Saturday, September 18, 2021

Zen Cabin Houseplant Studio

RHS Chelsea is going big on houseplants this year as we reported last week. One of the most intriguing elements promises to be the Zen Cabin setup put together by biophilic design studio Ro Co. Here's what they say about it:

 "‘The Zen Cabin’ will help to realise the fantasy of a city dweller who longs for a wild, secret space to retreat to in challenging times. The planting will ignite the senses with colour, texture, sound, taste and nostalgic natural fragrances. We’ll be inviting visitors in one by one to experience an intimate peace and personal connection with houseplants and nature."

Illustration by Rachel Hillis and more information in the video below.

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Friday, September 17, 2021

Stiff Peaks writing studio




A remarkable garden office with a Mediterranean flavour for writer Jane Stephens Rosenthal by Byben and Skeens in Los Angeles. Inspired by primitive stucco huts, it's called Stiff Peaks because the parapet which circles a lovely roof deck looks rather like beaten egg whites. The studio also features a bathroom and impressive arched windows. Marvellous photos by Taiyo Watanabe and Olivia Hemaratanatorn - you can see more at Byben.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Cladding your garden office

Once you've bought your garden office, you don't have to live with the exterior finish forever. Decking supplier Cladco offers a range of possibilities for those who want to freshen up their shedworking space with minimal ongoing maintenance. Their boards are made from 60% FSC Certified wood fibres and 40% recycled plastics Above, a building clad in Stone Grey Woodgrain Composite Wall Cladding. Below, the mobile glamping shepherd's hut run by The Hut Life in north Devon, in Ivory Wall Cladding.


And here's another Stone Grey, tongue-and-groove, with matching corner trims around the edges of windows and doors. You can see more examples in the company's gallery here.

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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 15, 2021

How to extend your wifi to your garden office

Every so often the tech media run a piece on how to extend the wifi to your garden office to guarantee a decent speed and stability. But it's also useful to have the advice and experience of shedworkers on the ground and they provided their hive mind support to writer and broadcaster Greg Jenner when he asked for help on Twitter. You can read all the replies here but here is a selection of suggestions:

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The first £500,000 beach hut



The ongoing beach hut price saga is about to ratchet up to another level with the arrival onto the property markeet of this hut on the always expensive Mudeford Sand Spit in Christchurch, Dorset, at an asking price of £570,000. It has dual aspect front and back views of the harbour and beach, and features a mezzanine, solar panels to provide electricity, and sleeps six. The kitchen has a stone work top and integrated fridge freezer. On with Denisons Estate Agents where you can find more details and images.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

August Strindberg: shedworker


In the summer of 1882, Swedish writer, playwright and painter August Strindberg built a writing hut or 'Diktarstuga' on Kymmendö. Sometimes known as 'Strindberg's island', this was the island he used as the basis for his novel ‘Hemsöborna’ or Natives of Hemso). Below is the view from his hut, courtesy Stefan Geens.

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Office House Plant Studio at RHS Chelsea


RHS Chelsea is back for a one-off September gig in a couple of weeks and over the next few days we'll be looking at some of the best garden office and other shedlike builds on display. First up is The Office House Plant Studio which comes courtesy of RHS Wisley Retail, designed by Thomas Broom Hedges who describes it as "a room in which to escape and focus". 

There's no pictures of it as yet, but one of the elements will be hanging Kokedama (example pictured above) plant installation, and peace lilies for their air purification properties (as well as being fairly easy to keep alive). We are also promised a bistro set, containers of dicksonias (tree ferns), grasses, and terrariums, while "accents of autumn planting suggest the studio is hidden in the shady depths of the garden".

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Friday, September 10, 2021

Watercolours of writers' huts

Brighton-based illustrator and designer Melanie Smith has put together a lovely series of watercolour duotone illustrations of writers' and philosphers' huts. Here's what she says about them: 

"The idea came after some time spent in lockdown, and thinking about how creatives have self isolated over time, often within nature, to spend time contemplating life and their own lives. Many times writing down their thoughts and observations, so that they might share them with us, so we might all have a sense of what it can be like to be alone with our thoughts, and expansive in our thinking."

Above of course is George Bernard Shaw's writing hut, and the rest of the series include's Thoreau's hut at Walden Pond, Heidegger's in Germany, Dylan Thomas's in Wales, Virginia Woolf's at Monk House, and Wittgenstein's.

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Thursday, September 09, 2021

Off Shedworking: Art Day By Day published today

A non-shed post today since it's the official publication day of my latest (and I'm afraid shedless) book, Art Day By Day: 366 Brushes With History - look out for quizes and other stuff on the publisher Thames & Hudson's instagram page. It's history of art meets almanac, providing a unique daily snapshot of the most exciting, unusual, and noteworthy art events from around the world and throughout history through direct testimonies, eyewitness accounts, and contemporary chroniclers.

Drawing on articles, diaries, interviews, letters, speeches, transcripts, and more, Art Day by Day offers an important event that happened on that day in the history of art. Here are the stories of famous paintings, ancient sculptures, comic strips, photographs, murals, manifestos, and marriages, from terracotta soldiers to a self-shredding Banksy. Not every entry is momentous, but each one is significant. Yes, there are thefts, murders, artistic mishaps, and eureka moments, but there are also episodes such as President Theodore Roosevelt’s doodles, Michelangelo writing to his nephew about his kidney stones, and Monet getting the green light for his water garden. Every day has a story to tell.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Church sheds in the new Idler magazine


The new issue of the Idler magazine is out now and as always it features my regular column on garden offices and other shedlike atmospheres. This time round it's all about sheds which are used as places of religious worship and there are some marvellous images of some of the best. It also features my other bimonthly contribution looking at the world of snooker, in this case how peer-reviewed academic research can improve my game. Available from all good booksellers, though always cheaper if you get a subscription.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Designer's studio


There's plenty of glass in this garden office designed for a well known London designer by Darren Oldfield Architects with a particularly pleasing picture window. It's clad in charred larch cladding, with anthracite zinc reveals around windows and doors. As has become common in the last few years, there are storage areas at the back. Interiors by DO Design Studio, photos by Guy Lockwood.

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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 06, 2021

Pods of Wales




Lots of new garden office suppliers have launched over the last 12 months, but this is perhaps the Shedworking staff's favourite so far. Pods of Wales was established at the start of 2021 - "dedicated to creating handcrafted ‘third-spaces’" - by Nathan Goss and Dave Harris from Cardigan Bay. Nathan and Dave have enviable CVs in the design and construction business with plenty of awards and media attention under their combined belts. 

Their first model is the Pilot Pod, pictured above, 3 x 3.5m, made from Welsh larch, with a corrugated tin roof, recycled glass insulation in the walls, ceiling and floor, OSB and cork-lined ceilings and floor, and featuring a rather attractive covered bench and log store. But they are very much on the bespoke side of things so can easily produce something either slightly or very different.

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Sunday, September 05, 2021

A-Z of garden building uses

If you are looking around for inspiration about what to do in your garden building, there's a brief whizz through the alphabet from Arctic Cabins. O is naturally for Office, but there are plenty more examples of how customers have used their cabins in the list from Art Studio to Zen Den. Read the whole thing here.

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Saturday, September 04, 2021

How much does a garden office add to the value of your property?

An interesting update to the perennial question of how much a garden office adds to the overall value of your property comes courtesy of Green Retreats. In an interesting blog post, they talk to estate agents Robert Ellis of Nutbrook Property and Luke Jackson from Michael Graham Estate Agents.

Ellis estimates that the value-added by a garden office is about 1.5x the cost of the building installation, saying: "Whilst a lot of the value is attributable to the extra space it creates, a garden room is modern and stylish and adds to the whole appeal of the property. There is no doubt that the quality of the building adds significant value too.”  

Jackson comments that now working from home has become so widespread, lists of priorities have changed and that "home offices are mentioned in the majority of our conversations with prospective buyers. Having a home office in the garden away from the house can now make or break a property deal. 

"People may not be commuting to the office every day but they still like the structure of leaving the house to go to work. A garden room provides that physical and mental distance between home life and work life. For homeowners keen to add more floor space to their property, a garden room is a far less invasive and costly undertaking compared to converting the loft or the garage." He believes a high-quality garden room can raise the value of a home by 5% to 15%.

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Friday, September 03, 2021

Lizzie Hillier: shedworker


 
East Sussex-based artist and designer Lizzie Hillier is also a shedworker (do watch the excellent video below to see her at work in her garden studio). There's an excellent interview with her on Coco about her work with them on their chocolate packaging and lots more photos.

COCO x Lizzie Hillier from COCO - The Art of Chocolate on Vimeo.

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Thursday, September 02, 2021

Garden shed prices rise sharply


A new survey by Which? has shown that while garden furniture products have risen sharply in general over the last two years, the price of sheds in particular from DIY, furniture and garden stores  has rocketed.

They gave three examples:

- The Shire 12x24ft Mammoth Loglap Timber Shed in blue jumped from £2,799.99 from Screwfix before ending up at £5,395.99 two years later

- the price of a Forest Garden Overlap Pressure Treated Shed, also sold by Screwfix, rose by 155 per cent from £319.99 in July 2019 to £814.99 in July 2021

- a shed sold by Homebase also nearly doubled in price – the Mercia shed/greenhouse combi was £695 in 2019, but £1,210 two years later

Among the reasons given by retailers for the rise were shipping costs, and a lack of raw materials (especially timber), partly due to massive demand in the US.

Which? has also just released a good, if short, general guide to buying a shed called How To Buy The Best Shed which you can read here.

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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 01, 2021

Garden office interior design tips


Some interesting tips and suggestions from StyleNest about the importance of getting your interior design scheme in your garden office right to help productivity and comfort. Well worth a quick browse and here's a snippet on 'accent walls and colour':

Forget following the traditional office colour: that plain cream wall colour that reminds you of an actual office vibe. Remember, you are at home, and it is your home office; as such, the wall design and colour can be what you want and love. It does not matter if you love bright colours like orange or yellow: or prefer calming shades like seafoam blue or botanical green; go for wall design and colour you love and make you feel comfortable. However, before jumping directly on to it, it is wise to experiment with how specific colours can affect your mood. The goal here is to find the perfect shade that will help you boost creativity, focus, and stimulate the spirit of working hard.

Image courtesy Cabinmaster

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Garden office work couch

Maine-based children's author Julie Falatko has recently become a shedworker and like many other new garden office owners has been pondering exactly how to furnish her new space. She outlines her thoughts about a work couch here (and has posted more photos of the interior at her instagram page here). It's an interesting post that looks at the important of work rituals in being productive and is well worth a look. Here's a snippet:

"The biggest surprise is how much work I'm getting done on the couch/daybed/storage bench. It's super comfy, and a perfect place to read things over and write longhand... it's nice to have an analog spot to work, away from the distracting glow of my computer screen. But I stumbled into something else important, which is that, in my mind, I had designated the work couch as a place I would get work done, just like I had designated (and put pressure on) the shed as a productive work space. And then -- and this is important -- I happened to have some work I needed to do. I had a picture book I had to revise and get back to my editor. So the very first thing I did on that couch was focused and productive."

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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