Creating your garden room
PUBLISHED: 11:11 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 02 May 2017
Escape it all and enjoy your garden with the perfect view - from your very own garden room
Garden rooms come in all shapes and sizes, they don’t need planning permission (usually) and can be the most stylish addition to your home.
But what to choose? Hipster converted shipping container, Swedish style log cabin spa, decorative gypsy caravan, glass encased summer room or a simple off the shelf wooden garden room – the list of garden room choices is endless.
Some of you decision will be based on budget. A simple timber building can be a few hundred pounds right up to tens of thousands for a luxury bespoke look made to last.
To ensure your garden room doesn’t become an expensive folly, consider how you will use the room and make sure it is fit for purpose. No one is going to want to socialise in your dark and dingy garden shed, no matter how good the cocktails.
Now sit in your garden and look around with a pad and pen in hand and draw up a list of ways you could use a garden room. Is it going to be a cinema room, a guest suite or the painting studio you always wanted; a playroom or a mini spa space with its own steam room or home to a hot tub. Or perhaps it is just a place to sit and socialise with friends and view the hard work in the garden.
One you’ve decided how you want to use it, you’ll need to pick up that pad again and work out what you will need. How much space do you have and what is the ideal size of the building? Does it need heating, electricity and water supply? How about lighting and ventilation? If you want to socialise in this space, you will want it to look its best. You’ll also want a view. Consider window placement and where to put glass doors to make the most of your garden. Add a decked area so you can make the most of any indoor or outdoor furniture and accessories. For a studio, you will need good light, storage, ventilation and ideally a water source for cleaning your brushes. Storage will also matter, as well as floors and walls that can be easily repainted or refreshed.
As a guest suite, it will need to be solid, well-insulated and welcoming with window hangings to offer maximum privacy, its own electricity as a minimum and a shower room to add the wow factor. If you want to use out of season, consider your heating options.
Don’t be afraid to upcycle unwanted furniture from your house and consider the use of indoor outdoor furniture and flooring. Upcycling can create some stunning looks. For less than the bus fare to one of those furniture showrooms stocking mass-produced furniture, you can create something unique and beautiful by adding a lick of paint.
Technology is also transforming the way we use our gardens. Karen Chugg, from Exeter’s Intelligent Abodes (intelligentabodes.co.uk), says that increasingly people are thinking about their outdoor spaces as an extension to their home - and the technology has been developed to match it.
“Our clients look for the same creature comforts in their outdoor retreats - music, warmth, mood lighting and the ability to access everything through wifi,” she says. “Well-designed lighting, combined with lighting control, can allow you to manage the changing natural light to give you the perfect light balance for any activity, making outdoor spaces cosy and inviting.
“Have your summer house or conservatory equipped with wi-fi so you can use your smart phone or tablet to control what’s happening in your home, listen to your favourite music or adjust the lighting and blinds to suit your needs.”