Thursday, May 31, 2012

Aaron Cook: shedworker


Taekwondo under 80kg world number one Aaron Cook, currently engaged in a bizarre bid to actually be included in the GB taekwondo Olympic team, is a shedworker. He has trained in the specially-designed shed built by his father at his home since the age of eight. "It was a pretty big space for an eight-year-old," he said. "It meant I was training more than anyone else my age." Here's how the Daily Mail describes it:
"The shed smells new, looks like the inside of a sauna and in one corner there are three mannequins — all called Bob — which Cook uses as targets. Each Bob wears a helmet and jacket fitted with sensors linked to a scoring pad so Cook knows if his kicks win him points."
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Homestead Timber Buidlings - Garden Rooms as used by Kirsty Allsopp

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

my cool shed by Jane Field-Lewis

A decade is a long time in shed books. Ten years ago, Gordon Thorburn's hugely successful book 'Men And Sheds' was published featuring an entirely male lineup of shedworkers, hobbyists and Suffragen Bishops, photographed by Laura Forrester in black and white (one per double spread), mostly unsmiling, all from the UK, and in very traditional sheds. It helped - as did the previous year's launch of readersheds.co.uk - to kickstart renewed interest in shedlike atmospheres.

Ten years on, and with Sally Coulthard's Shed Chic book in between, we now have Jane Field-Lewis's new book 'my cool shed - an inspirational guide to stylish hideaways and workspaces'. The huge number of photographs are in full colour, the sheds are from all over the world, and the sheddies are both male and female. There's even a sourcebook at the end to help you get the look as well as gorgeous endpapers (see image below). The term 'shedworking' is now used without explanation. Much has changed.

my cool shed is split into several sections looking at artists, musicians, retreats, gardeners, writers, workspaces and time out. Many of the people featured are shedworkers (indeed plenty of the 35 garden offices and sheds featured have appeared on this blog or in the Shedworking book) which underlines again how much has changed in shed useage since 2002. Each entry also has a section called 'style notes' which allows Jane - who is a professional multi-disciplinary stylist - to talk through the look of each shed with her expert eye.

Jane writes nicely and there's no pretentious gobbledygook. It's a lively read and her hard work in tracking down some marvellous sheds (I particularly like French artist Richard Texier's studio at the end of a pier) has paid off in spades. But what really makes it stand out are the several hundred photographs by Tina Hillier. She has absolutely got to grips with each of the sheds, picking out intriguing details inside as well as atmospheric exterior shots - even if you're familiar with some of these sheds, there are so many new shots of them that you won't be disappointed.

You should certainly buy my cool shed (published by Pavilion in hardback at £14.99) - not only is Jane a decent person, this will definitely be the best book about sheds published this year.

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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, May 29, 2012

Atelier Haverkamp




A 35 m2 'garden office' by Todd Saunders, Annie Pednault and Geneviéve St-André for the artist Reinhard Haverkamp in Bergen, Norway. It has a, large, one room working space and small loft which is used as an office. Todd says that the atelier windows are placed so that the space receives a variety of light and shadows throughout the day. You can see more of his shedworking designs here. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3rdSpace modular garden rooms
Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
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Monday, May 28, 2012

What working in a garden office sounds like

Courtesy of Nigel Oseland -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Video tour of shepherd's hut workshop

Many of you have commented how much you enjoyed Plankbridge's shepherd's hut garden at Chelsea Flower Show last week so we're very pleased to bring you Richard's guided tour around the workshop to show you how the magic is created. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's chips for Harry Ramsden's fish shed

Extremely bad news as the historic shed in which Harry Ramsden started selling fish and chips 90 years ago has been demolished because it had rather too much asbestos in its makeup. The Yorkshire Post reports that the owners of the now slightly timeworn hut - through which a tree was growing - were keen to preserve it but the discovery of asbestos meant it required immediate professional disposal. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Garden office music room




Here's a rather impressive eDEN Garden Room which is acoustically insulated so that it holds the sound in the room and doesn't disturb the neighbours (apparently the client likes playing loud music in his spare time). It also has rather nice folding doors with aluminium frame.
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Friday posts

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nicola Morgan: shedworker





Author and book publishing expert Nicola Morgan (aka the Crabbit Old Bat) has just become a shedworker, now working from what she calls her Crabbit Hutch. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about the experience:

Why a garden office? 

Easy: smallish flat and huge garden; the need for a spare room which people could actually sleep in; the desire actually to “go” to work instead of being surrounded by it. Twenty-five years of working at home had left me needing to separate work from home, create some routine. And I wanted to commute, with a real briefcase!

Has it worked? 
Well, it’s only Day Two so routine is possibly not the right word, but I can tell you a load of pleasures I’ve found. With the door open, all I hear is birdsong. With the door closed, I’ve discovered it’s totally soundproof so I can play Coldplay very loudly. And sing. (The glass wall makes dancing less recommended.) All I see are rhododendrons, azalea, a castor oil palm, pieris and orange blossom – and, lest I forget that this is Edinburgh, Calton Hill through the trees. It’s fabulously insulated and I am already absolutely in love with it. It is actually beautiful, which I wasn’t expecting. Suddenly, the garden has a purpose. So now I walk to work with my briefcase. All that’s missing is a water cooler. But I’m really looking forward to the office party.

Who supplied it?
Booths Garden Studios is the company. The guys installed the whole thing in a day and a half of pouring, mud-churning rain, without a word of complaint. The special design means no foundations, just four adjustable corner struts, so it can be built on any surface. Pretty special and highly recommended.
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Homestead Timber Buildings - For that Office in your Garden

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sheds at Chelsea Flower Show: photo essay


The Shedworking staff had a most enjoyable day at the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday and took the opportunity to take in the many shedlike atmospheres on display. Here's a quick look at some of our favourites, starting above with Jo Thompson's lovely caravan-centred show garden which won a silver gilt.


There were plenty of people enjoying the Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow garden which won silver.






Below is the shaded cabanon in the L'Occitane Immortelle Garden


And here is Plankbridge's shepherd's hut in their own silver-winning garden. We stopped for a long chat with Richard from Plankbridge about its construction.








Vicky Harris’s stone crofter’s hut in her Naturally Dry garden
 

The Artisan Retreats area where five sturdy Malvern Collection summerhouses were turned into working spaces.










 Nigel Dunnett’s RBD Blue Water Garden featured a lovely conical-roofed trullo, a traditional hut from Puglia.
 

And finally, the shepherd’s stone hut in Borut Benedejcic’s Pepa’s Story Artisan Garden.

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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, May 22, 2012

Voting gets underway for Shed of the Year 2012

Public voting has started on readersheds.co.uk and will carry on until Saturday June 16 so do pop along and make your mark. There are several categories including of course garden office. "We have had some brilliant sheds added this year," says organiser Uncle Wilco. "The sheddies always amaze me and this year some unique examples of spaces to get away from it all." The top eight sheds as voted for by the public will then go forward to the final where a panel of judges - including Neil Gaiman, Sarah Beeney, Uncle Wilco and myself - will decide on which one should be crowned Shed of the Year 2012. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3rdSpace modular garden rooms
Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
Customise | Configure | Extend | Relocate

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shepherd's hut at Chelsea Flower Show


An early look at Plankbridge's shepherd's hut at Chelsea Flower Show, thanks to our Garden Shows editor Emma Townshend. Shedworking will be reporting back from the show on Wednesday after our visit tomorrow but this is high on the list of gardens we want to see (stand SEW7) since it represents a writer's garden office. We're particularly intrigued by the sound of the light area on the floor created by scenic artist Jonathan Holbrook where the writer has walked up and down while wearing their thinking cap. The attention to detail is certainly impressive - there are also scrapes and knocks on the wall where said writer has given it a bash with his chair, while the desk's writing service is slightly biffed too through hard use. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How to make sheds cool

"The challenge for three teams of architecture students from Woodbury University in Burbank: Design the coolest, smartest cabin that you can dream up. The catch: Your building materials have to come from an ordinary, not-so-cool shed kit from Lowes."
Read the rest of this interesting feature at the LA Times. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Park Farm Design


Over the last two years Park Farm Design has been contacted regularly to help with the design and build of garden room style buildings. They work with customers to create individually styled garden rooms which incorporate our high performance range of doors and windows in timber, aluminium or alu-clad. Park Farm have designed, supplied and installed their bespoke range of bi-fold doors, sliding doors and more traditional doors and windows to more than 100 garden rooms, offices, music rooms and gyms throughout the UK.

"In 2009 we crossed paths with Roomworks Ltd who we have since built a strong partnership with," says project design manager Lee Davenport. "Whilst we are Roomworks' chosen supplier for doors and windows we also supply to many private customers looking to take on a design and build garden room project themselves. Our experience and knowledge allows us to work with private customers who are looking to achieve their perfect garden room in a DIY fashion."



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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Friday posts