Sunday, February 17, 2019

The rollercaster emotions of shedworkers, homeworkers and homepreneurs


New research from Barclays has revealed what they describe as "the rollercoaster of emotions Britain’s army of homepreneurs experience while running their business and the support they need to grow".

Around 38 per cent of UK businesses are now home-based, with the number increasing by three per cent over the last five years. This new study looked at the way home-based business owners feel when they work from home - overall, two thirds said they feel happy and a similar figure said they "experienced excitement" while running their business at home. Over half (said they are more efficient working alone without distractions from others.
 
However, just over a third of those surveyed also admitted to experiencing feelings of loneliness while working from home for their business, attributing these emotions mainly to not having colleagues around to discuss ideas with or not having people around for support when things get stressful. Almost a fifth said they actively phoned their friends and family during the day to combat isolation.

When they were asked about the support needed to grow their business, about a third said they want to work alongside more like-minded businesses, and over a quarter that they would like to collaborate with more people who can help grow their business. 

Image courtesy Cabinmaster
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Saturday, February 16, 2019

An office like a garden-space inspired by monks


This project by Italian designers DEGW for pharma giant Pierre Fabre in Milan shows how far the concept of a garden office has seeped into the mainstream design of more traditional offices. According to the architects: "The layout is geared to the distinctive characteristics of each work team, in the same way a monk would take meticulous care of every single thing in their own botanical garden." They go on to say:
The concept that DEGW developed derives from a desire to create a garden-space with geometric, directional internal corridors designed like a garden of “simples” (a simple is a medicament made from a herb), where mediaeval monks once grew medicinal plants and herbs, the same that Pierre Fabre still uses to develop its main pharmacological and dermo-cosmetic products.
To add to the effect, the buildings meeting rooms and even phone booths are named after medicinal plants. More images at the link above and here for details of a similar project.
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Friday, February 15, 2019

Garden art studio


Here's a garden office from Booths Garden Studios for potter Andy and artist Jaynes, measuring 5.5m x 2.8m. Features include a large picture window to the front, two fanlight windes to the rear to increase light/ventilation (the kiln gets very hot) and a door on the right hand side to maximise space. The sink was installed by a local plumber. Below, Alex Booth discusses the build.


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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Build your own shepherd's hut

Shepherd's hut specialist Plain Huts are suggesting that 2019 could be the year that you build your own shepherd's hut using one of their kits. This could be particularly useful if you've got no chance of getting one delivered to your back garden.

The flat pack consists of a rolling chassis with cast iron wheels and oak axles, walls, roof joists, roofing material and fixings (plus of course a planner but not windows or doors unless you buy the super deluxe version). According to Plain Huts: "The kit you receive is constructed in exactly the same way we build our own huts." One happy customer is pictured above with his diy hut. More details and images at their site here. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Fuselage




The Fuselage comes from Tree Tents and while it's aimed at extreme glampers it would also make a cracking garden office. According to the company it is inspired by the principles of modern aerospace design and is lightweight, robust and extremely portable - the frame is made of sustainably-sourced wood and recycled aluminium and features include a wood stove and low-voltage radiant heating. There are also various off-grid extras. The Fuselage can be mounted on stilts, on uneven ground, or suspended from trees. More images here.

Their other model, below, is also intriguing, though rather different and also ideal as a garden office.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

French composer's garden office


This is the Forest House by French architects JCPCDR who converted an old shed for a composer living in rural France into a working garden office featuring a woodburning stove, outdoor shower, and eco-toilet, as well as a flat rooftop which is accessible from the ground and can be walked upon. The build had a strong ecological angle with the glass and steel upcycled from a derelict factory, and timber from a local sawmill. Here's what they say about it:
This space, though small in size, was conceived to give a sense of quiet, and intimacy with the surrounding nature. Whether you are standing, sitting or even laying down on the convertible sofa, canopies are designed to frame various perspectives on the vegetable garden, the beautiful 1940's house, the centennial oak... and even the stars at night. Light flows from one side of the house to the other, and the ambiance transforms throughout the day and the seasons.
More photos at the link above. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Paul Kingsnorth: shedworker


Writer and founder of the Wyrd School, Paul Kingsnorth (The Wake, Beast) is also a shedworker, based on a smallholding in Galway. In an interview with Erica Wagner for the New Statesman, he tells her about Beast that "he could only have written it looking out over the field outside his writing shed". In fact, he built it himself. Here's how Wagner describes it:
"We’re sitting in the Irish sunshine in front of a comfortable wooden hut a moment’s walk away from the house. It’s his writing place, and it’s where I spent the night, the darkness and quiet providing the kind of sleep that I’d hardly recalled existed. Round the walls inside, Kingsnorth has tacked up a reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry, the story of William the Bastard’s conquest. There is no wifi here and no phone signal, either."

Here's how he describes his shedworking writing routine (pictured above, his hut in the snow):
Like many writers I'm a fairly reclusive, introspective person. I need the stars, the wind and the silence to produce my words. I live on a smallholding in Ireland with my wife, where we grow our own food and fuel, make our own bread and school our own children. I'm not all over social media, I don't blog and I don't tweet pictures of my breakfast to the world. I sit in the writing hut you can see at the top of this page, light the fire, eat chocolate bars, listen to the song thrushes, watch the young birches grow, and see what arises. 
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Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Story Garden office



The British Library in collaboration with eco-educational charity Global Generation will open a temporary community garden on the land to the north of the British Library building in May in response to the local community’s wishes for more green space. Local people and British Library staff will start planting the garden next month.

The British Library [full disclosure, they publish several of my books] and developers Stanhope say the one acre site will be somewhere for people to come and plant and cook together. It will include a kitchen and office in converted containers as well as a straw bale rounhouse, pictured above. Other features are an orchard and a MAKE space in partnership with UAL Central St Martins and Somers Town Community Association which aims to deliver specific projects for the local community of Somers Town.
 The Story Garden forms part of the British Library’s plans to develop the 2.8 acre site to the north of the St Pancras building to include space for exhibitions, business and learning facilities.

Slaney Devlin of the Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum said: “The Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum is aware of the importance of green and open spaces in improving the health and wellbeing of those living, studying and working in Somers Town.  We hope that the planned community garden will be a new green resource in the area and will catalyse a growth in planting and gardening in the wider community."
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Friday, February 08, 2019

Building a garden office: part 3 (video)


Here's the latest from web designer and developer Jack McConnell's video series on how to build a garden office (you can see earlier episodes here). Here's what he says about it:
In this video, I set out my foundations and mortared them to my hardcore pad with the help of my Dad (thanks, Dad!). Nothing too technical or informative but a good, quick view of the materials and technique I used to install them.
The next episode will deal with building the floor.


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Thursday, February 07, 2019

Garden office with rustic effect cladding


We talked last week about different colours for garden office exteriors, such as Living Coral or black. Here's an interesting idea from Smart Spaces from their recent garden office build in Sheffield who have used a rustic effect to their cladding to help it blend into the location. It comes with dark framed windows and doors. Thumbs up from the Shedworking staff. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Kettal Pavilions



If you're considering some light summertime shedworking verging on the pergolaworking, then Barcelona-based Kettal Pavilions (who also have a base in Florida) have some intriguing options. Top is their Cottage model and above is their Pavilion H design, although there are other models too. They are built largely out of aluminium and Canadian cedar, with fabric ceilings and walls.

The designs also work for inside shedworking. Below is an example of their Office Pavilion range which are made up of movable walls and targeted at open-plan office spaces.


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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, February 06, 2019

Free tickets for Build It Live South East


The fine folk at Arctic Cabins have been in touch to remind readers of Shedworking that Build It Live South East will take place on February 9 and 10 at the Kent Event Centre. They will have their Arctic Cabins 10m² BBQ cabin on display and can talk you through all your queries. Also, you can get two free tickets worth £24 at the Build It Live site, with code: PEXH9563 ------------------------------------------
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Byrdlands: The Left Handed Guitar Shed

Byrdlands The Left Handed Guitar Shed - Workshop/Studio from Bottom of the Garden #shedoftheyear
Owned by Stephen Flood who has this to say about it:
The idea was to build a shed that felt like it had always been there, so it needed to feel a little bit old and a little bit wonky, hence the reclaimed heavy oak windows from a salvage yard and the corrugated roof. It is substantial and is of novel construction, built from machined tongue and groove sleepers stacked on edge and top bolted, making the walls solid 4" thick timber It was built single handedly with no real plan over a six month period in 2017. The shed is the workshop that forms the heart of a much larger project to build the ultimate left handed guitar.
More details and images at the link above. ------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Mirror-walled garden office jewellery shop


The Porter Lyons Mirror House, a showcase for jewellery specialists Porter Lyons in New Orleans is being described by local media as a tiny house but is more like a moveable garden office business. It's built by Preservation Tiny House which designs and builds tiny homes inspired by local architecture and has put together similar offices-on-wheels for other businesses. They say that they "encourage clients to reimagine residential and commercial space."

The Mirror House is 160 square feet with an exterior made almost entirely of mirrors and will be travelling regionally including to major festivals to display its wares.

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Garden office nature

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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, February 04, 2019

Gin shed business gets green light


The Sin of Gin, a shed-based business run by Kathryn Dean at her home in Birmingham, has been given the go-ahead by planners despite complaints by neighbours concerned about it attracting vandals, deliveries, and general disorder. The Birmingham Mail explained that she had started the company in memory of her late father who had been given a unique gin recipe initially intended as an anti-malarial medicine in India. Kathryn has already been selling her Colonial Spice brand at festivals, online, and to local restaurants. In an interview with the Daily Mail Kathryn said:  "I think some neighbours thought I'd be having parties and encouraging people to drink at my house, so they were concerned it could create extra crime and disturbances. They couldn't be further from the truth, I have encouraged them to come and visit my little gin hut and see that there's no point in being worried about me."
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Sunday, February 03, 2019

Snowy garden office commute

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Garden office with green sedum roof


Here's an attractive Garden Affairs build in the centre of Bath, Somerset. It's a Linea garden office measuring 4.5m x 2m, with larch wood exterior horizontal cladding finished with a Light Oak stain and doors and windows in a very pleasing Pigeon Blue. It also has a green sedum roof - everybody was doing cartwheels about these when we first started Shedworking more than a decade ago and it's good to see that they've become a very popular feature of many garden office builds 10 years later.

 

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Friday, February 01, 2019

What colour should you paint your garden office?


The answer tends to be some shade of green or simply the natural colour of the timber itself, although there are also keen advocates of black. But shepherds' huts specialists Plankbridge (pictured above) have suggested another option, Living Coral, Pantone's colour of the year, 2019. You can see a full list of their reasons here but in brief, it's a versatile, all-year-round warm colour which blends in nicely with your garden. As the company puts it: "With 2019 set to be the year of sustainability, this colour reminds us of the beauty of coral reefs, of our oceans, and more generally of nature, which we urgently need to protect."
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