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The great British beach hut

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All over Britain, the beach hut is getting a stylish makeover. The most exciting place to find innovative huts right now is on the Lincolnshire coast, courtesy of the brilliant Bathing Beauties project. 

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We featured the Bathing Beauties competition to ‘Re-imagine the Beach Hut for the 21st Century' last year on Been-Seen, and it's great to see five of the winning designs in place on the beach. All going well, they'll be available to rent in the spring.

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The huts include: Come Up And See Me by Bathing Beauties director Michael Trainor, inspired by a gin and tonic (above left), and the Mablethorpe Camera Obscura, based by Willett and Patteson on the popular Victorian attraction (above right).

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There's also Eyes Wide sHut by Feix and Merlin, a picture frame hut with a one-way mirror (second from top); Halcyon Hut by Atelier NU, made of western red cedar and acrylic panels to allow shafts of light to pass through it (above and below); and Jabba by i-am associates, a multi-colored contemporary cave (top).

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There's much more to come in 2009, and we'll keep you posted.

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But they're not the only designs making waves. Take this brilliantly simple beach chalet created by London-based designer Nina Tolstrup, aka Studiomama. Like most beach huts, it's small, but it manages to pack quite a lot into its 388 sq ft. A kitchen. A bathroom. A kids room, with bunk beds. And a mezzanine level, providing a sleeping platform for grown-ups. Perfect for lazing around on the seashore, day or night. RM

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Images: Halcyon Hut by Quinlan Osborne; Eyes Wide sHut, Jabba, Camera Obscura by Michael Trainor; ©Studiomama by Ben Anders

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