Friday, March 31, 2017

Shed Box of Delights: Studio Unwired at Tatton Park Flower Show

RHS Young Designer of the Year nominee Ula Bujauskaite has come up with a lovely garden office design - ‘Studio Unwired’ - for July's RHS Flower Show in Tatton Park. She describes her garden as "a contemporary outdoor hot-desk office for an urban setting" which features a pergola divided into various open, semi-sheltered and enclosed workspaces with desks and seating so people can enjoy the delights of shedworking. There are also decked areas, gnarled pine trees, a pond, and - my favourite feature - dunes planted with flowers and grasses inspired by the coastal hinterlands of the designer's Baltic upbringing.

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Brexit and the shed industry


It's not a vast survey, but every little helps. To find out what the effects of Brexit might be for the garden buildings market, WhatShed.co.uk spoke to Mercia Garden Products and Shire Garden Buildings to ask for their views. According to WhatShed, both manufacturers supply a significant percentage of the total volume of garden buildings sold in the UK both online and via ‘Blue Chip’ high street retailers.
 
Here are their findings:

    •    Currency swings following decision to leave EU (21% drop in value) have seen large increases in imported raw materials. Imported timber/materials typically make up 66% of the final costs the consumer pays.
    •    Currency fluctuations have caused a typical 14% cost increase to manufactures.
    •    To date the manufacturers have absorbed the costs, due to many ‘Blue Chip’ retailers who had fixed price agreements in place. To date this has insulated consumers from any price rises.
    •    Price increases will now be passed on to consumers starting in April 2017. “As the dust has settled, and reality set in, this has now led to ‘Blue Chip’ customers accepting cost price increases, albeit very reluctantly,” said Terry Waldron, MD for Mercia Garden Products.
    •    Price rises consumers are likely to see in 2017 will range from an 8% to 10% increase.
    •    Manufacturers are actively working hard to reduce capital projects intended to reduce costs to combat the remaining effects of the increases. This means potential job freezes or cuts are likely.

"On a positive note, overall, sales of buildings have risen over the last two years and it appears that this is continuing for 2017," said a spokesman for WhatShed. "The focus is once again on staying at home and improving all aspects of it. More people are expected to have 'staycations' this year due to the weak pound, so they are more likely to make the most of their gardens and garden buildings. The continues a growing trend for bespoke buildings and this again still appears to be strong in 2017. This aids the UK manufacturers due to higher margins.
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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, March 29, 2017

Garden office view (video)

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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, March 28, 2017

Nook pod: Interior shedworking


The folder marked 'Interior shedworking' continues to expand. Here is the Nook pod in action, an "enclosure for working, meeting, eating [in] and relaxing". Single units are designed for one or two people but they can obviously be lined up or even turned into little sheds if you place them side by side (they are on castors so easy to wheel around). They come fully built or in flatpack form

It's already up and running at various locations including the Engine Shed in Bristol. Below is a video of a Nook pod in action using clever 360 degree surround video thingy technology so you can use your cursor to explore it all.


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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, March 27, 2017

WoHo homeworker app needs your vote


I've been happy to help friend of Shedworking and homeworking analyst Dr Frances Holliss (Emeritus Reader in Architecture, Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture & Design, London Metropolitan University) and her students in the initiall setting up of the WoHo home-based workers' app project. It's now a finalist (one of 12 out of 370 entrants) in a Big Idea competition and it really needs your vote now to take it to the next level. Here's what Frances says about it:
"Did you know that one in seven in the UK now works from home, and that this is on a massive upturn globally? These people are often super-connected digitally, but invisible in their neighbourhoods - and lonely. Jim’s a freelance accountant who works at his kitchen table all day; he struggles with his mental health as a result of this social isolation. And he’s not alone. There’s an estimated half a billion home-based workers worldwide and problems impacting on wellbeing are common.

"Until now. WoHo is a web-based platform that solves this by enabling home-based workers all over the world to connect with each other, in their community, by putting themselves onto a map of their neighbourhood. This makes it easy for people like Jim to meet each other, socially and professionally.

"It’s free - but makes money through relevant advertising and by charging for premium features. I have been investigating this field for 15 years; the rest of the team have the design and tech skills and experience to bring this Big Idea to life. With your vote, WoHo will build community, bust social isolation, and boost business, globally."
Please consider voting for it here.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Shed Box of Delights: Coroflot Mobile Work Unit


Another entry in the interior shedworking file, although this also has the potential to be moved around and even used outside. The Coroflot Mobile Work Unit is a trailer designed by Los Osos for Coroflot ('Career and community site hosting individual creative portfolios, a global design firm directory, and a database of job and project openings'). It's made from douglas fir with a polycarbonate cladding.

The Making of: Coroflot – Office on Wheels from Los Osos on Vimeo.

Via Treehugger via designboom where there are lots more details and photos. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cloud House shed


Cloud House by conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta combines a shed with a clever rain harvesting system - rain is collected in a storage tank underneath the shed and is then pumped up to the cloud when anybody sits on one of the rocking chairs inside. It then falls as rain on the tin roof, making a nice sound and watering the edible plants on the windowsills. Here's what Matthew says:
"This display of the water cycle illustrates our dependence on the fragile natural systems that grow the food we eat: at points throughout the year when there is low rainfall, the ‘cloud’ will not rain on the roof because it is simply out of water."

CLOUD HOUSE Springfield, MO - Matthew Mazzotta from matthew mazzotta on Vimeo. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Richard Mitchelson: shedworker


A really nice interview by Ian Cleverly in cycling magazine Rouleur with animator, illustrator, and designer Richard Mitchelson (see below for one of his mug designs and his web page for lots more). Here's a snippet with Richard talking about his working life in his garden office (pictured above):
I either have music or podcasts, or videos or documentaries in the background. When you work on your own, you have to have something going on. I don’t want to listen to my own monologue all day – I’m boring enough as it is. I need something that’s going to fire me up and get me going.
In a small house, with two children, it works. I tried working in the house and it was impossible. I have been in the shed for almost a year and it has been brilliant. It is disconnected enough, even though it’s at the bottom of the garden. You step out of the house, and what the house represents. It is tiny – six feet by eight feet – but it’s enough. My desk, my computers, it’s warm. That is all I need.

Me and my Dad put a lot of work into it – insulation, electrics, other bits and bobs – and that makes me love it more than something that was just bought off the shelf. It’s my own space.


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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, March 21, 2017

Supercool: Shedworkers - How to go remote


Birmingham-based design consultancy Supercool has recently made the move from a 'traditional' workplace to a garden office. There is a nice post on their blog about why they ditched their old office, and another excellent one on how they chose to go remote and down the shedworking path (it also features a useful set of links and resources for remote teams).

What's particularly useful about the post is that it explains not only the thinking behind the move but also the practicalities, so if you're considering moving your company along similar lines, I'd strongly suggest you read it. Here's a snippet, number 5 on their list, 'Caust zero disruption to clients':
From the trial runs – which no clients noticed were happening; schmoooooooth! – to the timing of The Big Move (over the Christmas break), we made it a priority that this change wouldn’t affect clients. No delay in projects. No change to the way people contact us. No change in working hours. Nothing. Nowt. Nada. I’m really proud we succeeded in making a change that, although a big thing for each of us, hasn’t impacted our client work at all. Not negatively anyway – as I said, if anything we work better together now.
Well worth a browse. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, March 20, 2017

Das Büro im Garten


Wünschen Sie sich neue Perspektiven im Job – buchstäblich – mit Blick ins Grüne? . Das 2,70 x 3,20 Meter große Bürohaus ist komplett mit integrierter Arbeitsplatte und Büromöbeln ausgestattet. Voll isolierte Fenster und Thermowände machen es zum vollwertigen Arbeitsplatz zu jeder Jahreszeit. Und im Sommer kann die Terrasse zum open-air-Besprechungsraum werden.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Shed Box of Delights: Hedged In



If you want to green up your garden office but want it done instantly and with no ongoing maintenance (apart from dusting), then take a look at the botanically-accurate offerings from Stockport-based Hedged In who supplier artificial hedging panels (and topiary, trees, etc) to businesses, including shedworkers. They mostly come as 50 x 50 cm interlock squares, are UV stable and weatherproof. Their flame resistant boxwood is also available for commercial indoor projects.  --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Studio by Sally Coulthard: Book review + giveaway


It's hard now to imagine how dreary shedworkers' bookshelves looked before Sally Coulthard and Jane Field-Lewis - together their books have revolutionised not only how we see our garden offices and other shedlike atmospheres, but how we decorate them and personalise them (modesty prevents mentioning any other names in this regard...).

Sally's latest book Studio (subtitle: 'creative spaces for creative people', published by Jacqui Small) is another success and a definite must-buy for any shedworker's bookshelf. Indeed it should be on any homeworker's 'to buy' list because while it does feature shed studios, shepherds' huts, and converted garages, there is a huge variety of creative work and study spaces on show here, and across numerous countries too.

As with Sally's previous books (out of her long backlist I'm thinking especially of Shed Chic and Shed Decor), it's a handsome hardback volume with plenty of high quality illustrations (and on quality paper too which will please book buffs). But it's not just a coffee-table book - the text, especially the case studies and the interviews with artists, is very readable and useful in terms of sourcing materials, planning layouts, lighting, and so on. And to be honest, it's also quite intriguing to politely poke around other people's studios. Well worth a read.

We've also got a couple of copies to give away to two lucky readers of Shedworking. Simply email (or @shedworking on Twitter) the answer to this question by the end of March 2017 (usual competition rules apply):

Q. Name three types of creative space featured in Studio.

Below is a selection of studio images from the book. From the top (photographer in brackets): Emily Sutton & Mark Hearld (Alun Callender); Max McMurdo (Simon Brown); Sarah Campbell (Alun Callender); Martin O'Neill (Alun Callender).

 



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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, March 15, 2017

360 degree look inside a garden office

The Suffolk Barn

If you've sadly never been inside a garden office, here's a lovely example from Smart Garden Offices which shows what it can look like - just click and drag to have a nose around. A couple more examples at their Flickr page. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Walden: The game


If you've ever fancied your hand at following Godfather of Shedworking Henry David Thoreau's efforts at Walden, then your luck is literally in. After 10 yeas of development, a new video game has been launched called Walden in which the designers say you get to:
Play as philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau in his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. Live off the land, seek out the small wonders and beauties of the woods, and find balance between your need to survive and your desire to find inspiration.
Here's some actual gameplay action...

The game takes around six hours and starts in the summer of 1845 when HDT built his famous cabin, finishing around the end of his first year in the woods.  Now it's up to YOU to survive each season pondside, track down food, and make sure your hut doesn't disintegrate. But the game also encourages you to take some time to stand and stare, as well as meet HDT's famous friends and associates including Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Walden is available for PC and Mac in an early access Alpha version. More details here including how to download and pay ($18.45).



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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, March 13, 2017

Living Huts


Every year we keenly spot the trends in the shedlike world and after a period when designs seemed to be getting smaller, they now seem to be getting a little bigger, perhaps the influence of the tiny house movement. So we were intrigued to see that Plankbridge, one of our favourite shepherds' huts suppliers, has now brought out a Living Huts range (as part of its Master Hutmakers' Collection) which are a little wider than a traditional hut and also "fitted with the means to prepare food and washing facilities".
 
"At 8’ or more wide and with its wheels set underneath its sides, the Living Hut allows us more room to play with and can even accommodate internal walls for the addition of a separate toilet or shower room," says Richard Lee from Plankbridge. "Much like shepherd’s huts, living vans, huts and wagons would have been commonplace in the English countryside during the early 20th century, the major difference being that most shepherd’s huts had a footprint of around 12’ by 6’6”, which we still honour today, while mobile accommodation spaces came in many shapes and sizes depending on its agricultural or industrial use."
 
 
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Shed Box of Delights: Treehouse on a crane


The excellent Sawday's Canopy & Stars accommodation specialist which features many shedlike places to stay is organising something very special on Bristol's harbourside, what they claim is 'the world's first treehouse on a crane'.

Canopy & Stars at Crane 29 will be a treehouse, available for bookings, suspended in the air or as C&S put it: "We’re taking all the goodness of the outdoors and putting it into a cosy cocoon of calm in the heart of the city to create a surprising, sensory experience and a true Natural High." Normally, its accommodation options are all in rural locations, so this will be its first urban showpiece.

The carbon neutral building is being put together in collaboration with B&Q and will only be open for bookings for four months, all profits from the enterprise going to Friends of the Earth. To book your berth, click here.
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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Brexit and garden buildings


Andy Guppy from The Classic Barn Company is encouraging garden office and other garden building suppliers to emphasise the quality of British craftsmanship as part of a #BestOfBritish campaign.

"The campaign is to rally around people like me," he told Shedworking, "small business owners who create something and encourage them to start to think positively about Brexit rather than waiting. Start reacting now and come out fighting to showcase what we do best. It's to trigger action and preparation now, where we all support one another. There has been, and still is a negative lull where business owners are ‘waiting to see what happens’ with Brexit. I say we should forget about what you can’t control and start dealing with what we can control.

"Get your product in the shop front and encourage customers to support British business owners by buying in this country, but also to reach out across the waters to other countries to show them what we're best at."

To this end, Andy has put together a special video extolling the virutes of The Classic Barn Company which specialises in crafted English oak-framed buildings - and which he says has already brought in interest from someone in Denmark wanting to sell the barns. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Tuinhuis: Garden office meets tiny house (video)

An excellent video from GoDownsize which underlines how the demarcation between garden offices and tiny homes is becoming increasingly blurred. Designed as a living space in Voorburg, The Netherlands, by Bloot Architecture, it is now being used as a super duper work space which includes a nifty kitchen and bathroom. Well worth a watch.

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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, March 06, 2017

How to build a garden office



A nice piece by The Garden Escape on their blog which contains a brief but useful step-by-step guide to how a garden office is put together in seven days looking at foundations going down, SIP panel and frame construction, roof structure, cedar cladding, adding doors, then applying the finish. Well worth a browse. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Shed Box of Delights: Interior wicker shedworking

Interior shedlike offices continue to appeal around the world. Here is one built by Estudio Normal in Buenos Aires for a chef which is made out of wicker. It's in the loft of his converted warehouse home and very much a working and relaxing space with a library vibe.
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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.