Saturday, October 21, 2017

Arctic Cabins: Christmas advert


The annual John Lewis/M&S/ Sainsbury's Christmas ads have become something of a festive tradition so we're delighted to see that Arctic Cabins is striking a blow for the garden room market by releasing their own. 


Here's what they say:
"Sorry to mention Christmas when it is only October, but we have to let you know that we are fast running out of installation dates for this year. With several teams out fitting daily we now have just 30 places available for installation before Christmas. If you would like to secure one of those places please give us a call or drop us an email urgently. You and your family could wake up to this amazing piece of Christmas on December 25th."


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Friday, October 20, 2017

Tripod garden office


If you're looking for an unusually-shaped garden office, the Tripod from Woodwork Designs run by furniture designer and builder Barry Feldman could be just the thing. It's made from six triangualar panels which can be transported and erected on site


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

Roald Dahl on his writing shed (plus sausages and snooker)

A shed, snooker and sausages. That is the life. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Which city is the UK’s shed capital?


Peterborough appears to be the shed capital of the UK according to garden building specialists GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk who have compiled the top 20 cities in the UK for shed ownership.

A survey of their customer base indicates that Peterborough has more sheds than any other city, with almost half a shed per person on average. Norwich came in second with an average ownership level of 33% i.e. every third person in the city has a shed.

A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “Sheds can be an underappreciated part of the home, so we thought it’s time to celebrate them by seeing which town loves them the most. Perhaps unsurprisingly, rural parts of the country provided the highest figures for shed ownership, as having that extra outdoors space affords you the room for more gardening equipment. Usually we expect to see the major cities like London and Birmingham leading the way, but with less garden space compared to rural areas a shed might be too much of a luxury."

The top 20 cities of shed ownership


Position
City
Shed Ownership Per Person
1
Peterborough
41%
2
Norwich
33%
3
Cambridge
24%
4
Southampton
24%
5
Nottingham
23%
6
Bristol
23%
7
Colchester
18%
8
Swindon
18%
9
Northampton
17%
10
Lincoln
16%
11
Reading
16%
12
Leicester
15%
13
Derby
14%
14
Milton Keynes
13%
15
Manchester
12%
16
Sheffield
8%
17
London
8%
18
Glasgow
7%
19
Leeds
6%
20
Birmingham
6%

A sketch of Virginia Woolf's writing shed

A sketch of Dylan Thomas’s writing shed in Laugharne

By Community Engagement Artist Elizabeth Stonhold. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Christi Daugherty: Shedworker

Christi (CJ) Daugherty, beststelling author of Night School and The Echo Killing, has just joined the growing ranks of shedworkers.

Raise high the roof beam, carpenters! #writingshed #goingup

A post shared by Christi (CJ) Daugherty (@cj_daugherty) on

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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

In praise of log cabins



This is a guest post by Vicky Fisher of Wonkee Donkee Forest Garden

Watching bits of our neighbour’s shed roof whistle over our fence at the height of Tropical Storm Ophelia, I couldn’t help feeling: a) glad I don’t work in a treehouse like the trendy folk at Microsoft (see Alex’s post from Monday), and b) just a little bit smug that our own wooden garden building didn’t lose so much as a splinter.

That’s because when I started working part-time from home and needed my own space, we plumped for a log cabin instead of one of the more fashionable garden offices that seem to be springing up all over the place.


What’s so great about log cabins? Well, they may not come with their own compost toilets, built-in filing cabinets or cup-holders for your skinny lattes, but they are solid, comfortable, and macho enough to see off any storm. There are lots of different types out there, too – from traditional chalets that look like skiing lodges, to cool modern designs ideal for the aspiring executive.

I wouldn’t go for just any cabin though. Some aren’t much better than sheds. The most important criteria in my opinion are:
Walls – The thicker the better. Our cabin, the Melbury, has 44mm thick walls made from kiln dried timber, which apparently is the best kind as it’s less likely to warp.
Roof – Unlike our neighbour’s shed, the roof on our cabin is almost 8 inches thick, so is unlikely to go anywhere in a hurry.
Floor – Go for a good solid one. It’s tempting to skimp on this to save money, but a thin floor doesn’t provide much insulation and can allow damp to spread up from the ground. Our cabin’s floor is 28mm thick and feels nice and solid, great for pacing around while waiting for inspiration to strike.
Windows – Natural light is really important to me, so we picked a cabin with particularly large windows and glass doors. And as I was intending to work out there all year round, double glazing was a must.

I love my log cabin. Most of all, I enjoy the underlying woody fragrance that wafts around the room while I’m working – I’m sure it makes me just as creative as the Microsoft crowd, but without having to spend millions of dollars. Not that I’m jealous…

Now you’ll have to excuse me, but I need to go and help my neighbour retrieve the rest of his shed roof. Without looking too smug, of course.
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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, October 17, 2017

Henhouse converted into garden office



An  unusual conversion with pine interior cladding in the back garden of a Berlin home by Büros für Konstruktivismus. The original Hühnerhaus dates back to the late 1940s. Photos by Martin Eberle and more information (plus images) from the architects Sandra Bartoli and Silvan Linden at dezeen.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, October 16, 2017

Microsoft treehouse garden office



Microsoft obviously have a soft spot for working in treehouses. We reported back in 2007 about an arbolic shedworking experiment they carried out and they have now gone for a far more adventurous version on their Redmond campus.

The company says that the three "new outdoor meeting spaces help Microsoft evolve the modern workspace and help employees connect to the environment and one another". Instead of a soulless grey building, entry to the main collaboration room is by a stroll up a planked switchback ramp into a Pacific Northwest Douglas fir which contains the treehouse built by Pete Nelson of the television show Treehouse Masters. "Welcome," as they say "to a new kind of workspace that’s helping employees benefit from what science shows is the powerful impact of nature on creativity, focus, and happiness."

It's 12 ft off the ground and features charred-wood walls, a high ceiling with round skylight, with box benches around the reclaimed-wood walls, and is clad with cinnamon-colored shingles. Entrance is via a hand-carved arched double door which opens electronically. The almost mustardy fragrance of rough-hewn cedar is instantaneous. “The first thing when you walk into the space is that everyone is really quiet. You stop talking and are just present,” says Boulter. “It’s fascinating. People absorb the environment, and it changes the perception of their work and how they can do it.”

Lots more photos and explanations about the environmental advantages of working this way at Microsoft's own blog site.

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

Dragonfly pavilion


The Dragonfly Pavilion comes from CDR Studio and was built in the garden of a townhouse in Hoboken, New Jersey.  Its irregular geometric design is inspired by the pattern of butterfly and dragonfly wings and the whole thing is built from sustainably harvested and FSC-certified Sapele mahogany within a recycled aluminium frame. Here's what they say about it:
The client has a sensitivity to insects, so special screening was necessary to fill the mahogany cells; also giving the visual depth of an inner skin.  The structure supports a glass canopy which is made from a patterned, laminated-tempered glass, allowing light to come through, while still providing privacy due to its water-like pattern. The resulting space provides a sheltered outdoor experience, with space for yoga, dining, reading, and outdoor sleeping. 

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Architect's garden office studio




Some garden offices are designed by architects as was this excellent example which is used as a timber shedworking spot by the architect himself, Oliver Dang, founder of Toronto-based firm Six Four Five. It measures 100 sq.ft. and Oliver describes it as "a walled oasis" which is also a safe natural space for their toddler to explore. He adds:
"Cedar strips and matching wood boards are used for the decking, fencing and studio cladding to create a unified space to frame the well-grown trees and green lawn. The vaulted ceiling is designed to reflect the angle of the southern sun - allowing maximum sunlight into the studio."
Photos: Ashlea Wessel (lots more on the Six Four Five site here.
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Abi Elphinstone: Shedworker



Writer Abi Elphinstone - author of The Dreamsnatcher series -  is also a shedworker, writing in a hut at the bottom of her garden which she converted into a writing shed. It is very atmospherically covered in ivy and has a wooden sign hanging outside the door which says: ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’ She has written an excellent and well-illustated blog post about the shed and her working routine (including photos of her tip top writing slippers and story mood-board) and there's an excellent rundown of her typical writing day in the shed at The Primary Times which often includes listening to Zen music or lighting a scented candle. Here's how it ends:
19:00pm: emerge from my writing hut like some kind of deranged mythical creature. Try to familiarise myself with ordinary life and ordinary people (while secretly day dreaming about goblins). Then I repeat the whole deliciously magical process the next day :)

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Shed Project


The Shed Project is a collaboration between Lowe Guardians and Studio Bark to further the former's aim to provide "quality and affordable accommodation for London’s young professionals by making the most out of vacant buildings".

It aims to make better use of larger empty spaces, such as derelict warehouses, and turn them into homes for these young professionals or 'guardians' using a design from Studio Bark. These units are eco-friendly, self-contained and can be built in 24 hours (they can also be taken down in the same time, both using only a drill and a hammer). Each one is built using Oriented Strand Board (OSB), lamb’s wool insulation and recycled polyester. with all materials made in the UK.

Here's what they say about it:
The SHED is all about self-build and it can be decorated or changed by guardians that are passionate about the space they occupy. We also want our guardians to get involved in building their own space (with our help of course) and take ownership of their living quarters. We also have the unique opportunity of build a new community of SHED builders. Many of our guardians live fast-paced, transient lifestyles. In some ways, this makes it even more important that at the end of a busy day, they have a private space that is entirely personal to them. Our guardians want to have an impact on the space they live and the bespoke nature of the shed allows them to do that.

The SHED Project - Lowe Guardians from Tim Lowe on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rendered garden office



Modern Garden Rooms offer an interesting variation on the common exterior look, a bespoke rendering service from a selection of 20 different colours which they say is weatherproof and durable whileallowing the structure to breathe. Here's how they describe it:
Monocouche renders are a type of decorative finish applied to the outside of buildings to provide both decoration and weather protection. The French term Monocouche has been adopted by the European render industry, in an attempt to distinguish modern renders and their application methods from those of traditional renders and their application methods. It refers to the development of more advanced render formulations that can be applied in one coat to form and cure as one monolithic layer on the elevation of a building.
And here's a video of a theoretical one with integrated shower room and pocket door.

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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, October 10, 2017

the micro life


Over the last decade or so that I've been running Shedworking, regular readers will have spotted that I've also posted increasingly regularly about tiny homes and micro living. I feel that the tiny home movement in the UK requires the same kind of push that Shedworking has always provided for the garden office alternative workplace revolution. And so I've launched the micro life which, like this site, is an entirely free and independent resource that aims to pull information about tiny houses and micro homes together in one place. It's obviously early days and a work in progress, but I would love to hear what people think about it and suggestions for improvements.

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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, October 09, 2017

Yoga studio and potting store


A nice build from The Stable Company for a client in Oxfordshire. Here's what they say about it: 
We worked closely with the client to create a unique, relaxing space where they could unwind and practice yoga in peace and quiet. We included additional features such as asphalt shingles, featheredge cladding, oak posts and French doors, culminating in a truly beautiful, tailored build.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, October 06, 2017

How to turn your shed into an office


Waltons has produced a really useful guide to converting your back garden shed into your back garden office. There are very brief steps on their site but the full guide is worth downloading here and is a useful checklist of everything from the planning stages to the final decoration. Here's a snippet
With your list of Requirements to hand, start planning your office’s layout. You will need to make sure that everything fits. Consider using one of the following methods:
• Google Draw. This free software will help you create a to-scale version of the shed and its proposed contents, which you can quickly and easily adjust.
• Room Planning Software. There are plenty of free online room planners, but Floor Planner or Sketchup are good places to start. You can work in 2D or 3D, set room size, and position and scale furniture and equipment.
• Paper. Go analogue and make a scale drawing of your empty shed. Then make scale versions of your wanted equipment, furniture, windows and power sockets to move around and arrange.
https://www.waltons.co.uk/_imagesWT/blog/how-to-turn-your-shed-into-an-office.pdf

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

Thursday, October 05, 2017

How to live small


An interesting episode of the BBC's The Why Factor this week called 'How to Live Small' features Mark Burton of Tiny House UK guiding the presenter Catherine Carr around his Lumber Loft. Here's the programme detail from the BBC:
Why is living space important and can we learn to live with less of it? Why are the Japanese so good at living small and is sharing space more important than having space to ourselves? To find out why, Catherine Carr meets the principal investigator on the HI-SEAS project; a specialist in Japanese compact homes; a housing expert; the owner of a Tiny House; a man who grew up in slum; an environmental psychologist and an anthropologist.
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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, October 04, 2017

Garden music room




A garden music room designed and built by The Stable Company. According to them: "The owner, an experienced violinist, teaches students of all abilities most days of the week. Utilising previously dead space at the end of a long garden, a separate music room has proved a real hit by both teacher and students." -----------------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Secondhand garden office for sale


Booth's Garden Studios has a 9' x 9' secondhand garden office for sale (£6995 including delivery and installation within 140 miles of Kings Lynn - normally this model goes for over £13,000). They will also lay a brand new laminate floor for the buyer. Pictured above, but more details and the full spec here.

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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