Friday, December 30, 2011

Used shipping container architect's backyard office (video)


Shipping containers are built to carry huge loads and the refrigerated units are very efficient at climate control. So it's unsurprising that when they're retired from the sea, they're being used as the building blocks for homes and offices.
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Fridays posts

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inside Typoretum's shedworking print studio


A lovely interview with shedworker Justin Knopp of Typoretum at the spitalfieldslife.com site also features plenty of excellent photos of the inside of his printing workshop. Here's a snippet:
"Working assiduously in his Guernsey sweater and canvas apron, surrounded by nineteenth century presses and bringing new life to old techniques, Justin is a happy man. He is at home here, with a busy family life and an active involvement in village life that includes firefighting duties too. “I’ve gone from doing it purely for the love of it to making a living out of it, and we’re still alive!” he declared to me, casting his eyes around his beautiful print workshop in triumph."
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best shed blog: winner's acceptance speech


An excellent speech which encapsulates not only the delights of shedworking but also the wonders of blogging. And we're working on the plaque...
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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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to all our readers

“Yo ho, my boys,” said Fezziwig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer. Let’s have the shutters up,” cried old Fezziwig, with a sharp clap of his hands, “before a man can say Jack Robinson.”
Shutters open again on December 27.
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Fridays posts

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Living Roof: a new urban retreat?

According to its designers NAU, The Living Roof "offers the essence of the city. It condenses all daily life’s needs into a compact and self-sustaining capsule. Intended as an urban rooftop getaway, but ready to be airlifted into the savanna at short notice, its ultra-insulated shell and regenerative systems allow the Living Roof to exist largely off the grid. Its sensuous form feed wind into mini-turbines at each end, while funneling rainwater to collectors. Integrated photovoltaic cells also help to make the Living Roof one of the world’s greenest structures." More details here and also check out NAU's Immersive Cocoon...

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shedworking New Year's Resolution 2012

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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, December 20, 2011

Shedworking awards 2011

For literally the second time ever, we're presenting the annual Shedworking Awards. It's been another fine 12 months for shedlike microarchitecture and many thanks to everybody who's visited the site, commented and who replied to our Readers' Award call for votes on Twitter. So here we go with the first envelope...

Best design - There were some extraordinary designs this year from the very unboxlike Tetra Shed to Google's marvellous indoor shedworking facilities in London. We also particularly liked Office Sian's awardwinning Hackney Shed and the historic medieval garden office. But the winner this year is the ecofriendly garden office in Nigel Nunnett's RBC Wild Garden at Chelsea Flower Show: built from a recycled shipping container and with a lovely green roof plus habitat walls, it was a perfect example of how shedworking can be beautiful and functional.

Best blog/web site - As always, Lloyd Alter at Treehugger and Kent Griswold at Tiny House Blog brought intelligent writing and intriguing tiny architecture to a wider audience. The winner though was Christian 'Documentally' Payne who devoted an entire blog - DocuDen - to his new garden office and as you'd expect from one of the UK's leading social technologists, used all sorts of material to make it a rich experience to visit.

Best Tweeter – We saw a lot more shedworkers tweeting about and from their garden office space but none did it with the panache of writer Joanne Harris (@joannechocolat) who presented us with an almost daily dose of shed-based thoughts.

Best popularisation of shedworkingUnbound is a groundbreaking publishing project which relies on crowdsourced funding. It was launched at the Hay Festival in the summer (with a little help from Shedworking) in a 3rdSpace Garden Room designed and built on site by Sawhorse. Not only does the Unbound web site use shed imagery heavily, but the festival presence brought the concept of shedworking to tens of thousands of visitors.

Readers' Award - Some of you were kind enough to nominate the charity ebook The Happy Shedworker in this category, launched earlier in the year to raise money for Shelter. But by some distance, the winner was the Irish Men’s Sheds Association’s which launched with a bang and looks set to build on that early success, bringing the idea of shedworking to a wider audience around the country.

Lifetime achievement award – Brighton-based John 'Shedman' Davies has been writing poetry about sheds and using sheds in his festival visits and workshops since well before Shedworking was established. Not only is he a talented writer and communicator, using sheds in the most creative way possible, but he's a delightful and thoughtful chap too.
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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, December 19, 2011

Gemstone Eco-Pods




Knutsford-based Gemstone Eco-Pods is a new venture from Gemma Roe (website not yet up so in the meantime nip along to their Facebook page). Gemma says her mission is "to revolutionise the built environment through sustainability, natural living, exceptional quality and unparalleled craftsmanship".

"I realised that there was an enormous gap in the market for beautifully crafted circular buildings which will inspire and relax whoever spends time in one," she says. "I personally don't believe that a box is a natural human environment, nor are the construction materials we currently surround ourselves with and Gemstone was borne out of my sheer frustration at promoting products of which I had no control over the design nor the materials and chemicals which were used to create them."

Her goal is to use locally-sourced materials and green building techniques to produce circular buildings without petrochemicals. While the website is under construction you can contact Gemma at gemma@gemstone-pods.co.uk or 01565 831164.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, December 16, 2011

You and your man shed

A shed with a geodesic dome, designed by Jack Stewart, a retired carpenter, part of an excellent slideshow at the New York Times of sheds sent in by readers. In the nicest possible way, they've kept it "gender specific" but we would still like to see an article called 'You and your woman shed' soon.
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Fridays posts

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Plaid: shedworkers


A marvellous look around Plaid's purpose-built music studio in London at music radar (the group has a new album out, Scintilli). Well worth a look, especially for musicians, especially for the slideshow of photos.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Google donates £550,000 to restore Bletchley Park sheds



Bletchley Park Trust is significantly closer to raising match funding needed to unlock Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £4.6 million for the restoration of WW2 Codebreaking Huts, says the Park Trust. Google, has announced a donation of £550,000 towards the match funding needed to embark on the first stage of a £15 million project to transform the site into a world-class heritage and education centre.

Google’s backing draws the Bletchley Park Trust nearer to its goal of developing the site, both to educate and inspire generations to come and as a permanent testament to the brilliant people who worked there. Once the remaining funding is in place the Trust will get underway with the restoration of iconic codebreaking huts 1, 3 and 6 and create a world-class visitor centre and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C. This development will not only conserve buildings of highly-significant heritage value and but also considerably improve the educational offering and visitor experience at Bletchley Park.

Peter Barron, Director of External Relations for Google, said: "The Bletchley Park Trust has been doing great work to honour Alan Turing and the codebreakers who helped shorten the second world war and to educate the next generation about the history of modern computing. We are delighted to make this charitable donation to help support the next phase of this important project"

Simon Greenish, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “We are tremendously grateful to Google for bringing us considerably closer to achieving our development aims. We have received other generous contributions towards the project but this is the largest single element of the partnership funding and absolutely vital in potentially getting the project underway much sooner than might otherwise have been the case. It would be wonderful if other donors follow Google’s example to help preserve our computing heritage. We could then proceed as soon as possible with restoration of the profoundly historically significant codebreaking huts.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund announced a £4.6 million grant for the Bletchley Park Trust in October. It is a pre-condition that in order to draw down the funding to commence the current stage of the £15 million project, the Trust must have raised the match funding required to complete the package. In addition to the Google grant and a number of other awards from Trusts and Foundations, individuals are also supporting the Trust’s ‘Action This Day!’ campaign to help raise the match funding. To donate please go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk
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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, December 13, 2011

Riverside garden studio



A lovely shedlike atmosphere in Oxford overlooking the River Thames from in.it.studios with a fitted kitchen and bathroom plus large decking area. Features include birch ply interior walls, glazed bi-folding doors, a living sedum roof, external spot lighting underneath the canopy, plus white glass panel heater, all on a plinth foundation.
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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.

Christmas sheds


Our 2011 festive sheds roundup begins with Jay Hodges's shed to office conversion in Missouri. "My wife deserves the credit though," he says, "as she was the impetus behind the lights and she did much of the work putting them up too!" And pictured below is a lovely photo of a Smart Duo from Smart Garden Offices looking rather like Father Christmas himself in its red and white.


Here's the inside of Penelope Overton's garden office.


And don't forget to take a look at the lovely Beach Hut Advent Calendar in Brighton.

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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, December 12, 2011

Moving a garden office

You can take it with you... Garden2office has just taken down and reassembled an eco studio for a client in Aldermarston. The building has 400mm of roof insulation, thermowood cladding, six solar panels and a heat recovery unit. The building was moved four miles to its new garden location - even the cedar shingles tiles were saved and refixed.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Your festive shed photos wanted

As Christmas roars towards us, please do email us your festive shed photos and we'll showcase them to the world.

Friday, December 09, 2011

How I built my office shed


A marvellous and detailed post by internet technology specialist Daniel Hayes covers all the whys and wherefores of designing and building a garden office in Texas for himself and his wife Vanessa (plus roomy enough to host three or four clients), what he calls his "world shedquarters". Do read the post which covers their search to build sustainably, Daniel's standing desk and plenty of technical detail. Here's a snippet:
"The office took a couple of months to build as I could only work on it nights and weekends. I did hire a master electrician to do all the rough in and a drywall guy. While I can do basic electrical, and certainly drywall, I’m smart enough to call a pro for those. I got some painting help from my wife and ex-wife (we’re all friends… but that’s another post), and some help hanging the doors from my friend Steve, but I did the rest of the job by myself. I wish I had more help with the roof and some of the framing, but otherwise it wasn’t too difficult a job."
He adds: "It’s hard to express how truly happy we are with the results. The office is a great place to work and lets us separate “work” from “home,” yet is only steps away from our back door. Plus, everyone who sees it loves it. We’ve even had a few tell us they were jealous! It feels great to know we did it ourselves, and for the most part, on the cheap."
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Fridays posts

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Shedworking in today's Scottish storm


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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Painted Room


Colour consultant Jean Kee runs her The Painted Room business from a lovely garden office. She was inspired by Michael Graves and his Lindal Cedar Homes. In a nice little interview at The Office Stylist she says:
"I absolutely love the large circular windows (a Graves signature feature) which afford beautiful views of the trees, birds and mountain laurel outside. This round shape is repeated on a table that sits in the middle of the room. I spend most of my time, when not at my computer, at this table.It is a tiled table from Morocco that I found at a local antiques store.I often meet with clients around it and there is plenty of room to spread out. My creative work happens here."





Via The Office Stylist and Judy Heminsley
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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, December 06, 2011

The Happy Shedworker: perfect Christmas charity ebook gift

For those who missed the announcement in October, The Happy Shedworker is the first in an ongoing series of ebooks from Shedworking. It brings together the best of the regular columns of advice on the Shedworking site by homeworker and Shedworking’s Calm Editor, psychotherapist Heather Bestel. All proceeds from the sale of this ebook will be donated to Shelter, a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing in the UK.

To download The Happy Shedworker, please click here. If you have any problems or would like me to email you a copy directly, please click here to email me.

We're leaving the size of the donation up to you, but would suggest a minimum of £1. After you've successfully downloaded the ebook, please click on the secure link below to make your donation.



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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, December 05, 2011

Jan Leeks: shedworker

Jan Leeks runs an independent digital design and development consultancy in Weybridge and has recently moved operations into the 12′ x 12′ LoLine QC4 garden office pictured above from Booths Garden Studios (who also have a rather nice brand new website design). Writing on the Booths website, Jan says:
"This is a huge investment for my little company, but I think it's going to be an excellent investment. I’ll be migrating my desks, computers, etc next weekend, so from next Monday I will be working in my garden studio. Can’t wait. I’ve had lots of great comments from the neighbours and friends.”
Interestingly, Jan required the shedworking space as his business is going so well that he needs to take on more staff and did not want to rent 'traditional' office space.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The truth behind the 'sheds for men's health' story

An interesting article on the NHS site suggests that the Daily Mail and Telegraph may have slightly exaggerated what the research in the British Medical Journal said about the importance of sheds to men's health last week. This is particularly important since, unlike us, they've actually had access to the original article, not just the abstract.

The writer points out that the Mail claimed the study showed that sheds “could help men live longer” and that the “therapeutic effects of pottering around relieves stress, which lowers blood pressure and even boosts self-esteem”. However, the NHS article reveals that the research actually does not refer to the small buildings at the end of our gardens at all. Here's what they say:
"The BMJ article does not specifically discuss any potential benefits of the “Men’s sheds” programmes. It provides a reference to a small study in which just five older men who took part in these programmes in Australia were interviewed about their experiences. Their experiences were reported to be positive... Therefore, some news headlines have been misleading by suggesting that men can improve their health simply by tackling crosswords and DIY in a garden shed; the benefits of which are not discussed in the BMJ editorial."
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