Over the last year or so, we have all looked at our own four walls differently. Many of us have longed for more – more space, more freedom. Combined with the rise in home working, garden rooms have flourished out of this desire for change. For creatives, a garden studio offers a space for refuge and inspiration.
We have learned the hard way how difficult it can be to find some solace within our own homes. Whether it’s working from home or pursuing new hobbies, it is always more difficult than you think to escape from domestic demands. Garden rooms offer a perfect balance; we are at home and in familiar surroundings, yet we feel we have left the house. They offer a space for productivity, whilst enjoying the peace and serenity of the great outdoors.
For as long as we have created art, we have embraced the concept of working in blissful peace. The garden studio may feel like a relatively modern luxury, but these swanky spaces were cropping up in Chelsea as early as the 19th Century. Chelsea was one of the first places in England to see a real concentration of artists, who chose to live near their consumers and each other. It was also an area with plenty of ready building space, and so bespoke studios flourished.
Indeed, ‘shed working' has always appealed to creatives. Roald Dahl wrote his beloved children’s books from his garden studio. Cunningly, he told his own children that wolves lived in it so he wouldn’t be disturbed. Genius, no? Unsurprisingly, today's successful creatives are also looking to the garden studio, including block-printing extraordinaire and textile designer Molly Mahon.
The attraction is obvious. Natural light, a space designed just for you, and all the inspiration of the great outdoors close at hand. Whether your art revolves around writing, textile production, painting, or printing, these spaces are adaptable to any need. If this sounds like the stuff of your dreams, we are here to guide you in creating the perfect garden studio.
Choosing the right garden room for you
Alongside this blossoming demand for garden rooms, we have a growing number of options at our disposal. Choosing the right structure for you depends on various factors. Permanent bespoke builds can really add value to your home, whilst you can take a charming shepherd’s hut on wheels with you wherever you may go next. Companies can tailor a whole design to your needs, or you can get creative with the old shed that has gone untouched for decades. Perhaps you even fancy tackling your own project from scratch.
Consider using architectural salvage if you are renovating an existing building or building a bespoke design from the ground up. Not only are they much more eco-friendly, but salvaged pieces will also inject character and uniqueness into your studio. Build around antique doors and windows to avoid the structure looking too brand new, as time-worn architectural features often blend more seamlessly with the garden than a modern design. If you’d rather just add a few adornments to a building, then decorative panels, over-door frames, and finials are sure to make it feel special.
Creating a new space outside gives you the freedom to express your style beyond the four walls of your home. We have a large selection of architectural elements to help you start planning your project.
Furnishing your garden studio
Once the basics are established, it’s time to get creative with your studio. It is worth putting time and effort into the interior, as you are likely to spend lots of time here. Investing in your workspace is proven to pay off in efficiency and results. The first priority is having everything you need close at hand, depending on what you will use the studio for. Shelving and storage, a desk or an easel, and craft supplies are likely to be essential.
But nobody wants all work and no play, of course. The most effective garden studio should mean you don’t need to traipse back and forth to get things from the house. Avoid interruptions with a bar cart for refreshments and a storage chest with blankets and candles in for a rainy day.
Consider a range of furniture to meet your working and relaxing needs. Rattan never fails to capture that blend between our home and garden. Wicker furniture suits a garden room because it is sturdy yet light and moveable. You want to be able to pull up a chair for a guest or repurpose your work table for lunch, so choose versatile pieces. We often fear upholstered furniture anywhere near the garden, but a comfy armchair, a small sofa, or a daybed will be protected in a garden room and offer some much-needed respite.
Mirrors will make a smaller space feel bigger, especially with light streaming in through the windows during the day. But don’t forget about lighting – natural daylight can only go so far! Desk lamps and specialist lighting for up-close work are essential, whilst candles and table lamps for dark evenings will add an atmosphere. Make room for a few of your favourite decorative pieces and art; nothing will get the inspiration flowing quite like some wonderful sculpture and glassware.
The room outside
The garden room is a versatile concept. Many of these principles can apply to an entertaining space, a home office, or just a room for reading and relaxing. Garden rooms of all sorts offer the opportunity to extend your living area and create a bespoke room all of your own. The only danger is you may never want to go back into the house!
Get started on your own garden studio design with our lookbook, 'Your garden room oasis.'