Summer houses originated as small, wooden shelters in gardens and parks – a secluded refuge to respite from summer heat or rain. People would relax in them or pursue their hobbies.

Today, summer houses fulfil a wider range of functions as detached extensions of the main home. They provide extra storage and serve as offices, greenhouses, guestrooms, gyms… With this flexibility comes greater diversity in design aesthetics. From minimalist to shocking pink, there is a style for every taste.

I spent a delightful few hours browsing beautiful, unique examples online. You should too – cherry-pick elements from different ones to create your perfect vision. Need help to decide between two favourites? Or does your ideal summer house only exist in imagination? Tell us about it, and we can make your dream a reality!

Below I’ve highlighted my top 20 summer house inspirations for you:

01. Super sleek

The minimalist aesthetic of straight lines adds a refined, sophisticated look. The large sliding doors allow plenty of natural light when open, visually enlarging the space. With a versatile room like this, it can easily transform from a tranquil home office into a comfortable guest room.

Bespoke sleek garden studio

02. Is it a room?

A grass roof and plant laden walls makes this original summer house an integral part of the garden. It creates a great shelter to relax in and enjoy your garden on a sunny or a rainy day. (source: online)

03. Colonial summer house

There’s a traditional, colonial look to this corner summer house. While still giving you a good internal space, its shape allows for better use of the garden area. In general, corner summer houses are better for smaller gardens. (source: Google)

Get inspired by our creations too. Visit our homepage and see what A Room in the Garden can build for you.

04. Recycle me

We like the idea behind this house, and we’re jealous of those who have the room for it. Despite its larger size, this summer house has been built completely by reusing sturdy, wooden pallets. (source: online)

05. Charming hideaway

Are you a romantic? We love this small, cosy space, particularly the use of the big candles as a perfect alternative to electric lighting in your new room in the garden. (source: Google)

06. Wooden fairy house

This summer house brings a children’s fairy story to life! Using branches to cover the less exciting usual cladding is an excellent idea. A living roof completes the magical effect. (source: Google)

07. Corner summer house

This clever garden nook optimizes a small, constrained space. The patio also helps to expand the area visually, seamlessly blending interior and exterior. Overall, a corner summerhouse offers the perfect spot for alfresco dinners or relaxing during summer evenings.

Designer triangular corner summerhouse by the sea

08. Contemporary summer house

Who said that squares are boring! This is a very modern approach to a summer house. The use of horizontal joists allows the owners to admire the view while remaining protected from the wind and rain. (source: Google)

09. Mirror, mirror…

Here we have something very clever! Covering your summer house completely with mirrors will make the building disappear, and your garden will look much bigger. (source: Google)

10. A home away from home

The dynamic shape features two exterior cladding types and an expansive deck while large windows usher in abundant natural light. Perfect for accommodating guests in the short term or residents for an extended stay.

Bespoke mobile home with decking area

11. Colourful oasis

Add your vibrant personality to your summerhouse with playful, eclectic exterior finishes. Break the norm and maximise your outdoor space with as much character and flair as you have. Make the space a true reflection of your colourful spirit.

Bespoke designer garden art studio with colourful cladding

12. Creative curves

Who said your building needs to have straight walls? There’s a futuristic yet organic look to this curvy summer house! (Source: online)

13. Extravaganza

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe… or was a tea pot? Besides the fun shape, there is the very nice idea of using straw to build the body of the summer house. We are always on the lookout for innovative building materials. (source: Google)

14. The classic one

A Victorian style octagonal shape makes this a very pretty summer house. For a 360-degree view, why not add French windows all the way round? (source: online)

15. The bee house

This may only be designed for those with a big garden… but isn’t this summer house design great fun? (source: Google)

16. A touch of orient

Sometimes you need a completely different environment to get away from the daily routine and recharge your batteries. The all-aspect windows let you fully immerse yourself in nature, and the external canopy gives you a sheltered spot outside. (source: Google)

17. Take me away

Have you ever thought about taking your summer house away with you? We like this idea, and if you fancy what’s literally a home away from home, now there is nothing holding you back! (source: Google)

18. The doll summer house

Simply delicious! It’s like having a giant doll house in your back garden! Though you might have to fight your children to get a go in it yourself! (source: Google)

19. Round house

Once again, this might not be practical for everyone, but if you have a big garden and you like things a bit different, this barrel summer house could be the right one for you! (source: Google)

20. The Flintstones summer house

Another house that seems to have grown organically out of it’s surroundings. A room in the garden in which to daydream about living in a different time, far away from the noisy and frantic daily commute. (source: Google)

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Whether you just started thinking about the possibility of having a unique garden room, or you want us to build your unique garden room, start your journey here.