Saturday, September 26, 2020

Corrugated roofing for garden offices

We sometimes pay less attention to the roofs of garden offices than other areas of the build, so here's something to think about. It's an interesting example of a garden studio which has been roofed with Moorland Green Corrugated Roofing Sheets by Cladco, with all sheets cut to length. More examples below.

Saturday posts are sponsored by woowoo waterless toilets, the best toilet for your garden office

Friday, September 25, 2020

Writer's studio

Here's something to cheer up a rather drab Friday, a rather lovely garden office for a writer in Marchmont, Edinburgh, by Edinburgh-based Inscape Joinery. With plenty of light, it includes a wood-burning stove and a day bed.


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



Thursday, September 24, 2020

George Bernard Shaw and his writing hut in colour

I'd thought we had pretty much featured all the photographs and footage of George Bernard Shaw and his writing shed on Shedworking, but here's a real treat, a colourised photo by professional photo colouriser Tom Marshall (his website is a delight of other examples) that he produced for an exhibition at the Little Museum of Dublin. This really adds life to what for many shedworkers is a familiar but remote image.


Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Shed of the year 2020 is the Bedouin Tree Shed


A nature-inspired refuge from lockdown has won the Cuprinol Shed Of The Year 2020, and the competition’s first ever Special Commendation has gone to a shed school.

The Bedouin Tree-Shed has been an eight-year labour of love for expedition organiser Daniel Holloway, who built it around two living tree trunks in his back garden in Blackheath, south London. During lockdown it became a sanctuary for the 55-year-old, his wife Beccy, 51, and their children Sam, 12, and 14-year-old Lyza.

“When lockdown arrived, the shed really took on a life of its own, bringing us closer together as a family," said Daniel. "Spending time in it taught us some valuable lessons about appreciating what is precious and provided solace for us all during those really uncertain weeks and months. We whiled away many an hour in there listening to music, playing games and quietly reflecting."

The build began life as a conventional garden shed but has been extended and modified to encompass three levels with a footprint of 5m x 5m. Inside are mementoes from Daniel’s travels through Africa and it is built around the trunks of an ash and an oak.

“Being in harmony with nature is incredibly important for us as a family,” said Daniel. “We’ve been absolutely committed to avoid impacting the root system of the trees as we’ve been extending the shed. There’s also willow saplings and jasmine on the exterior which makes the shed almost seem part of the landscape when they bloom in the summer.”

Alongside the African artefacts, the interior is decorated with vintage etchings and specimens of butterflies alongside finely carved ancient hardwood Indian columns. A wood-burning stove provides comfort during the winter with furniture rescued from skips and reclamation yards. The floor is made of oak planks and follows the contours of the trees inside.

The Bedouin Tree-Shed topped the Nature’s Haven category in a public vote before being awarded the overall title from a panel of judges. Daniel will receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.

And in a competition first, judges also awarded a Special Commendation (plus £250) to celebrate the efforts teacher Ashley Bates went to in order to educate children while lockdown closed classrooms.

Winner of the Lockdown Repurpose category, he streamed maths and English lessons for five to eight-year-olds from his Shed School in his back garden in Hinchley Wood, Surrey. "With so many children potentially missing out on education because of lockdown, I thought I had to do something to help. I was stunned how it took off - going from a few hundred followers to over seven thousand in just a few weeks”.

Head Judge and competition founder Andrew 'Uncle Wilco' Wilcox said: “This year we’ve been blown away by the imagination and creativity on display from sheddies up and down the country, during these unprecedented times.

“But it was Daniel’s Bedouin Tree-Shed that impressed us most. We were really taken by how sensitively he incorporated nature into the design and the role it played bringing his family closer together during lockdown. We were also wildly impressed by Ashley’s efforts to educate the nation’s kids while coronavirus closed classrooms.”

This year’s entrants competed across nine categories - with two new lockdown-specific categories introduced - Lockdown Repurpose and Lockdown New-build. A public vote through decided each winner. 

Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning 

Maggie O'Farrell: shedworker


Maggie O'Farrell, author of the awardwinning Hamnet which came out earlier this year, has revealed that she wrote it largely in the shed at her home. She told the Irish Times that one of the problems with writing the novel was that it contained passages which she found uncomfortable to write, especially about a young boy dying, and wanted to wait until he was over 11 years old. Here' what she says:

“I’m not a superstitious person, but I knew that I couldn’t write this book until he had safely passed that age. I couldn’t write it in the house, where my children live. So, I wrote most of it in the shed. I don’t mean a nice cosy space like Roald Dahl had; I mean an actual dilapidated shed that was probably dangerous to be inside. I wrote it in there in short bursts, between walks around the garden."
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 21, 2020

Planning permission: the importance of height


Confirmation of the importance of obtaining planning permission and consulting local planning officers when building your garden office comes via a report in Edinburgh Live.

Earlier this week West Lothian Council's development management committee was called to deliberate on the case involving Megan Archibald's garden office shed in Eliburn because the decking underneath the build had raised it 40cm above the permitted height which according to the report meant it had become "dominating" and "domineering".

Megan has been using  the garden office to work in after lockdown meant she could no longer attend Edinburgh University where she was working on her Master of Fine Art degree. It is vital for her work and she is now seeking retrospective planning permission.

Happily, it appears that the council- which was unable to make a site visit during construction because of coronavirus restrictions - is happy to discuss alternatives to forcing her to take it down. 

A good port of first call for official UK information is the Planning Portal.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Garden office coworking


While there is an ongoing debate about exactly how we'll all be working post-lockdown, the idea of coworking seems, understandably at the moment, to be noticeably absent. But the idea of a place where garden offices meet coworking enivronments is already being pioneered by British company Second Home. The company has locations in London, Lisbon, and Los Angeles, with the focus very much on bringing the garden into the office. 

Pictured top and above are images of the Los Angeles operation, what they call a "low rise, open air campus" and claim is the densest urban forest in the city with 6,500 trees and plants across the two acre site. There are various levels of membership depending on the size of your operation, from one person to a whole team, and for various durations.


Sunday posts are sponsored by eDEN Garden Rooms. Stunning, bespoke high quality garden rooms, to suit your unique space and style

Friday, September 18, 2020

My Room in The Garden at London Design Festival

An interesting garden office design is on display at this year's London Design Festival, running until September 20, the My Room in the Garden office from Boano Pri┼ímontas. It's a modular prefab built out of FSC-certified birch plywood which they claim can be erected in a single day and has been specifically designed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus working from home issues. The marketing is targeting both individual shedworkers and companies with employees looking for home office solutions. The basic structure is 1.8 x 2.4m (starting at £5,000) and you can make it larger by simply adding more modules. Cladding is an unusual corrugated clear polycarbonate which is obviously excellent for letting light in. Lots more images and information at their dedicated website here.


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



Thursday, September 17, 2020

Garden office with a bar

Pub sheds are one of the hottest types of shedlike constructions at the moment, witnessed by their huge popularity in the Shed of the Year competition. Here's a way of combining a garden office aesthetic (plus attractive porched area) with the delights of a relaxed space, The Arctic Bar from Arctic Cabins which has just over 13 square meters of space and can seat nine people, with built-in bar.


Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Home office adds £17,500 to the value of your home


A home office in a dedicated room adds £17,500 to the value of a property, according to research from Direct Line Home Insurance which looked at property listings throughout the UK and found the average price of a home with an office is four per cent higher than equivalent properties in the area (£439,000). It also polled 100 estate agents, of which nearly three quarters said that a dedicated home office adds considerably to the desirability of a property (what do the other 25% think?). Nearly a third of those properties with a home office were external studios

Around 38% of those polled said they were planning to convert existing space in their homes into an office over the next year. The study indicates that 19% have already converted a garage or shed into an office or have installed a garden office during lockdown, and another 10% are planning to do so at some point in the next 12 months. However, the estate agents cautioned owners not to convert bedrooms into home office space, saying it can negatively impact the listing price for a property.

Dan Simson, Head of Direct Line Home Insurance, said: “As their home office is likely to become a permanent fixture in their lives, it’s understandable many people are now starting to think about the changes and improvements they could make to their property to make home working more comfortable. As our research shows, not only does a dedicated office help a separation between work and home, it can also add significant value to a property. Anyone considering building work just needs to remember to inform their insurer before the work is carried out and update them on any additional rooms created so they have the correct level of cover.”

Image courtesy Smart 


Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Small garden office build (video)

An excellent lockdown build of a small garden office by Midlands-based health and safety trainer David Cartlidge. Here's what he says about it:

I deliver training and thanks to COVID-19, some customers wanted their training delivered over Microsoft Teams. With two kids and no home office, I needed a suitable space to do it from, but had nowhere. So I built myself a home office! Took around four weeks and cost less than £1,500.

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 14, 2020

Catskill Mountains teahouse garden office

Author and magazine editor Rebecca Rego Barry is also a shedworker. Here, she describes her path to a shedworking life.

"This shed or outbuilding or ’teahouse,’ as we call it, was built in 2005, the year my husband and I relocated to the Catskill Mountains of New York," says Rebecca. "We moved in ’next door’ to my inlaws on a rural, dead end road, and presciently, my mother-in-law decided to build this one-room getaway in the acre or two of land between us. She and my father-in-law constructed it entirely on their own, getting help only when it came to shingling the roof. 

"When my children were younger, my mother-in-law hosted a book club for them in the teahouse during summer, and sometimes we would meet there for lunch or tea. For the past 18 months, however, I’ve been using it most weekday mornings to work on a novel-in-progress. I’ve worked from home as a freelance writer/editor for a dozen years, and getting away from my usual desk for a couple of hours has created a much-needed separation of state. It is quiet and woodsy, and the wifi is spotty, which helps. Even in winter last year—unless the snow drifts barred the door—I largely kept to my schedule by bundling up and keeping a miniature space heater at my feet."
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Sturdy garden office

One of the insults hurled at garden offices from time to time is that they are merely "posh sheds". Not that there's anything wrong with a posh shed, but frankly any decent garden office is a really good build. But here's an example of a sturdy garden office build by Shires Oak Buildings in Southam, Warwickshire, that should persuade even the most cussed of antagonists. Some interesting photos of it being put together at the link too.


Saturday posts are sponsored by woowoo waterless toilets, the best toilet for your garden office

Friday, September 11, 2020

“The ultimate work-from-home house”

Billed rather dramatically by Lee Koffman of Sotheby’s International Realty as "the ultimate work-from-home house" this property for sale in London (admittedly at just over £1.5 million) does indeed have a intriguing dual garden office set-up - a 16ft wide yurt with wooden floor and front door, and a 'traditional' garden office which is being used at the moment as an acupuncture room (apparently there is also permission for a larger garden office should you want on). At half the price is a one-bedroomed flat in London on with Winkworth which comes with the garden office below.


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




Thursday, September 10, 2020

Creating your own craft studio

Today we're very pleased to have a guest post from Norwegian Log on the subject of craft studio garden offices.

A bright and light garden craft room can provide space and inspiration for a myriad of creative projects. Here’s some crafty design tips to consider …

Build zones into your layout

Get creative before you even start your projects by segregating areas of your log cabin for different tasks. This will help you stay organised and reduce clutter in those areas where you want to create. Consider having dedicated areas for storage, cleaning up and crafting. For example, why not add plumbing for a kitchenette and sink, and laminate flooring for easy cleaning. If more than one member of your family is going to be crafting at the same time, consider side boards with dedicated space for each person. A mood board is a fun way to share ideas – and your floor-to-ceiling views are sure to trigger off grand designs!

Contain your crafting

With good crafting, comes a good deal of ingredients – and if you want to have space to shape, mould and forge, you’ll also need room for your tools. Draws with compartments allow you to stash small items such as sewing thread, scissors, glues and buttons in one place, while storage trolleys on wheels mean you can take your kit to wherever you’re working. A pegboard with hooks and pins maximises vertical space, while separate baskets for ‘works in progress’ mean you can pick up projects quickly after a break. Think about ladder shelves for storage jars or hanging racks for fabric, paper and ribbon.

Have a light bulb moment

Good natural light is crucial for creating. Think about including a combination of daylight magnifying lamps, light boxes and floor lamps to illuminate close work. Ceiling level track lights can light up large areas, with light switches recessed into work tops for easy access. During the day, our log cabins are flooded with natural light, but we also offer integrated glass blinds for privacy and glare reduction on sunny days.

Furnish your creativity

Measure the dimensions of your space so you can get the right sized furniture to fit. Before buying your table consider whether you prefer to sit or stand to work, and whether a wheeled chair or static stool will be best. Corner desks or drop-leaf tables are great space savers if you want to add an easel or other large objects to your cabin, but a centralised workspace will allow the whole family to muck in. Add cabinets underneath your table to maximise storage, or add casters so you can move it around.

Top Five Crafts to do at Home

1. Marbling Endless designs can be swirled on to paper, and you don’t have to have specialist materials to do it. Follow this tutorial for making inks and oils from household ingredients:

2. Stenciling Whether it’s a book, lamp, cupboard or wall, stenciling is easy and effective. Always prepare the surface well before you start and secure your template to stop it slipping. Here’s a lovely way to decorate plant pots:

3. Decoupage Layering cut-out pictures on to hard surfaces is a great way to personalise objects around your home. Try this lovely watercolour mason jar:

4. Upcycling Tired household items can be given a new lease of life with a little thought to repurposing – think colander light fittings and tea-cup plant pots. Try these whisk tea-light holders:

5. Quilling Create unique designs in paper by rolling strips into different shapes. You can use your own paper and create a quilling tool from a cotton bud tip or cocktail stick stuck into cork! Check out this beautiful quill vase:

Read here how Norwegian Log customer Francoise Read expanded her craft business with a contemporary log cabin studio. 


Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.


Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Huts by Lesley Riddoch


One for your bookshelf, Huts: a place beyond - How to end our exile from nature is written by broadcaster and hutter Lesley Riddoch. With particular reference to Scotland and Norway, she follows her hut story (she's quite keen to make the distinction that she's not talking about sheds) from renting an ex-shepherd's hut bothy in the 1980s to thoughts on how woodland huts could play a key part in a post coronavirus world. Here's a snippet:

"After visiting hytte from the islands of Inner Oslo Fjord to the snowfields of the Arctic, I realised huts have shaped Norway into an outdoors, active, nature-oriented and healthy society. While the near total absence of huts in Scotland - uniquely for a country at our wooded latitude - has kept kids distant from nature, Scots cooped up in cities and modest wee holiday homes beyond the means of the average family. This book, traces my journey as an eccentric eighties lone hutter in Scotland, a hytte hopper in Norway and finally a researcher and huts activist on both sides of the North Sea. What I discovered surprised me. Scotland’s inter-war generations were actually hutting-daft and cycling, camping and socialism-crazy. Huts didn’t fail to be built in Scotland. They just failed to survive. That’s not just a shame. With modest wee country hideaways becoming highly sought-after refuges in our Covid-dominated future, the huts-free state of Scotland is a total scandal."

The online book launch is tomorrow (Thursday, September 10). More details here plus a little look at the book below.


Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.