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.

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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.

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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 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 

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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.
 

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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."
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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.

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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.

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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: https://artfulparent.com/marbling-with-oil/

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: https://diycandy.com/how-to-stencil-a-clay-pot/

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: https://craftsbyamanda.com/watercolor-luminaries/

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: https://designintuition.co/awesome-diy-inspiration-hanging-whisk-tea-light-candle-holder-votive/

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: https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Quilled-Teardrop-Vase/

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

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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 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.

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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 08, 2020

Unmanned tiny shops in Sweden

An interesting article in The Guardian about Lifvs, a new supermarket chain in Sweden - no stranger to the concept of small working spaces - which is using (large) garden office-sized units to provide unmanned shops in rural areas of the country with low population. They are up to 19 now and looking to expand, each shop built around a container design which can easily be set down and picked up again when required.  Well worth a read.

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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 07, 2020

Koto garden office cabin on display at New Art Centre Sculpture Park

We first mentioned Koto when they launched a couple of years ago so we were delighted to see that they are now exhibiting their remarkably angled garden office cabin model in the Sculpture Park at the New Art Centre in Salisbury (Monday - Saturday, 11am - 4pm). Here's what Koto say about it:

 "A place of deep work and mediation, a contemplative room and an immersive space to connect with the surrounding nature. The structure assumes an elegant and functional sculptural geometric form with large glazing that frames views of the garden. The structure is entirely natural and carbon neutral. The charred timber exterior draws from our Japanese design influence and the ancient Japanese philosophy Wabi Sabi, focused on accepting the transient nature of life and the beauty in imperfection."


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Sunday, September 06, 2020

What to consider when buying a shepherd's hut

 

Richard Lee, our go-to person for all things shepherd's hut who runs Plankbridge, has put together an exellent post on his blog about six things to think about when it comes to investing in a shepherd's hut (actually it's more than 6 as his final point is a bit of a list). It's essential reading if you're thinking of making a shepherd's hut your garden office. Here's a snippet:

In the olden days a shepherd’s hut would be pulled out onto downlands and positioned with its back to the wind. That way the shepherd could have his door slightly ajar, even on a wet and windy night, and keep an ear out for the safety of his sheep. This is common sense and I would encourage you to position the door, if at all possible, on the leeward side. That way you can open and close the door without the weather blowing in... If you want to make the most of the views on the windward side, then think of a double window there, rather than double doors.

Well worth reading (and then poring over the lovely gallery of Plankbridge builds on the site).

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Friday, September 04, 2020

Cantilevered writing studio



An absolutely gorgeous stone and oak writing studio by American architects Eric J Smith (where you can see many more photos) in Connecticut for retired banker and poet John Barr. Built close to his home and cantilevered over a slope, it is clad in bluestone and fieldstone to fit in the with the surrounding countryside. Features include a geothermal heating system and a corridor of oak bookshelves (which houses his large poetry collection), as well as a small kitchen, bathroom, and composting lavatory. There is also a rooftop terrace accessed via a wooden staircase.

Photographs by Durston Saylor.

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Thursday, September 03, 2020

The rise of the architect-designed garden room

It's not just off the peg garden offices that are selling like hot cakes, as Edwin Heathcote in the Financial Times reports ('Why architect-designed garden rooms are the latest must-have feature'), mentioning Virginia Woolf's writer's shed at Monk's Cross: "Her simple, well-lit, modest room of her own might be a model for shedworking." He goes on to list various garden office designs, all of which will be familiar to regular readers of Shedworking, including Parsonson Architects’ garden studio for a couple in Wellington, New Zealand, pictured above (and featured on this site here). "Most of us are unable to escape to an outhouse in our own woods," writes Heatchote, "but, as these occasionally modest — and occasionally extravagant — structures show, even a scrubby patch of garden can become a space to work." 

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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 02, 2020

Househunting for a garden office


It's strange having written about the benefits of garden offices for the last 14 years to suddenly see mainstream media finally getting the message without me badgering them all the time. The latest to see the light appears to be The Spectator with a piece 'The rise of the garden office: 8 properties with a bespoke work space'. It includes this architect-designed garden office in Clapham at the end of an 84ft garden, previously used as an artist's studio and on the market (including London townhouse) with Mr and Mrs Clarke for £780,000.

But what's also reassuring is that rather than simply scout around London for examples as most of the London-based media tends to do, the article ventures further afield, to Leamington Spa, Dumfries and Galloway, Durham, and Pembrokeshire (though the prices are a bit eye-watering for most). Anyway, worth a look.

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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 01, 2020

More evidence for uptick in US shedworking

We talked about the apparent rise in garden or backyard offices in the USA at the weekend, and there's more evidence from CNN which argues that "The office is dead. Get yourself a backyard shed". As well as several interesting short case studies, they talk to Janelle Stoltzfus from Sheds Unlimited based in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, who reports a large jump in sales so that lead time for new customers is now 10 to 13 weeks. Here's a snippet:

While the company makes storage sheds and garages, there has been an increase in the number of sheds being used as offices. "We have had a lot of people looking for home offices," said Stoltzfus. "They've asked us to install shelves so they have a place to work."

Well worth a read, even if you're not in Pennsylvania. 

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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