Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Holloway Lightbox


A great design and build by London-based architects Studio Bark in Leyton, London, called Holloway Lightbox. This garden office is used as a photography studio, an office for a screenwriter, and also as occasional extra family space. The 1,200 handmade coloured tiles took three weeks to make and are a nod to the digital age, representing a pixelated facade. Here's what they say about it:
"This modern yet sustainable skin [made using waste timber fibres] presents an emphatic juxtaposition between new and old, incorporating chalky surface tones, helping to complement the rigid Victorian masonry adjacent."
The final design features an asymetrical pitched roof and a fixed rooflight. It's also available as an Air bnb rental.




Photos by Jon Holloway.

Holloway Lightbox from ALVIN HUNG on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Musician's garden studio: before and after


Here's a fascinating 'before and after' 15sqm garden office build by architectural design studio made with volume for a jazz pianist in Forest Gate, east London. Above is how it looks now and below is the garden shed they had to work with...


Here's what they say about it: "We kept what was salvageable from the dilapidated existing structure and created a highly insulated space for our client to compose, arrange and relax from. Not a bad spot to work from! We have approached the project with a sensibility in terms of budget and materials that will allow the client to undertake some works themselves with some external help. The project involves upgrading the existing structure and replace elements that are either damaged or not fit for purpose."


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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, July 15, 2019

Garden office counselling room


A counselling room designed and built by Garden Affairs in Hove, East Sussex. It's one of their Linea garden room range coming in at 3m x 2m, is fully insulated, double-glazed, has paint-stained walls and painted doors/windows.  -------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Thoreau's Walden Pond cabin: stud sections and nails

Some fascinating artefacts from the godfather of shedworking Henry David Thoreau's famous cabin. The block of wood above measures 10 x 23 x 10 cm and the two nails approximately 8 and 16 cm. -----------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by iHUS Projects, specialists in the design and build of granny annexes for elderly and disabled care.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Allotment shed roof


Here is former Shed of the Year winner Joel Bird enjoying his new shed roof allotment. Pictured below are more images of him setting up its irrigation system as he admits that the roof gets quite hot and dry plus a plan of what crops he plans to grow. If you're planning something similar, remember that it's going to be pretty heavy - here's a good guide to green roof weights.



Below is a reminder of his original 2014-awardwinning Shed of the Year design with fellow shedworker George Clarke.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Garden office accountancy firm


Sometimes we forget the 'garden' element of having a 'garden office'. Here's an excellent example of what can be done by accountant Jack Richmond who has colourful meadow flowers planted outside his office door in a build by Norwegian Log.

Jack has gone down the shedworking route and works in his father’s accountancy firm but needed enough extra room in the garden office for a future employee, as well as a large desk area. He found what he was looking for at a RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and bought the Norwegian Log 5m x3 metre GRV building which was being used as a display model there and was eventually craned into place in his own back garden. As Jack’s home is on a corner plot, his clients can reach the office via a side gate in the garden fence.

“The building retains heat brilliantly in the winter," says Jack. "I used it on the coldest day last winter and it was warm and cosy. This summer I’ve sat here with the doors open, looking out onto the garden.”
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How to buy Virginia Woolf's writing shed



If you were at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, hopefully you managed to get a look at Malvern Garden Buildings' latest design, their Woolf Writing Shed. We'd wondered if it was a one-off but happily they have just confirmed that it will soon be part of their permanent collection soon (Scotts of Thrapston used to offer a similar kind of design several years ago but that is no longer available). The shed is painted in dove grey like Woolf's writing lodge at her home at Monk’s House, and features double French doors, and a decked are.

British designer and Virginia Woolf’s great niece, Cressida Bell (pictured below) described the design as a "nurturing and relaxing environment" and a fitting tribute to Virginia. "In her essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ my great aunt Virginia Woolf writes that in order for a woman to write fiction she must have two things, a room of her own and enough money to support herself.  I am in complete agreement with her on both counts, but the having the first is a very important step on the path to gaining the latter.

"I am lucky enough to have a large studio away from my house in which to create, but I need the extra space as I am a printer – as well as a designer. It is where I run my business, but also a place of great creativity. Though it is in urban East London it is surrounded by a leafy courtyard, so I have the calm of a garden to retreat to at lunchtime and after work."

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Garden office art studio



Two examples of garden offices used as art studios by Garden Affairs. They're both custom designed, traditional style, log cabins in 70mm timber, featuring factory-painted doors and windows, factory-stained walls, pitch roof with bitumen red felt shingles to residential standard, roof and floor insulation, double-glazing and full electrics throughout. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, July 08, 2019

ShedFest 2019


The UK Men's Sheds Association is working hard on putting together its annual ShedFest celebrations which this year will be held on September 3 at the University of Worcester Arena. The programme will include sessions on leadership and sustainability plus the popular - and growing each year - exhibition to attract more Shedders, as well as practical demonstrations from leading companies and organisations. New for 2019 are two competitions, Best Bird Box and Best Turned Item. Entries need to be brought to ShedFest with details from the link above.

Two more related events for your diary - tomorrow is the first Isle of Wight Shed Fest at Sandown Airport which will celebrate Mens' Sheds and provide the chance to meet Shedders from the island and south coast network. It's free entry and runs from noon until 6pm, with live music, displays, and will a beer ‘horse box’ bar

The UK association is also highlightin Silver Sunday on October 3, a national celebration of older people which the association has supported for many years. More details at the link.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Back soon


The Shedworking staff are out of the office at a relative's 80th birthday celebrations in Spain. Normal service will be resumed on Monday.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Philosphers' sheds in the Idler magazine


The new issue of the Idler magazine is now out, featuring my regular columns on sheds and snooker. This time round it's a look at philosophers' garden offices. Here's a snippet:

It’s easy to see why some of our finest philosophers have a penchant for sheds. Where else can you get some proper thinking done, away from the hurly burly of the modern life and the appalling demands of other people? That was certainly Ludwig Wittgenstein’s approach, spending huge amounts of time in his cabin at the top of the Sognefjord fjord in Norway, pondering and scribbling.
For those of you interested in snooker, there's also my thoughts on the genius that is Mr Ronnie O'Sullivan (even if you don't like snooker I think you will enjoy it). You can get copies of the Idler at various outlets around the country (lots of WH Smiths stock it) or a subscription online (which is better and cheaper in the long run).

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

George Clarke: shedworker


It's no surprise that George Clarke, the presenter of many house/home programmes on the television and perhaps best known for his Amazing Spaces series and work with Shed of the Year, also has a garden office at his home in London. In an interview with the Daily Mail (in which he explains why he keeps certain objects in his shedworking atmosphere) he says that it "is where I escape to read and write. It’s so peaceful except for the rumble of the Tube going past, but I love that."

George also does some work with window coverings specialist Hillarys who have this to say about his garden office, pictured above in what must be the tidiest setup we've ever seen:
George’s style is sleek, mid-century modern, and Tetbury Charcoal curtains perfectly complement this cool design aesthetic. A simple wave curtain header allows the curtains to drape in soft, rippling folds, creating a relaxed and informal feel. 
And here he is giving a tour of his garden office, with a special focus on his curtains, plus a bonus look at another garden building used as a spare bedroom.


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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, July 01, 2019

Writing shed door knocker


Every garden office should have a door knocker. Here's a fine one owned by writer Chris Elphick in Wales.
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Sunday, June 30, 2019

When is a shed not a shed?



A nice piece on Stuff about shedworking and garden offices in New Zealand focuses on various options from Homelandz and features this rather lovely studio above owned by Marlborough Sounds artist Sirpa Alalaakkola which features a Scandinavian style 'alcove bed'. Here's what she says about it:
"Underneath I can fit a clothes rack and drawers for storing my wardrobe. It has curtain rails around it, it makes a nice cocoon to sleep in. My plan was to just use it as a sleepout in the busy summer season, but I find myself still sleeping in it even now when it's winter. Any time when I need some quiet time or meditation the shed is the place."
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Caked: garden office for making cake


Caked is run by Claire who makes bespoke wedding and celebration cakes and pastries from her garden office in Shaftesbury, Dorset, having recently relocated from London. It's a custom-designed Garden Affairs log cabin in 70mm timber, measuring 5.5m x 4.6m. Features include a recessed porch area for architectural interest/shelter with balustrades, factory-painted doors and windows, pitch roof with bitumen felt and black shingles, roof and floor insulation, double glazed Velux roof lights, all on a concrete base.

Here's what Claire says about it:
After relocating my business from London to Dorset, I decided now was the time to create a dedicated cake space. I wanted somewhere that I could store all of my cake equipment and ingredients (there’s a lot!) and host consultations in a relaxed atmosphere. As always with these kinds of projects, the final version ended up quite a bit bigger than the original plan, but I couldn’t be happier with my little cake studio. Since the build, friends and family have been helping me paint and add all the finishing touches to make it my little cakey haven.


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Friday, June 28, 2019

The genie of the shed


The Dandy annual is always a must-buy at Shedworking HQ but this year's will be even more hotly anticipated after we discovered that comic artist extraordinaire Lew Stringer will be penning a Keyhold Kate story which features 'the genie of the shed' (see above). Although normally we think of annual as Christmas treats, they actually come out much earlier than that and you can get your hands on this one sometime in August probably. More details about both this and The Beano annual on Lew's excellent site here. -------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Aux Box: Canadian Shedworking



Aux Box is a marvellous garden office possibility designed by Landon Sheck and Morgan Seeber in British Columbia, Canada. It has a glass front wall, measures 11' x 10' x 9.5' (though there is a longer version and they can make it bespoke to your tastes) coming in at 106 square feet, with pre-powder coated metal siding and flashings, and can be installed in less than a day, usually craned into place. Features include a white roof, solar cooled glass, and closed cell spray foam insulation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Do wheels on a shed make a different to planning regulations?


A common question about keeping your shed legal is the issue of making it moveable - to cut a long story short, if it's mobile, then there are fewer restrictions on what you can build (this is one reason why shepherds' huts have become more popular). But as with everything it's more complicated than that...

There was an excellent example of the issue this month when Pembrokeshire Council took James Kershaw to court for trying to avoid planning regs by adding wheels to a wooden shed (top) he built on his land in front of 12th centurey Pill Priory (a Grade II listed building, above) near Milford Haven - he claimed that the wheels meant it was no longer a building and thus exempt.

District Judge Chris James at Llanelli Magistrates' Court did not see it that way, that he did not believe Mr Kershaw, who runs a gardening business, intended to or indeed could move the shed around (despite the wheels) and fined him £700, plus costs of £2,244. The shed had been put up in 2015 without planning permission and was described by a planning inspector as “clumsy and monolithic” which did not fit in with the historic property.

Images courtesy Pembrokeshire Council
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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pubworking: The Bottle of Sauce


We have been banging on about pubworking here on Shedworking since 2006 and even launched an entire website devoted to it (sadly no longer with us). So we were delighted to hear that The Bottle of Sauce - Cheltenham’s Pub of the Year for the second year on the trot - is launching a new co-working and hot desking space in August.

After a £100,000 renovation project there is now a series of offices over two floors, with 46 desks available seither individually or grouped together in their own room. Naturally there is wifi, private meeting and function rooms, a secure entrance, communal kitchen, plus perks on food and drinks. There will also be regular tenant meetup and brainstorming sessions organised by the company behind the move, Dodo Pub Co.


“We initially considered installing bedrooms," explains founding member of Dodo Pub Co., Leo Johnson, "particularly as The Bottle of Sauce is a former hotel. We got as far as designing the rooms before reviewing the way the High Street and town centres are changing. We clocked the way people are working is changing too with more smaller businesses than ever and the freelancing community growing.

“We know we have a great space here and we wanted to maximise its potential. We’ve had Abercrombie & Kent with us for a year while their offices have been refurbished and now it’s time for us to open up our offices to the wider community. There’s no doubt that the way people use the town centre is changing especially with the crisis facing retailers so Dodo Works is about moving with the times and catering for what people want and need.

“Being able to pop down to the pub for a bite to eat for lunch, meet clients for a working lunch or enjoy some downtime means work can definitely involve some play too. The pub is the perfect common space for relaxed and casual meetings or socials."

For more information go to the Dodo Works site.


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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