Friday, September 21, 2018

Garden office case studies, conversions, and tips


For some reason the Telegraph has always been very pro-shed and there is an excellent series of articles produced in assocation with Cuprinol on their web site. Clicking the link will take you to the story above about writing sheds, but will also suggest others in the series. Here's a snippet by shedworker Tim Gibson pictured above:
I guess that’s the thing about sheds. They’re the repository of a person’s ambitions; a statement of who we are and who we long to be. If you want to understand the person, first look at their shed.
Well worth a look. -------------------------------------------------------
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

George Saunders: shedworker

On the day the Man Booker Prize shortlist is revealed, it's interesting to discover that last year's winner (for Lincoln in the Bardo) George Saunders is a shedworker. He tells Writers & Artists that: "I have a writing shed in New York that I go to. It was actually a tool shed and my wife, very sweetly, remade it and now the family joke is that I’m the only tool in the tool shed"

Here he is waxing lyrical for The Letters Page magazine about his shedlife:
Here in my writing shed, door open, dog at my feet, on a clear fall day, on which the quality of light is so clean that it has all day been landing on the autumnal woods in a way that makes a person just want to stand there and stare
And here's a good description of it from the New York Times:
Saunders writes in a shed across the driveway from his house, where we sat for a couple hours one morning while his two yellow labs nosed around outside the door. There’s the desk and a sofa and a table stacked with books that he has been researching for his next project. On the shelves there are pictures of him and [his wife] Paula and the girls and a great one from his jazz-fusion days of him playing a Fender Telecaster, with white-blond Johnny Winter hair to his shoulders. “In our lives, we’re many people,” he said as he lifted the photo off the shelf.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

New shepherd's hut brochure


Plankbridge has just published its latest mouthwatering brochure of shepherd's hut possibilities, photos by Joss Barratt. Well worth a look (order via the link above). ------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Henri Cole's writing shed

Boston-based awardwinning poet Henri Cole has published nine collections including most recently Nothing to Declare. He encourages members of his family to whistle as they approach the shed when he is writing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday, September 17, 2018

PassivPod


The garden office trend for 2018 seems to be 'round'. Here's the latest, the 15m2 PassivPod, which is inspired by nature and natural shapes (i.e. along biophilic lines) to improve our shedworking conditions and improving lifestyle and productivity. Built along PassivHaus principles, the prefab build is transported to site in modules for quick assembly. Tthe designeers describe it as 'zero carbon in operation with very low embodied carbon' and there's a large window to the front so you can see your garden really well.

  
PassivPod 2017 from Koru Architects on Vimeo. -------------------------------------------------
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

How to mediate shed disputes


If you're in the middle of dispute with your neighbours over the siting of your garden office or some aspect of your shedlife, then this is an excellent little radio programme on the BBC presented by Timandra Harkness about the best ways to disagree with other people (but in a good way). Using her own shed as an example, she talks to various mediation experts about how to achieve a result with which everybody is happy. The rest of the episodes in the series are also well worth a listen.
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Friday, September 14, 2018

Jessie Burton's writing shed space at Heals


We mentioned last month that awardwinning novelist Jessie Burton would be recreating her writing shed space at Heals as part of the London Design Festival and so she has. Here is a video of her talking to the fine people at The Pool about her garden office and shedworking life from the Heals space:


And now compare it to the real thing - it's a pretty good replica.
 



Finally, there's an excellent interview at the Creative Review in which she discusses how her shed has influenced her writing. -------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Roald Dahl Day


It's Roald Dahl Day today as it is every September 13 to mark his birthday. There's a huge amount of material about Roald Dahl on Shedworking as he is arguably the most famous shedworker of all time but we particularly like this photo essay about the inside of his garden office and the video below which sees him discussing the life of a shedworker.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Garden office build timelapse


 We haven't had a good time lapse for ages, so here's one of a Warwick Buildings garden office which provided the clients with space in an upstairs bedroom for the arrival of their first child. Five hours in three minutes...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

2018 Shed of the Year winner is Bee Eco Shed


The ‘Bee Eco Shed’ from Sheffield has won the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2018 which featured 2,900 entries and over 16,000 public votes. George Smallwood’s sheddie ecosystem was selected by competition founder Andrew Wilcox from readersheds.co.uk, Cuprinol’s creative director Marianne Shillingford, and 2017 Shed of the Year winner Ben Swanborough.

George Smallwood started out building a base for a ready-made shed, but felt inspired and decided to create the whole structure himself. Today, it is used as a space of discovery as George interacts with the different species occupying his shed. In this entirely self-watering and self-sufficient space, the vegetables, herb garden, bugs and bees can truly thrive.

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Cuprinol said: “As we move into an age of sustainability the fifth room of the home is going to become increasingly important in helping create environmentally friendly, functional solutions for the family and community which are also appealing to the eye!"

George takes the coveted title along with £1,000 courtesy of sponsors Cuprinol, £100 of Cuprinol products, a winner’s plaque and a giant crown for his shed.

“Coming in at the top spot was such a welcome suprise!" he said. "When we started the project we never could have dreamed we’d be here now. We’re so proud that our shed has become a habitat for nature in a small urban garden, showing you can always do your bit for making a home for nature. We hope our shed will inspire others around the UK to create spaces for wildlife in their gardens."

Andrew Wilcox added: “The competition was extremely tough this year, from a musical shed on the water, to a taxi, to an authentic Irish pub. With strong contenders winning all eight category awards it was a difficult decision for the judges. George’s shed stood due to its impressive, hand-made structure but also because of its unique story and special purpose. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to crown ‘Bee Eco Shed’ the winner.”

Although there is no specific garden office category any more, there is a workshop and studio one which features lots of shedworkers. The marvellous category winner here was the Viking Bauhutte owned by Chris Walter in Hampshire




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Compost toilet company merger is good news for garden office workers


West Midlands compost toilet manufacturer The Little House Co has joined Skipton-based Kildwick to create what is claimed to be the largest compost toilet company in the UK. It brings together The Little House Co’s specialism for land-based customers and Kildwick’s canal/boating users into one, combining the manufacturing, development and marketing skills of both businesses.

With the widest range of waterless, off-grid compost toilets that can be installed virtually anywhere in houses, including garden offices, sheds, summerhouses, shepherds huts, and boats, either temporarily or permanently. The combined business will benefit from the design, technical and manufacturing expertise that Kildwick Ltd has created, with the marketing and promotion skills and different customer base of The Little House Co.

“The first time I met Colin and Maria (Kildwick Ltd) was back in 2014," said Martin Doyle of the Little House Co, "and we instantly became friends. Joining Kildwick seemed a natural thing to do and enables me to utilise their manufacturing and development skills so I can concentrate on the marketing and promotion aspects to bring all our products to the widest audience.”

Colin and Maria added that the two companies had been working “in cooperative competition" for the last three years. “Each of us tended to specialise in a different market segment, but with common values of quality, customer service and value for money. Bringing the businesses together will help us combine our strengths and eliminate our weaknesses”.

The Little House Co was formed in 2012 by Martin Doyle and manufactures the Eco-Loo range of compost toilets, as well as reselling toilets from Swedish manufacturer, Separett. Kildwick was formed in 2014 by Colin Ives and Maria Matthews and using innovative production methods including fibre glass and 3D printed components, combined with traditional woodwork and metal crafts, they have created a unique range of products including the Kildwick Koodle, the smallest compost toilet on the market. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, September 10, 2018

Reclaimed scaffold boards garden office


A lovely, and short, video cataloguing a garden office build by Recycled Woodworking and Iron. -------------------------------------------------
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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Trekking to Heidegger’s writing ‘hut’


Martin Heidegger is one of the few major philosophers who was also a shedworker (see here for more on him and his Hütte and the book pictured above by Adam Sharr which is marvellous) although this aspect of his lifestyle is often sadly overlooked. Thank heavens then for this lovely piece by Walter Nicklin in The Washington Post about his Black Forest pilgrimmage to Heidegger's writing shed. Here's a snippet:
In a meadow surrounded by trees, it was all but invisible. No wonder I had first missed it! Unverborgenheit, or “unconcealment,” is a word Heidegger coined for the sudden discovery of truth, as if stumbling upon a clearing in a forest. I left the manicured trail for an overgrown path laced with electrified fencing (to keep cattle from wandering). On hands and knees to duck under one set of wires, I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought of the celebrated Heidegger trope of the woodcutter’s labors seeking to hack out a path to the clearing, to the bright “thereness of what is.”

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Friday, September 07, 2018

Garden office gym


To end the week on a get up and go note, here are photos from a Garden2Office build of their Malmo studios kits bought by the owner of Aldersbrook Personal Training in Wanstead, Sylvain Vidot, who wanted a 30sq m gym to offer a range of cross training equipment close to home for many of his City clients. -------------------------------------------------------
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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Rise in homeworking means people increasingly want to live near water


Strutt & Parker’s latest Waterside Survey shows that twentysomethings and thirtysomethings are increasingly moving towards waterside living in the UK, largely due to increased flexible working patterns and shedworking.

More than a quarter of under-35s polled and over a third of 35-39s are actively looking to live near water within five years, as well as 27% of 40-44s.
Interestingly, among employed adults already living in waterside properties, just under a half already work from home, rising to nearly two thirds in their early 30s and over three-quarters in their early 40s. On average, those working from their waterside properties do so for three days a week, in particular those in the tech, education and healthcare sectors.

Richard Speedy, Head of Waterside at Strutt & Parker, said: “Waterside living has so much to offer – inspiring a more active outdoors lifestyle and a really sociable environment for spending time with friends and family. This year it’s been interesting to see that more people are being lured to the waterside by the promise of good food – 15% up from 7% in 2017.”

Compared to last year, more people are choosing to live near water for better air quality (47% up from 41% in 2017) and for mental wellbeing (35% up from 29% in 2017).
 Among those who live near the water or would like to in the future, the preferred type of location is the seaside/coast (52%), followed by lakes/lochs (17%) then rivers/estuaries (13%). There has been a big jump in numbers who desire to live near to docklands (7% compared to 1% in 2017).

Those living in London currently are the most likely to be seeking a property with direct water access for a boat such as a mooring (69%), paying up to 10% extra for this (43%). 

Image courtesy Garden Affairs

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Wanderlust: Starring role for garden office



The new BBC series Wanderlust by Nick Payne which debuted last night starring Toni Colette and Steven Mackintosh has attracted attention due to its supposedly 'steamy' nature as a kind of sex comedy. Which is all very well, but the chief reason for watching is of course the marvellous garden office out of which Colette's character Joy Richards who works from home as a therapist. As the shots above indicate, it's pretty spacious with plenty of bookshelf space, various comfortable furnishings, and some huge windows (the blinds of which Joy closes when things get 'steamy' inside).
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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Matt Haig planning to become a shedworker

Writer Matt Haig - currently riding high in the bestsellers charts with his Notes on a Nervous Planet - has indicated on Twitter his plans to become a shedworker (he had mentioned earlier in the year to the Sunday Telegraph that his house did have a shed in which he planned to work but that his children had commandeered it). It's had, as you'd hope, a very positive response as you'll see if you click the link and see the responses which include famous and personal examples of writing sheds.

Interestingly, two years ago he told The Guardian:
Although I still have a room set aside for writing, I rarely (never) write in it. I have long fantasised about building a Roald Dahl‑style writer’s shed in the garden but I know, deep down, I would never end up going there.
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Monday, September 03, 2018

Anthropods



The Anthropod is aimed at the glamping market (be one of the first people to see it at The Glamping Show in Warwickshire September 20-22) but would also do nicely as a garden office which it is also targeting - a treehouse version is under development. Delivered on a flatbed truck, they are relocatable and easy to set up on uneven ground thanks to their unique adaptable legs.

It is the brainchild of industrial designer Rik Currie and comes in 7.2m or 5.3m lengths which are both 2.6m wide.  There are on-grid and off-grid versions, and features include a breathable internal membrane and recyclable insulation.


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Sunday, September 02, 2018

Rodrigo Moreno Masey's 'decorative shed'

A nice piece by Alexandra Goss in the Sunday Times (£) focusing on what architect Rodrigo Moreno Masey calls his 'decorative shed' at his London home. Here's a snippet:
“I realised that the use of a building changes from hour to hour, from day to day and across the seasons,” explains the founder of MorenoMasey, an architecture studio. “Everything in what I call my ‘decorative shed’ is functional, but it doesn’t have a specific function — it is an office, a study, a gym, a conference space, a TV room, a playroom, a library, a bar or a shelter. Although I use it for work, I don’t have this man-cave mentality, which means it isn’t taken over by a model railway, weightlifting gear or whatever. It is a much lighter, brighter living space for everyone in my family to use.”
Features include a projector screen wall, silvery grey reclaimed oak boards from old British barns, no gutters, and a huge glazed electric roller door on the front. The general rural look was inspired by barns in the Otztal Valley in Austria.

Well worth a read - if you don't want to pay, there is a two articles a week free option you can sign up to.

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