Thursday, January 28, 2016

ABBA: Shedworkers


This is the wooden composing and writing hut on the Swedish island of Viggso in which members of the power ballad group ABBA wrote many of their hits. Owned by Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus, it was large enough for Benny Andersson's piano (which sold last year for £35,000) and a couple of chairs. A recreation of it (pictured below) is now on show at the Abba museum in Stockholm.


And here's a short video with the band's hair stylist taking a look inside.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Indoor beer garden office



Another entry for the interior shedworking folder as HubSpot redesign their Cambridge HQ - their expanded property features a large meeting/event space with 'bleacher seating' and an indoor beer garden and coffee house-style café with barista for working.
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, January 25, 2016

Space Shed for city farm



We posted about Walton's Space Shed last year and many of you wondered what had happened to it. Well the good news is that it's gone to a good home - Waltons has donated it to Stonebridge City Farm for use as a potting shed and to grow vegetables and fruit inside. It's already in situ on the farm which was set up 40 years ago and works with people experiencing social exclusion or learning and physical difficulties. Pictured below are Michele Campbell (Darth Vader), Stonebridge City Farm Education and training; Annie Warburton (Princess Leia), Stonebridge City Farm volunteer; and Stephen Gee (Han Solo) Stonebridge City Farm operations co-ordinator.


Marie Rodgers, Farm Manager at Stonebridge City Farm said: “We are delighted with our new Space Shed. Without the support of organisations such as Waltons and other local farms, charities like ours struggle to keep running. We will be able to use the shed to work with small children, especially on a rainy day. We will be doing lots of potting plants, and other activities in the shed. The shed is going to be such a wonderful thing for people to come and see and it will be a great feature for the farm.“

The shed is made from a solid timber frame, clad with 12mm tongue and groove timber. It also has two opening shatterproof styrene windows for ventilation as well as two removable timber shelves.

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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Holidays for shedworkers


 When you need to get away from it all but still want the delight of a shedlike atmosphere, treehouse hotels may be the answer. Here's a nice piece in The Independent about six of the best around the world. Pictured above Is Keemala on Phuket, Thailand, inspired by a mythological clan, the We-Ha (Sky) people, who are believed to have built their homes suspended from the ground. Well worth a browse. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Garden office vs coworking space


Is freelance office space the best option for self-employed workers? asks The Guardian via a reader who is considering the joys of shedworking. You can see the results in print in this Saturday's paper but there are already comments online from various readers, both for and against, such as:
No. From experience co-working spaces are full of bell ends, dreamers and no hopers. Stick with the garden office and occasionally work from a coffee shop to change things up a bit.
 Worth taking a look at the weekend and taking a look at the comments via the link above. -----------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Janet Murray: Shedworker

'The Art of Reinvention and How Janet Murray Transformed From Teacher to Journalist to PR Consultant' is the title of an interesting podcast from Inspirational Creatives which features Janet talking about her career choices and especially on her garden office Shedquarters, as well as female shedworkers. Well worth a listen. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Autonomous Home Office


A really nice piece by Eric Grevstad at PCMag looks at self-driving home offices and the kind of tech kit that would make a genuine difference to any shedworker or homeworker, from intelligent printers to foldupable offices. Here he is on having a robot personal assistant:
"An artificial intelligence butler like Jarvis from Iron Man (but without the taking-blue-humanoid-form-and-donning-a-cape part) that can respond to voice commands. It could check my schedule, take a letter, or gently wake me. I would add the ultimate synthesis of smart calendar, to-do, email, and customer relationship management (CRM) software, with everything from OS X's Reminders to the Timeful technology Google acquired for Gmail—which lets you schedule imprecise tasks such as fitting in three trips to the gym in a week."
Well worth a short read. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Major treehouse development on Isle of Wight


From the folk who brought you The Quiet Treehouse and JK Rowling's treehouses, comes 'Nesting'. Blue Forest are now working on a vast proposal for The Isle of Wight's Robin Hill Country Park, producing the designs for the scheme which includes 13 natural treehouses (not to mention a dozen timber lodges). The design is based on the curvy Weaver bird’s nest and each treehouse will be clad in sustainably sourced Cedar shingles.

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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Revolving summerhouse: Fourpenny Workshop





The Fourpenny Workshop builds and restores various shedlike structures, especially shepherds' huts, but they also have experience in working on Shedworking's favourite ever design, the Boulton and Paul rotating summerhouse. Matt Plummer from Fourpenny has been in touch to say they are planning to build a replica soon as they now have two original bases. Pictured is one they rescued from a house in Gloucester which now enjoys the views over Chester and North Wales .
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Winter Station


Though not technically garden offices, the winning entrants in the Winter Stations competition to design shelters on the edge of lakes in Toronto are magnificent examples of microarchitecture. Among them are The Steam Canoe (pictured above) from OCAD University which turns snow into vapour, and (below) In the Belly of a Bear, a sperhical shedlike atmosphere covered in fur by Caitlind RC Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee.


You can see more photos and details at dezeen.

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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, January 12, 2016

Oxford Instruments: Started in a shed


 Oxford Instruments, a leading provider of high technology tools and systems for research and industry, had garden office beginnings, as Audrey and Martin Wood discuss in this video (only a couple of minutes) which you can listen to at the British Library site - below is an excerpt:
"When we started actually making things much, it was – we had a shed – we built a shed at the bottom of the garden to do this [laughs]. It was a completely residential area and the chairman of planning lived opposite, so when this man – this retired technician used to come along and do a few jobs occasionally. And I remember one day when we had the wife of the chairman of planning to tea and I – in the garden, I think it was, it would be in the summer. And I saw Joe coming and I went down to have a word with him and said, ‘Joe, you’re the gardener [laughs], if you’re asked any questions.'"
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, January 11, 2016

Gareth Hoskins: A Gathering Space



The news today is dominated by David Bowie, but we were also very sad to hear about Scottish architect Gareth Hoskins who has also died, aged just 48. Pictured above is his firm's A Gathering Space for the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, with a flight of steps built from Scottish larch acting as a roof for a shedworkingesque area underneath which was used  for seminars, organised events and informal gatherings
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, January 08, 2016

The Cake Studio

The Cake Studio

Many of you asked for more about the Garden Office cake story we ran last month and so here it is...

Warwick Buildings and homebased cake baker Kathryn Mathews from Burntwood, Staffordshire, recently came together to create a special Christmas cake. Warwick Buildings had the idea to commission the cake when they recently installed a Timber Building for Kathryn’s home business.

The bake, which is an exact copy of Kathryn’s own Garden Cake Studio, was then donated to the 'Coventry Open Christmas Event’ run by a voluntary organisation, the Gab & Grub Club. The Club’s logo, a smiling plate face supported by a knife and fork enclosed within a very simple house, and the Clubs aims, which are to provide food, shelter, warmth and friendship to the homeless or lonely provided the perfect home for the cake on Christmas Day.

Kathryn herself is delighted with her new Garden Cake Studio which she says has revolutionised her working life. “Before this I had everything all over the place, I feel not only have I now got a fabulous work space, but we have got our home back. I chose this building as it reflected the style I was looking for and fitted in not only with my garden, but also the local neighborhood. I had a tight budget to get everything done including the groundwork and electrical connections, as well as all the internal fittings including a plumbless’ washing facility which satisfied environmental health requirements”.

Kathryn has recently entered her Garden Cake Studio for the ‘Shed of the Year Competition’ as you can see above. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Roxanna Panufnik: shedworker


The Anglo-Polish composer Roxanna Panufnik (above right - who you may have heard this morning on the radio) composes from the garden office at her London home. She talks to Sara Mohr-Pietsch in BBC Radio 3's Composer's Rooms series in an excellent downloadable podcast which is atmospherically recorded from her shed about natural wood, a fully decorated interior, and the general joys of shedworking. It's an excellent programme and well worth a listen. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Moneypenny's treehouse shedworking plan


Treehouses as garden offices are a perennial favourite and here is a look at how growing financial specialist Moneypenny's new £15m Wrexham HQ will look like. In addition to the 'treehouse' (pictured above), there will also be a 'village pub' and nature trails, orchards, vegetable gardens and open views over the surrounding countryside.

Ed Reeves, co-founder and director of Moneypenny, describes the development as “10 acres of dreamland”. “We literally sat down with a blank piece of paper and asked ourselves what we could do with these 10 acres of dream Greenfield land? The answer was to create our ideal home – somewhere exciting and innovative, yet practical. The manufacturing industry has long been building commercial premises to suit its needs, but up until now, most offices just follow a standard template. We wanted to change this and rip up the rule book.”

By using rainwater recycling, solar energy, ground source heating and natural ventilation for climate control, Moneypenny aims to be almost entirely self-sufficient. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The rise of the log cabin


Log cabins have always been popular shedworking environments (this one is our favourite. Or maybe this one). The Guardian's fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley elaborates on their appeal, saying that apparently the log cabin "is a thing right now" with a very loggy feel to Nick Jones's Soho Farmhouse project which is apparently "the place where anyone who is is anyone is hanging out right now". As she says
"I’ve got cabin fever because that’s where I’d really like to be right now. In a cabin. Wooden, obviously. In a clearing in the middle of a forest, maybe. A lake would be nice, perhaps with a rickety little jetty. Door propped open with a stack of books, sheepskin over a chair on the porch, antlers on the sparsely decorated walls."
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, January 04, 2016

Shedworkers and homeworkers at risk in new Government tax plan


The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has cautioned the UK Government against shifting the rules on travel expenses if they harm homeworkers.

Michael Steed, President of the ATT, said: “The Government has published a discussion paper which proposes changes to the current, sometimes complicated, rules on travel and subsistence for employees and under these proposed changes, homeworkers, who make a significant contribution to Britain’s successful flexible labour market, may be denied tax relief on travel between their home work base and their employers’ work places. We would not wish to see any of these arrangements disturbed by a disadvantageous shift in the travel and subsistence rules.”

One of the Government’s proposals is that employees who work in more than one location for more than 30 per cent of their working time should be allowed to choose which one of those locations or bases is their main working base. They would then be unable to claim tax relief on the travel costs incurred on journeys between home and that agreed main base.

However, the Government also proposes to deny homeworkers the ability to choose their home as their main base, if they have a base somewhere else, such as their employer’s head office, therefore denying relief on travel between their work place at home and the head office.

Michael Steed added: “It is unfair that homeworkers may not be allowed to nominate their home as their main base under the proposals. It could result in tax relief being denied on what is, in effect, legitimate business travel. This would leave either employers or employees out of pocket and could lead to some employees giving up their jobs. It feels like a backward step to consider denying tax relief on travel costs in this way, given the increased trend in homeworking. We urge the Government to consider carefully the implications of their proposals.” --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.