Shed, pod, man cave, garden room, cabin; whatever you call it, having an outdoor space has become an art form. Thanks to renewed focus from programmes such as George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, people have started to think differently how they use their plot and are becoming more and more imaginative about how to make their space work harder for them.
National Shed Week is approaching between 13th-19th June and with it will come a new wave of inspiration for those who want a little more than just a humble wooden box to stow away their mower. As well as handy garden storage, your shed can give offer you so much more if you start to consider it as another room or an area with the potential to be so. We’ve pulled together some of the quick wins your garden could provide and some things to consider if you’re thinking about creating your own amazing space…
Investing in Insulation
The types of materials for building your outdoor space can vary dramatically. There are infinite options from which to choose, ranging from plush pre-made components that slot together in a matter of hours, to disused containers, pallets and reclaimed items that need a little more TLC. The only consistent advice you get when it comes to creating your outdoor room is to invest heavily on insulation. With the right insulation, your shed is elevated to a useable space all year round. You’ll be cool in summer and warm in winter, and if you need a little top up of heat, a small storage heater should be more than enough to make the space cosy.
Additional Sleeping Space
If space allows, having a Sofa Bed or Day bed in your shed could be the perfect alternative to a guest bedroom. Building a shed or pod can often be done far more cheaply and with less planning restrictions than a traditional extension, so if you find you’re in need of extra sleeping space when loved ones come to visit, maybe your garden could solve the problem. Insulation is key, as you don’t want guests to feel chilly or exposed to the elements, but if that’s in hand, you’ll have a valuable extra sleeping space and guests will enjoy their very own mini holiday home!
General Storage & Devoted Space
Many of us have utilised loft space for extra bedroom, or perhaps find the loft isn’t easily accessable, so outdoor storage can be a useful asset. If your home is feeling a little cluttered, there’s no reason why your garden room can’t become a place to house things like books, games, art equipment or your record collection and player. As long it’s got the right insulation, your shed can become a feasible outdoor room to enjoy those objects in, as well as providing a place to put them. Rather than stowing things away in boxes, get things out on display and in storage units that will allow you to see what you have. If you can introduce household furniture, like desks and bookcases, you can really start to create a ‘room’ outdoors, rather than just a pile of boxes.
An Outdoor Office
An outdoor room can provide the perfect working area, which is a blessing if you work from home on a regular basis. Having a dedicated space outside allows you to venture away from the house, not only for peace and quiet but also to help establish a separation between home and work. Most home workers say that being able to leave the house and be in a different space to work in can make a huge phsycological difference. The act of leaving home and ‘going to work’ is an important ritual, even if it is only a short walk to the end of the garden! If you’re a messy worker or you have to make a bit of a mess to do your job, having a separate space allows you to shut it away at the end of the day and return to it the next morning, without it affecting other members of the household.
A Summer House With a Twist
In this day and age a summer house has become so much more than just a place to store the garden furniture or a spot to sit outside even if there’s a touch of rain. The George Clarke generation has seen summer houses extended into cricket pavilions, miniature castles, games rooms, microbreweries and bars among other things. Creating a Summer House, is a licence to indulge. With no real ‘need’ it’s simply a place get out doors and have fun, so the sky is the limit in terms of your design. You can be bold, get creative and let it be a true reflection of you and your family’s passion and personality.
Take a look through some of the entrants to last years ‘Shed of the Year‘ competition for some creative inspiration. Or to get you thinking well and truly outside the box, browse through Cos Stores Retrospective collation of the last 15 years-worth of Pavillion design at the Serpentine in London. It might just get you thinking!