Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cabin Porn: Inside


The original Cabin Porn book has been a great success (though we wish they'd called it something else - even the publishers seem a bit uncomfortable as they refer to it as Cabin P*rn throughout their publicity bumph). Out on October 3 from Particular Books is the follow-up, Cabin Porn: Inside, again by Zack Klein, the co-founder of Vimeo.

So the focus this time round is more on the interiors of shedlike atmospheres around the world, as the publishers put it "offering close-ups of the stunning architecture and interior design that make them truly remarkable. With more timeless photography and new design stories, Cabin P*rn: Inside brings fresh inspiration for your quiet place somewhere".

You can enjoy a sample of the book here.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Roald Dahl's writing hut


It's Roald Dahl Day today so there's all sorts of Dahl-related events around the country. Naturally, it's his writing hut and garden office that we've been most interested in here on Shedworking over the years so here's a quick guide to some of the most interesting posts about him and his shedworking lifestyle:

Roald Dahl shows how to procrastinate in your garden office

 

Up close and personal inside Roald Dahl's shed

 

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

 

Moving the writing hut

 

Conservation work in Roald Dahl's writing hut

 

Roald Dahl's writing shed was inspired by Dylan Thomas's writing shed

 

Roald Dahl's writing hut by Quentin Blake

 

There was a lot of fuss about moving the shed in 2011 which caused a huge rumpus and our reporting of it was noted in the Guardian by Mark Lawson. Here it is day-by-day if you want to follow it:

Controversy rages over restoration of Roald Dahl's writing shed: UPDATED

 

Dahl's shed: Day 2

 

Dahl's shed: Day 3

 

Dahl's Shed: Day 4

 

Dahl's Shed: the media U-turn 

 

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Building a garden office: part 8


One garden office build we've been following all year is at the roofing stage. Web designer and developer Jack McConnell is now chronicling stage 8 of the build (you can see the others here) and the video below shows him adding fascias, completing the rubber roof (which readers of my recent Shed Manual from Haynes will know pleases the authors), installing the window and door (with help from his father-in-law), and getting the trench dug for his electrics.

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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, September 11, 2019

Garden office therapy practice


As a therapist or counsellor, you want to be able offer your clients a private, comfortable and professional space for their consultations with you.
A lot of practitioners choose to rent a room in a building shared by fellow professionals. This generally means they only have to book the times they need for consultations, without the overhead of paying rent on a space that may lie empty for long periods of time. The therapy room offers flexibility, contact with other therapists, and a safe space for clients. 
A therapy practice from home?
But many counsellors and therapists choose working from home over a space which is not really theirs, and which both they and their clients have to travel to.
Turning a spare room into a therapy room has obvious benefits: it’s rent-free with no travel time or costs, and you can use it for other purposes if you need to. And if a client cancels at short notice, or you have spaces between appointments, you’re not left sitting in a room you’ve needlessly paid for, and can fill the time getting on with other things.
Many people seeking therapeutic treatments prefer a homely environment for their consultations over the more formal set-up of therapy rooms. Add in the fact that parking should be easier at your home than in a town centre location, and it starts to makes real sense to run your practice from home.
And you can really make a home consultation space your own, tailoring it to the specific needs of your clients.
No place like home?
Whilst appreciating the benefits of running their practice from home, our customers are clear, at the point at which they contact us, that they desperately want a physical separation between their work life and life in the house.
Our customers also tell us that the main benefits of a Garden Affairs building is that they come in any size & style & that we do not restrict them to a small range of sizes, quite the opposite.  We’ll work with you to create the environment that’s just right for you and your clients – a stylish, professional, light and airy space, which is well-insulated for use throughout the year.
The benefits of relocating your therapy or counselling practice into the garden:
 1. Privacy
As a client, it is a little awkward having to walk through your therapist’s cluttered utility room to get to your appointment, or bumping into one of their teenage children en route. And, as a therapist, do you really want your client in the heart of your personal space?
A garden room offers separation & privacy from your house. If you have side access to the garden, your client won’t even have to go into your house. Your private space remains private. 
2. Flexibility
You can set up your garden room exactly as you need it for your consultations, and then leave it that way. It will always be ready for your next client.
So if one of your appointments cancels or is running late, you don’t need to stress. You can just get on with what you’re doing in the house, in the knowledge that your therapy space is all set up and ready for when the time is right.
No more folding away the spare bed and taking down the family pictures in readiness for a client who doesn’t show!
3. Closeness to nature
It may be that your clients have experienced abuse, bereavement or some other trauma. Most will be in search of some form of healing. Working from a garden building presents plenty of opportunity to increase your clients’ sense of well-being and recovery.
Being in a garden, surrounded by nature, birds and plants, gives you a real opportunity to create an oasis of calm for your clients. You could do some planting around the building to create privacy, tall grasses in front perhaps, or scented flowers.

Running a therapy practice from a garden building

"The physical space of being in a garden or greener space feels good, for myself and my clients. I don’t have to leave the home space and if clients don’t show I can get on with whatever I like." Says Garden Affairs client, Emma, who runs a counselling practie for children from her garden.
Garden Counselling / Therapy Room
As a therapist or counsellor, you want to be able offer your clients a private, comfortable and professional space for their consultations with you.
A lot of practitioners choose to rent a room in a building shared by fellow professionals. This generally means they only have to book the times they need for consultations, without the overhead of paying rent on a space that may lie empty for long periods of time. The therapy room offers flexibility, contact with other therapists, and a safe space for clients. 
A therapy practice from home?
But many counsellors and therapists choose working from home over a space which is not really theirs, and which both they and their clients have to travel to.
Turning a spare room into a therapy room has obvious benefits: it’s rent-free with no travel time or costs, and you can use it for other purposes if you need to. And if a client cancels at short notice, or you have spaces between appointments, you’re not left sitting in a room you’ve needlessly paid for, and can fill the time getting on with other things.
Many people seeking therapeutic treatments prefer a homely environment for their consultations over the more formal set-up of therapy rooms. Add in the fact that parking should be easier at your home than in a town centre location, and it starts to makes real sense to run your practice from home.
And you can really make a home consultation space your own, tailoring it to the specific needs of your clients.
Garden counselling room

We were talking about garden offices as home libraries last week and today we turn our thoughts towards using a garden room as a base for a therapy practice. Garden Affairs have useful information about this on their site and above is an example.

"Our customers are clear that they desperately want a physical separation between their work life and life in the house," says Garden Affairs Director, Poppy Squire. "As a client, it is a little awkward having to walk through your therapist’s cluttered utility room to get to your appointment, or bumping into one of their teenage children en route. And, as a therapist, do you really want your client in the heart of your personal space? A garden room offers separation and privacy from your house. If you have side access to the garden, your client won’t even have to go into your house. Your private space remains private."

Happy GA customers include counsellor Una Cavanagh who says: “Apart from the fact it looks amazing from the outside, I love the serenity and calmness of it inside. As soon as I walk in, I’ve left the world outside. The feedback from clients has been really great too and I believe our work together is massively enhanced by being in such a great therapy room.” Emma, who runs a counselling practice for children from her garden office added: "The physical space of being in a garden or greener space feels good, for myself and my clients. I don’t have to leave the home space and if clients don’t show I can get on with whatever I like."

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Menus That Made History


Regular readers will know that as well as producing Shedworking, I also write books. The latest is Menus That Made History, co-written with my friend the actor Vince Franklin (Bodyguard, Thick of It, Cucumber, etc). Here's what some famous folk very kindly said about it:

An absolutely riveting book - reading it makes you intelligent, full of brilliant anecdotes - and very hungry indeed.' - Richard Curtis

'This brilliantly conceived and well-researched book is a source of real delight.' - Dr Annie Gray, BBC Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet

'Superbly written, a complete joy to read, and just about the perfect present for anyone even vaguely interested in food.' - Mark Diacono

'A gastronomic delight. You can savour it a course at a time, or you may consume the whole banquet in one sitting. It's delicious either way - utterly scrumptious, in fact!' - Mike Leigh

And here's the lowdown on what it's all about...
This fascinating miscellany of menus from around the world will educate as well as entertain, delighting both avid foodies and the general reader.

Each menu provides an insight into its particular historical moment - from the typical food on offer in a nineteenth-century workhouse to the opulence of George IV's gargantuan coronation dinner. Some menus are linked with a specific and unforgettable event such as The Hindenburg's last flight menu or the variety of meals on offer for First, Second and Third Class passengers on board RMS Titanic, while others give an insight into sport, such as the 1963 FA Cup Final Dinner or transport and travel with the luxury lunch on board the Orient Express. Also included are literary occasions like Charles' Dickens 1868 dinner at Delmonicos in New York as well as the purely fictional and fantastical fare of Ratty's picnic in The Wind in the Willows.
As always, it's available wherever good books are sold, ideally from your local independent bookseller, but also the usual suspects online such as Amazon.
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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

Shepherd's hut workshop tour


It's always interesting to take a look behind the curtains and see how garden offices are actually made. Here's Richard Lee from Dorset-based Plankbridge guiding us round his workshop which features shepherds' huts, large cabins, and some bespoke models. 

The Plankbridge team are also celebrating as they recently became the only shepherd's hut maker endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.
 
 
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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, September 09, 2019

Garden office one year on


A fascinating post by digital marketing consultant Ryan Gibson looks not only at the ins and outs of a home office/gym build warts and all, but also includes a detailed breakdown of the financials involved. In particular, he works out whether it was a decent investment, taking into account savings made on commuting, coworking rent, etc. And here's his conclusion:
Just under 5 years and 2 months to break even. Of course this was far more than a financial decision but any decision made should have some loose justification. It’s worth noting that we have had the house valued and it’s now 35k above our overall investment. House values are incredibly subjective and mean nothing unless you sell the house but it’s another positive on the ROI front.
Well worth a read if you are considering going down the shedworking route and want to get a handle on the financials. Link to the whole blog post is at the top of this one.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Garden office library




A nice blog post by Emma Mitchell at Smart Garden Offices looks at the attractions of combining a garden office with a home library. Essentially, she points out how nice it is be surrounded by nature as well as books, in a peaceful atmosphere, warmly insulated, and with decent shelving. Here's what she writes about climate control:
"Books are very sensitive to heat, humidity and damp, so installing a climate control unit is the ideal way to keep your building at a constant ambient temperature. Fully programmable, the climate control unit will provide warmth on the coldest of days and coolness on those scorching hot summer days."
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Saturday, September 07, 2019

Garden office with storage: before and after


It's always intriguing to see before and after shots of garden offices. Here's one from Garden Retreat for a shedworker in Earlsfield, London, a 3.8m x 2.4m x 2.5m high model with black windows and doors inkeeping with our current focus on black as the colour of the year.

The space is used as a garden office but also as a storage base for the owner to store equipment related to their businesses. Access problems meant that a kindly neighbour allowed the build team to pass the sections over the boundary into the garden. And before even that happened, an old shed and based had to be cleared to make room for the new structure which is cedar clad with an inuslated metal Rolaclad roof covering. -----------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by iHUS Projects, specialists in the design and build of granny annexes for elderly and disabled care.

Friday, September 06, 2019

New garden office booklet from 3rdSpace



3rdSpace have just produced a really lovely new booklet which showcases some of their most interesting builds and the shedworkers who work inside them. It's so nice that I'm actually filing it with my other books about sheds and garden offices. If you'd like a copy, get in touch with them via the link above or perhaps on Twitter. -------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

New garden office video galleries


Garden Affairs has just launched an excellent new video gallery on their website with lots of excellent 'how to build' videos about roofs, double doors, floors, windows, and ceilings if you're going down the self-assembly route. They are also building up their video case studies including this excellent one featuring artist Susannah Lisle and her art studio.

GARDEN AFFAIRS Art Studio from Helen James Productions Ltd on Vimeo.

They are also offering 10% off the price of all their hardwood summerhouses by Scotts but you'll need to be speedy as the offer ends at the end of September.
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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, September 04, 2019

Blinds offer

 
There's a nice offer on at the moment from Booths Garden Studios - if you order a studio from them which is installed in October, they will knock £100 off each blind which goes with it. So this means that on their biggest selling 16' x 8' QCB (pictured above), this would save customers £500. 


 
 

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Burning Barn: shedworkers


Specialist handcrafted rum producers Burning Barn suffered a major fire four years ago when the Warwickshire-based family's barn burned down. More happily, they have recently built a shepherd's hut-style garden office on a WWII US Air Force bomb trailer chassis which they found lying around on the farm.

The main structure is ash and much of the build, which took five months, used recycled materials. The video at the bottom is an excellent look at how it was all put together and here's what they say about it:
"The most interesting part has been how absorbing the process has been. 12 - 14 hr days and exhausting physical labour but with tangible results has given me a new found respect for anyone who grafts for a living. Working on the hut I found hours passing without looking at my phone or checking emails and I finished the day hungry and with a sense of deep satisfaction that contrasts starkly with the feeling of having sat at a desk all day"
Writing on instagram they add: "Things we have learnt; manual labour is hard, things take 5x longer than planned, measure twice cut once, poly filler is not a solution, you only get one set of fingers, building stuff is very rewarding. Respect to all those in the trade."

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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, September 02, 2019

Shepherds' huts: did David Cameron start a trend?


A nice article in The Sunday Times (£) by Katrina Burroughs looks at the range of shepherds' huts on the market, using David Cameron's hut and his imminent memoirs which he wrote inside it as a jumping off point. Lots of familiar names including Plankbridge, Blackdown, Pumphrey and Weston, Artisan, Riverside, Ashwood, Black Mountain, Red Sky, and Out of the Valley, but still well worth a look.

Here's a snippet of what Katrina says:
"Politics may have been stuck in the Brexit rut since Dave bought his bolthole, but there has been a transformation in the market for shepherds' huts... DC probably considered a woodburner quite the luxury in 2017 but hutters now aspire to hot tubs, ensuites, stargazer glass roofs and hand-printed wallpaper. There's also a trend for rolltop baths."
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Definition of a shed in the new Idler magazine


Topical as ever, my latest shed column in the Idler magazine takes a look at the Shed of the Year competition and in particular what actually is a shed. Here's the opening section:
One of the delights of the Shed of the Year competition is the occasional virtual squeal of dismay on Twitter or Facebook of, “But that’s not a shed!”. When the contest was running on television, it was tremendous fun imagining all the angry shouts at the screen that so-and-so wasn’t a shed because it was too large or too small or too complex or too circular or simply too not somebody’s idea of a shed.

This is organiser Uncle Wilco’s masterstroke. It would be wrong to say that his competition has no rules, but he has kept them to the absolute bare minimum. What it boils down to is this - if you think your beloved piece of architecture is a shed, then so it is. My feeling is that most people care little about shed semantics and are happier using the expression rather than the rather less romantic ‘garden building’. Perhaps you could argue that the term doesn’t apply if people are living in them permanently, or they are attached to the main house in any way (thus making them an extension) or they’re built out of something more permanent, such as bricks, rather than wood, but even here there could be some disagreement – we covered a converted London Black Cab conversion on my site Shedworking earlier this year because it just felt sheddish.
You can subscribe to the excellent Idler magazine here (let me know if you're thinking of doing so and I'll see if I can get you a deal on the subscription price).


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