d be halfway there 😉

Bespoke Children's Bedroom

We’ve also been busy creating case studies of our projects where you can get a good look behind the scenes at The Master  Wishmakers and see how we create some of our bespoke architecture and interiors.

I’ll be sure to keep you much more up to date  – we’ve got some incredible projects coming up that I’m very excited to show you.

Our craftsman working on the ultimate gazebo

See The Ultimate Luxury Gazebo At Grand Designs Live

We’ll be exhibiting at the 2014 Grand Designs Live show and we’ll be bringing something rather special with us: the ultimate luxury gazebo.

The ultimate luxury gazebo you say? Here at The Master Wishmakers, we have become very well known for producing the most fantastic themed architecture and interiors as well as children’s playhouses so this is a natural progression for us and we absolutely cannot wait for you to see the end result.

So what might a luxury gazebo from us look like? Well you can be sure for one that it’ll be themed. There are lots of gazebos out there on the market that are very conservative (dare we say plain..?) so we’re here to inject a healthy dose of fun and it’ll have a very special feature that you can’t find on any gazebos today. Secondly, it’ll be handcrafted from the finest materials right here in the United Kingdom by our team of master craftsmen and artists. Expect to see creative use of Cedar, Opepe hardwood, oak and elm as well as some beautiful artwork.

Our team have been working hard for the last few weeks to turn this idea into a reality. View the video below to see them hard at work in our workshop:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLlOj_KUf60&w=640&h=360]

We never hold any stock of our products, which means that each one is made to order and this allows us to offer our customers an almost unlimited level of personalisation. This can range from custom artwork and engraving to a unique layout or right up to a completely bespoke theme.

So if you’re interested to see the first theme that we’ve chosen then come and visit us at the Grand Designs Live show from 3rd to 11th May 2014 at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London.





Hotchpotch luxury bespoke playhouse

Come and see our luxury playhouses in the flesh at The Ideal Home Show

Have you seen our luxury playhouses and furniture online and wondered if they’re real? That sounds like a silly thing to say but we get lots of messages from people asking if our work actually does exist for real (we take it as a complement).

Well to help convince everybody we’re pleased to announce that we’re exhibiting a few of our bespoke playhouses at The Ideal Home Show at Earl’s Court, London. You can find us there from the 14th – 30th March.

If you’ve had an idea for a bespoke piece of furniture, the ultimate treehouse or even a themed interior for your child’s bedroom and want to have a chat with us in person then we’d love to meet you and answer any questions that you might have.

Bespoke pirate desk on Challis Island

Challis Island Planning Permission and Pirate Furniture

Ahoy there! Those of you that have been following the story of Challis Island will know that our client had to apply for retrospective planning permission for the development in Cambridgeshire.

Yesterday we were informed that the application was successful, so Challis Island is officially here to stay.

Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “This has been a very interesting and unique application as it is not often you have someone build a pirate island – let alone this far from the sea.”

All of the parties involved are very happy that permission was granted, although we were always very confident from the outset. We worked closely on the planning application with our partners at SCM – an Architectural Design & Build firm.

With this ruling we are now able to reveal the photos of the themed interior design for the various buildings on the island. As with the rest of the island the interiors and furniture are completely bespoke and were designed and handmade by ourselves in our Northamptonshire workshop. Inside the buildings you will find a bespoke pirate desk and chair, a galleon bed and pirate captain’s armchairs to name a few.

Check out the gallery on the Challis Island page here to see all the photos. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Playing Houses

If a plain old Wendy house doesn’t quite do it for you, check out the luxury handmade playhouses by The Master Wishmakers. Weatherproof and with sustainably sourced wood, prices start from £5,000. Pictured is the two-storey Adventurer’s House, £54,000, which might sound steep but it does come complete with a car, aeroplane, slide, custom-made kitchen and electricity.

The team also operate a bespoke playhouse service too.








Check out the range of playhouses here.


By Carole Beck for Absolutely Chiswick

Bespoke: Dreams Do Come True

For those with deep pockets, these Wishmakers will literally create the bedroom or playhouse of your little darling’s dreams. A hobbit hole at the bottom of your garden – easy. A Winnie the Pooh bedroom – done. They’ve even made an entire pirate island complete with lagoon and tavern. Tempting to have them kit out the whole house, frankly.

Imagine waking up every morning in your very own theme park. With no queues.

By Alice B-B

© Vanity Fair

Pirates of Cambridgeshire

Shiver me timbers! This pirate island has been custom built in a lake on a millionaire’s 60-acre private estate – in the arrrrrght of Cambridgeshire.

James Challis, a member of the local Dickerson family, created it in memory of his grandad, haulage and gravel extraction tycoon John.

Challis Island, just five miles from Cambridge, comes complete with a pub called The Black Doubloon, Coffer’s Cabin guest house, Lubber’s Locker beach hut Dead Man’s sun deck, it’s own special seal and an 18th century-style colonial Caribbean main street.

The island, not open to the public, was constructed by Kettering-based company The Master Wishmakers after the lake had become silted up.

Pirate fan James said: “We hope that it will be a fitting tribute to be enjoyed by many generations to come.

View Challis Island here

© Daily Mirror

Pirates Off The M11: Millionaire builds fantasy island on his estate

It looks like backdrop for Jack Sparrow to sail towards under a Caribbean sun, but this pirate island has actually been built by an eccentric millionaire on his English country estate.

Situated in the middle of a lake, it includes a working pub named The Black Doubloon, a boat dock, a waterfall and a beach. Coffer Cabin contains a specially designed pirate bed.

The owner has not been named but he is under 40 and is said to have been inspired by “his love of all things pirate”. He commissioned the construction of Challis Island on his 60-acre Cambridgeshire estate 18 months ago. He was said yesterday to be “over the moon” with the result and to have bought himself a pirate costume as he prepares to live like Pirates of the Caribbean, the films in which Johnny Depp plays Sparrow.

The company behind the project, The Master Wishmakers, based in Northants, is more used to creating one-off playhouses and bedrooms. It drained the existing lake and employed 15 craftsmen at a cost of millions of pounds, working from the designers sketches and verbal explanations.

Click here to view Challis Island

By Victoria Ward and George Ryan

© Daily Telegraph