Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How sheds keep you healthy

The Telegraph is among various media to pick up the BMJ article that sheds can keep you healthy. Here's a snippet from the paper:
"But now health experts say there is real benefit in letting men escape to their simple sanctuaries, that could even help them live longer. As a result a network of communal 'men's sheds' that provide a place for them to meet and be - or rather do - is springing up across the English-speaking world."
I'll be talking about this subject on BBC Three Counties Radio tomorrow at 2.45pm.
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Brighton's 2011 Beach Hut Advent Calendar

We mentioned the Bridlingon beach hut advent calendar last week but there's also another series of doors being opened again this year, the Beyond version (see here for previous years' details) which you can also read about on their blog (indeed, they have just launched a series of 14 Christmas postcards featuring a selection of images from previous years' Beach Hut Advent Calendars).

You can download a full list of huts taking part which will be open daily 5.30pm-6.30pm every night in December up to Christmas Day, each one opening to showcase a festive artistic surprise. The launch night hut is being run by St Christopher's school and will feature their choir and art from pupils. Beyond will be serving mince pies and warming drinks and there is an opportunity to win a year's supply of Higgidy pies for the person who comes to the most huts during the event.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beautiful artist's studio


A lovely example of Atelier's bespoike angular S range in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with views across the Saddleworth Moors . Features include:
• Fixed glass and aluminium folding sliding doors
• Bespoke three-metre wide sliding window
• Underfloor heating
• Oak internal flooring
• Delta light fittings
• External veranda

The client wanted a garden studio to take full advantage of the scenery and to sit on a narrow garden terrace overlooking the valley below the client’s property.


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Teaching music in a garden office


Garden2office is just completing a 6x3m music teaching studio in Hampshire. The building comes with acoustically-damped flooring and one wall will be decorated with a collage of sheet music to inspire and entertain the local children who will be attending lessons. Swedish triple-glazed tilt-and-turn windows were chosen to allow in light and keep in the sound of music, while the thermowood cladding goes nicely with the wooded surroundings.
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Garden offices: recent builds


A quick roundup of some recent garden office installations, starting above with Smart's Trio with Hi-Line Roof, additional side door and finished in Aldeburgh Green with beautiful views over a Welsh valley. Below, a fully operational three-station office by Irish Wood Style in Cambridge


We'll be updating this during the day if any garden office suppliers would like to get in touch with what they've been up to recently.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tumbleweed Hollyhock Poster

Something lovely to brighten up your Friday, a very pleasant shedlike poster by Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company which is available for purchase. Here's what he says:
"This image is an homage to William S. Rice and his “Hollyhock Garden” print of 1925. Rice’s work is recognized as part of the American Craftsman movement and, accordingly, served as part of the inspiration for my recent designs of that same aesthetic/ethic. I brought the house to the foreground in my print and depicted it as a one of my own Box Bungalows. This poster is 18″ wide by 24″ tall, and printed on 80# recycled paper. It features the Anderjack model."
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Bridlington Advent Beach Huts 2011


After last year's success the Bridlington Advent Beach Huts extravaganza is opening its doors again on December 1. You know the drill - each day at 6pm a different beach hut opens its doors to the public to celebrate Advent. Here's what they say:
"We will be retelling the famous story of the Nativity in the lead-up to Christmas in new fresh, fun and interactive ways, using the gifts and talents of local people to delve into the issues that this timeless story tells....."
You can also follow the fun on Facebook and Twitter and we'll be posting updates here on Shedworking too.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

The psychology of the garden office

A fascinating blog post by Andrew Dermont on the New York Times site ('Me and My Man Shed') looks at two shedworking structures built by friends out of recycled/reclaimed materials. Here's a snippet:
"According to James B. Twitchell, the author of “Where Men Hide,” men were yearning to get away long before Thoreau went into the woods. The reason that men like Palace and Pokorny are seeking solitude in their garden sheds may also be an indication of a societal void left behind by the dying union halls and Elks lodges of years past.

“Society today doesn’t provide men the kinds of environments where they can behave the way they would like when they’re alone or socializing with other men,” says Lionel Tiger, an emeritus professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. He suggests that the circumstances of many men lead them to want to find an outlet. “The man shed is a physical rendition of a larger symbolism also found in macho video games,” he says."
Well worth a browse.
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tetra shed: the new face of garden offices?


How often do you come across a truly revolutionary garden office design? Tetra Shed has already been described, we think a little unfairly, as 'Darth Vader's Shed', but when this modular new shedworking system (coming soon in January 2012) opens out it looks rather intriguing...




The single module has been designed to be a modern garden office for one or two people but obviously if you have a large garden then you can add extra elements, up to six modules. According to its designer David Ajasa-Adekunle from Innovation Imperative Tetra Shed is suitable for permanent year-round use and is built around a timber frame with rubber cladding, a plywood interior and LED strip lighting. They also believe it could be used for beach huts, classrooms, and retail space.

Lots more photos at their website.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quick working from home survey


Friend of Shedworking Judy Heminsley who runs the excellent Work from Home Wisdom is currently running a survey to assess how best to help shedworkers and other homeworkers. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and she's already had some nice feedback about it helping people to assess what's helping or hindering them. Anonymity assured. You can take part by clicking here.
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Monday, November 21, 2011

False Bay Writer's Cabin


A rather splendid shedworking space (and rather a large one at 500 square feet) by architects Olson Kundig in the San Juan Islands, Washington State. They describe it as a private writer’s retreat and guest cottage and say: "The owners wanted a space that would feel totally connected to the natural landscape, allowing them to take full advantage of the mild climate, scenic views and the proximity to wildlife; at the same time, they needed the cabin to be easily secured when not in use."

One of the many clever elements in the design - which also features a kitchenette, bathroom and area for hanging kayaks - is that the wooden decks can be winched up to act as shutters and close up the cabin when not in use (or if you just like to work in the dark). "Open," they write, "the shutter-decks are outdoor living space, connecting to the interior with 10 foot tall windows and sliding doors. The south shutter-deck can be opened independently of the other two, and an interior fireplace can rotate 180 degrees to be enjoyed from the exterior. The inverted roof forces water to drain to the rear of the cabin, eliminating a drip edge on the shutter-decks."


Photographs: Tim Bies
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A look inside the News Shed


BBC News World Affairs Producer Stuart Hughes was kind enough to share his garden office with Shedworking a couple of months ago and has now been featured on an interesting video on the BBC's College of Journalism site ('I have seen the future in Stuart's shed'). Click here to see it. Well worth a look.
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Create energy, create space, go solar with energyspace solar garden buildings. Click here for more details

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shedworkers in Wales


There's an excellent post about shedworkers in Wales on the Design Wales Forum blog. Pictured above is the converted cowshed which is the base for Huw David Design in Llantrisant and below is where
Abergele designer Sue Hayes Davies shedworks, a garden office built by her husband as a wedding gift. Do read the whole post which has many more details.


The blog post also emphasises how useful Twitter is as a research tool - the shedworkers were found via a general callout on Twitter (which is where Shedworking heard about it too).

Hobbit house eco shed


South Carolina-based Pack McKibben runs Owl Swamp Natural Builders, "dedicated to promote and implement ideas put forth by the Natural and Green Building movements". Here's what he says about this marvellous shedlike atmosphere:
"This was the second project I worked on. It's a hybrid earthbag, cordwood, and papercrete roof shed with a reciprocal roof. The plaster over the earthbags is earthen, with a lime stablizer. All the wood, doors, and windows were salvaged. I paid five bucks for the dome skylight at a thrift store."
Lots more marvellous photos at his Picasa site here.


Via Earthbag Building Blog and Tiny House Blog on Facebook

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Testing a garden office


Nobody would claim this is the most enthralling piece of video ever produced, but this footage from OfficePOD does show that suppliers take their responsibilities in terms of testing how much a garden office can withstand very seriously.
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How to work in a coffee shop

WorkSnug Code of Conduct
There are all kinds of shedlike atmospheres in addition to garden offices and Shedworking recognises that the shedworker on the move often needs somewhere to work (there's a whole chapter about this very topic in the Shedworking book). One of these spots is naturally the coffee shop so we were delighted to help (in a very minor way indeed) the fine folk at Work Snug, a tool that connects mobile workers to the nearest and best places to work in the major cities of the world, with their crowdsourced Coffee Shop Code of Conduct which you can read above (also keen an eye out on their blog).
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Self Build Garden Studios (screencast)


Visit Self Build Garden Studios here.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is Wayne Rooney about to become a shedworker?

Press reports today reveal that suspended England footballer Wayne Rooney has hired Pulmann Associates Architects to design a wooden shedlike atmosphere in the back garden of his home in Prestbury, Cheshire. According to plans (he has received planning permission despite some objections from neighbours) it will measure a decent-sized 7m x 4m with a height of 3.25m and will replace the much smaller shed currently on that spot. Perhaps he'll be using it as a garden office with a gym element?
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

India Knight just doesn't 'get' shedworking


You know that a major trend has come of age when wellknown media folk start to knock it. Following yesterday's post about Janet Street Porter's views about shedworking and homeworking, here's what India Knight has to say about garden offices in the latest issue of Red magazine:
"I write my books at the kitchen table and my Sunday Times column upstairs. In a previous house I had an office, but I didn’t like it. I get inspiration from what people are doing and saying, so I came back down to the kitchen table. I like being in the same room as my children and not acting like some genius artist locked away in the shed."
Your comments very welcome...
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Janet Street Porter just doesn't 'get' shedworking

A most bizarre piece in the Daily Mail by Janet Street Porter looks at the pros and cons of homeworking in general and shedworking in particular. As she says, and I don't think she means this in an entirely positive way, "Modern sheds have seagrass on the floor, pictures and prints on the walls, a satellite dish on the roof, an easy chair for reading and a desk for the swanky computer." She then goes on to mention various advantages of working from your garden office, such as eliminating the commute (although again here there's not exactly fulsome support for the idea of homeworking).

But then she goes on to make the normal lazy clich├ęd list of things that homeworkers are supposed to get up to (fool around on the internet all day, constantly snack, etc) and then comes up with an entirely new complaint, that working from home is actually bad for your work/life balance. It's an incredible claim, compounded by her following remark that "The Government is promoting home-working to save money, but the social costs could be tremendous." In Global Entrepreneurship Week and at a time when frankly it's the home-based businesses which appear to be one of the few success stories in the economy, it just seems a particularly shortighted and illinformed line of argument. But what do readers think?
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crushed Beaks: musical shedworkers


(video contains flashing lights)

Crushed Beaks debut single ‘Sun Dogs’/’Close Ups’ will be released on November 21 and as the band's Matthew Poile and Alex Morris reveal in an interview with DIY, their shed is their creative home. Here's a snippet of what Matthew says:
"We practice in my shed so we can rehearse pretty much whenever we want. A little and often is the way forward. It takes a lot of the stress out of making music, I mean in terms of logistics, we don't have to phone round a bunch of people trying to find a date that everyone can do and then drag all our gear to an expensive rehearsal room, it's all just set up ready to go. I spend a lot of my time in that shed. A few weeks ago I decked it out with posters and stuff. We even have a fridge in there."
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Create energy, create space, go solar with energyspace solar garden buildings. Click here for more details

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Afternoon in the Pub

We've been talking about 'pubworking' on Shedworking for several years now and included a section on it in the Shedworking book. So we've been delighted to watch the development of the St Albans-based venture 'An Afternoon in the Pub'.

Established by an informal group of St Albans designers, copywriters and social media specialists, the idea is that once a month, a local pub is the venue for a‘business social’ - it's not a formal networking event, more a pleasant afternoon to have a chat and a beer. Shedworking is fully behind this imaginative use of pubs and hopes it goes onto great things. Here's their blurb:
"The backbone of any town is its local businesses and we want the businesses of St. Albans to know that there is a free, relaxed, humour-filled environment where we can all get together, learn about each other, understand each other and see if there are ways in which we can help each other."
The next event - which the Shedworking staff will be attending - is on November 16 at the White Hart Tap in Keyfield Terrace, St Albans (pictured above): it's free and there will be nibbles. As well as their website/blog, you can find them as @pminthepub on Twitter and on Facebook.

Click here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Underground garden office


We've covered various underground shedworking possibilities before on the site, but this one (see on the excellent Tiny House Blog) is perhaps the nearest to being genuinely practicable. The video is a step-by-step guide to using a shipping container to build an underground room (with advice on how not to be buried alive or flooded out too...).
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Solar powered garden office


Insurance Shoppers is a health insurance brokerage owned by Jay and Louise Norris in Wellington, Colorado, which is run from their garden office. "We've always had a dream of having an office in our backyard," says Louise. "A fully insulated, finished shed makes a great place to work. Solar power works great in Colorado where we get 300 sunny days a year. Also, the whole thing only cost about $4,000, including the solar setup. A very affordable solution." You can also find them, and more photos of their shedworking atmosphere, on their Facebook page.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.