5 Benefits of a Garden Office Pod Over Renting a Space

5 Benefits of a Garden Office Pod Over Renting a Space

As office rental prices go up and more businesses reach their audiences via the Internet, company owners are starting to save money by running the show from their home. We feel that a garden office pod is the solution to the modern challenge of having a professional space that’s not only productive, but also cost-effective.

To show you what we mean, here are our top five benefits of having a garden office pod instead of a traditional office space.

The Benefits of Having a Garden Office Pod

 

1. You Avoid Frustrating Commutes

A great many of my Brighton friends have attempted to live out the dream of working in London. But soon the reality of the daily commute kicks in and waking up on Monday to catch a 6am train becomes a chore.

Some have chosen to find employment in Brighton whilst others have decided to set up their own businesses. What this then creates is the dilemma of where to have your office.

On the one hand, you can choose somewhere nearby, but I’m sure you can take an educated guess on what the office rental costs are in Brighton. That then leaves renting a space out-of-town as the alternative and you’re back to the early morning commuting again. A garden office pod allows people to drop the frantic mornings and expensive rental prices in favour of a leisurely 30-second stroll across the garden.

 

2. You Save Money

I did some research when writing this article and looked at some of the rental costs for an office space in Brighton. Generally speaking, it was quite difficult to find spaces that charged under £200 per person, per month.

As you can see via our price guide page, our small garden office pod option starts from approximately £98.58 per month. That is half the cost of what I found to be a typical office space in Brighton, if you are planning to use the office alone. If you have other employees, your savings could be even greater! That’ll be very nice when it comes to planning your next holiday.


3. The Value of Your Home Increases Instantly

This is something we’ve discussed before when interviewing Clifford Estate Agent’s Ben Hooper last October. According to Ben, having a visually attractive garden office pod could “easily add about 10/15k to the price of the property” and also be of help when it’s time to sell your property.

 

4. Your Working Environment is Comfortable

Renting an office space means you have to adapt. There may not be enough plug sockets, the room might have maintenance issues or the neighbouring businesses are a nuisance. At A Room In The Garden, we build bespoke spaces that are tailored to your business and personal needs. This means you get something that’ll help your business run smoothly and put you in a productive working state.

A comfortable space is also useful when you have client meetings, as they can feel at ease when discussing business with you. The more comfortable your prospect is, the more likely they are to buy from you. It’s a nice opportunity to create a positive first impression and build a strong relationship off the back of that. This can then lead to more loyalty from your customers.

 

5. You Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance

One of the greatest annoyances in my life are delivery companies. You get an estimated delivery time that covers most of the day and somebody has to be present in order to sign for the package. If you try to reschedule, the only times available are when you definitely aren’t at home.

By working from home, this is no longer an issue. Neither are ill children, as a garden office pod allows you to have that flexibility when the unexpected occurs. You are able to catch up later in the day after nursing your poor child back to health. As an added bonus, you can also catch up on your housework when necessary. It won’t take much time out of your day to pop on a quick laundry wash, or a dishwasher load.

Some offices that are available to rent have a strict policy on hours of operation, meaning nobody can be in the building or on the estate between certain hours. This isn’t very flexible if you fancied taking the kids out for a daytrip, but with your own garden office you can take the kids out for the day and catch up with work at night. It’s very handy!

 

Garden Office Pods Are The Future

Technology has improved to such an extent now that people can run hugely successful businesses from their home with ease. You don’t need big servers or expensive computers, thanks to The Cloud and Smart technology.

Our prediction for the future is that office spaces for small businesses that have fewer than five employees will become a thing of the past. Instead, garden office pods will become the modern, up-to-date choice.

Having a successful business is based upon high productivity and low costs. As discussed in our five benefits above, having your own garden office can prove to be cheaper than a traditional rented office space and also boost productivity. If you would like to know more about our garden office pod solutions, please get in contact today to book a free site visit.

Garden baby room ideas

Garden baby room ideas

Recently, I welcomed a new life into my family and it got me thinking about how garden rooms from us and other manufacturers are often thought of as sanctuaries, spaces or offices for adults. But what about the children? I wanted to share some of my top garden baby room ideas with you.

In hindsight, I actually find it a little odd that we don’t consider the younger people of this world when discussing rooms in the garden. If you’re anything like me, you will constantly find yourself treading on toys and tripping over building blocks that haven’t been packed away. It can really get on the nerves of some parents, so perhaps we could use the spaces in our respective gardens to provide an indoor area for our children to play, develop and make a mess whilst also allowing us to reclaim our home space. What do you think?

garden baby room ideas

 

Baby Room Décor Ideas

At the age where you have to make decisions for your child, it can feel a little daunting to say the least. Some may think that a newborn baby won’t necessarily need much, but there are a lot of garden baby room ideas you can use to help nurture their development whilst providing a stimulating space that the child can use. It is also important to remember that the room layout and features will need to adapt as the baby grows.

wallpaper for a garden room

Wallpaper that your child can colour on could be a great idea. We found this one at Resurface

 

Soft Rug or Play Mat

Firstly, you can start with a soft rug that’ll provide a comfortable place for your baby to continue doing what it’ll spend most of it’s early months doing: Lying on it’s back. Eventually, this will lead to what many like to call ‘tummy time’, followed by crawling and, finally, their first steps. One additional thing you can also do is spread out several rugs made from various materials around the room in order to provide your baby with different sensory experiences.

baby play mat for a garden room

This is 3cm thick play mat found on ebay.

 

Mirrors

Whilst your baby is spending lots of time of their back or tummy, you should also place mirrors just above the skirting boards, so they are able to see themselves and interact with the mirrors. This is actually very entertaining for the baby and the benefits of this simple object include facial recognition, speech development and an overall sense of self.

garden room baby mirror

Those mirrors are safe for children. Found on Perspex Sheet UK.

 

Images of Loved Ones

Along with being able to recognise their own face, many parents, myself included, look forward to the time when their baby can recognise mummy and daddy. To hear those words for the first time is a memory almost all parents will hold forever. Perhaps your baby garden room ideas can include pictures of special people and animals involved in your child’s life? Of course, I do not recommend traditional photo frames with glass screens, as that could get very dangerous. Instead, consider laminating some photos and using Velcro to attach them to the walls. The Velcro means that your baby can pull the images off the wall if they wish, which helps to develop their physical development.

soft photo frames child garden room

Those soft frames are child safe and found on Etsy.

 

Cosy Corner and Bookcase

As parents, we obviously want to be involved in the life of our children, so the next items to explore in your garden baby room ideas would be a cosy corner and bookshelf. This allows the baby to relax in a cosy environment whilst you read to them and develop your bond further. As stated before, you should always consider your child growing and how your garden baby room can adapt to that. So be sure to purchase a bookcase that is low enough for a slightly older child to peruse and take down books when they reach that age. This same thinking can also be applied when installing shelving units to store toys. You want your baby to be able to access those toys themselves.

This little corner is available at Cuckooland

 

Garden Baby Room Ideas

We often think of garden rooms as a place for adults to indulge in hobbies or operate businesses, but a baby room could be as much or maybe even more of a benefit to you. It could be time for you to start thinking about garden baby room ideas in order to reclaim your living room and avoid treading on any more toys. I’m hoping these ideas will spark some inspiration for you when developing your ideas for the room. Parenthood is a magical time and the one thing all parents have in common is wanting to give their baby the best start in life. Could a specific space dedicated to their development be the answer for that?

Have you got any garden baby room ideas that you want to share? Please leave a comment below or contact us directly to let us know. We genuinely want to hear your ideas. Or if you think a garden baby room sounds like a good idea, why not book a free site survey with us?

Cladding options for your bespoke garden office or summer house

Cladding options for your bespoke garden office or summer house

When we’re dreaming of our garden office or summer house, we start by thinking of its use. We start to imagine ourselves sitting or working surrounded by all the creature comforts we need and looking out onto our beautiful garden. When we think of walking towards it… it becomes more nebulous. We might think of garden paths or decking, but the actual building itself can take a little longer to smooth into focus.

Our design team will help you with this at our initial site visit. We’ll look at your garden and current buildings and will find something that fits effortlessly with them.

What we will also do is to take you through all the options that you have to make sure that the exterior of the building is something you love to look at as you’re walking down that beautiful path and walking through the perfect door.

The majority of garden building are finished on the outside with cladding. But ‘cladding’ is no longer restricted to a fake stone facade or basic wooden slats. Take a look below to see everything that’s on offer today.

wallpaper idea for garden office facade

Outdoor Wallpaper

Yes! You have read correctly! There is now an Italian company that has been designing and creating vanguard wallpaper that you can use for outdoor walls. It’s resistant to rain, yellowing and even has anti-smog properties! The maker is the well-established Wall&Deco’, should you want to go and check out their designs. The beauty of this product is that you can either choose between their beautiful creations or we can help you design a unique one. The price per square metre will be the same! Also, there is no a minimum order, so you can decide to cover the whole of your garden room or just use the wallpaper as an accent. At A Room in the Garden we got quite excited when we discovered this product and all its possibilities!

garden building facade idea cement particle board cembrit

Cement Particles Boards

Cement Particles Boards are perfect for those who like ultra-contemporary design and love new technologies. Thanks to their high resistance to all weather conditions and biological attacks, cement particles boards are ideal for outdoor buildings. It’s worth noting that there are a few companies that produce cement particles boards and the price can vary quite a lot. We will always make sure we find the best product and the best value for money for you.

garden summer house facade idea

Viroc Cement Wood Boards

Thanks to its resistance to atmospheric corrosion, insects and moisture, Viroc cement wood board can be used indoors and outdoors. They are panels made of composite materials, composed of a compressed and dry mixture of pine wood particles with cement. This use of wood fibre means that you get a a non-homogeneous appearance, giving a more natural look. You can choose from 6 different colours: white, yellow, grey, black, ochre and red.

canadian red western cedar cladding on garden summer house

Wood Cladding

So here is the cladding you’re probably thinking of, but did you know how many different looks you can achieve with simple wood?

We have finished several of our buildings using what you could call a traditional wood cladding. However, due to the modern technology that’s used to create these boards, they are anything but old! All our cladding is weather and mould resistant. You won’t need to treat the wood constantly to maintain its quality.


There are a wealth of different woods you can choose from, not just your typical oak or pine (though both oak and pine can result in absolutely beautiful effects!) You can get lots of different colours and might choose to use a glossy, varnished finish, or go with a more the more natural matt. One of the nicest things about working with wood is that the building blends effortlessly with the natural world around it.

We’ve used wood here and here, and you can see the different results from this one material.

metal cladding on garden building

Metal Cladding

And here’s the thing that’s often overlooked. You can use metal cladding! Not only is this beautiful, modern and sleek in its own right, but we have also used it to create very unusual, completely personal designs. Take a look at our rabbit hole. Here we have taken out a silhouette out of the metal and backed this with a stunning piece of stained glass. It’s fantastic to know that nobody has a building that looks quite like this!

brick cladding for a garden building

Brick

And we end here with what is probably the most traditional material of them all; brick!

Even though bricks are one of the oldest technologies, it’s very clear from looking around in the streets to see why this is! Brick buildings last a phenomenal amount of time and continue to look good even after they have aged a little. These days you get to choose between different colours and sizes too. The only thing that you need to remember about building with brick is that the material is more expensive than the other options, and it will take us much longer to install, so there will be additional cost there.

So there you have it. As always, this list is not exhaustive. You might have seen someone else’s building and thought, ‘That’s a great look!’ We’ll always do our best to find a material that fits the vision in your head. We just wanted to create a few more visions for us to play with.

Here’s hoping we can find the most beautiful material for you during our free, one-hour site survey. Book now!

Bespoke garden rooms – colourful wood paint experiment

Bespoke garden rooms – colourful wood paint experiment

After a series of articles looking at the more serious side of garden room planning, such as Can I claim a garden office as a business expenses and How to fund your garden building and 7 garden offices and summer houses planning permission rules to keep in mind I decided it’s high time we have a step back into the happy world of designing and imagination. While I was doing some colour testing for a small, bespoke, garden room, I thought what a wonderful thing to share with our readers!

I decided to widen my colour testing and came up with a small experiment to see how the colours that appear on the charts compare to those you see when they’re applied. So, then I went (actually I sent Lukas) to our local paint shop to buy 24 different colour samples and a paintbrush and then I asked him to cut 24 small pieces of the cladding we usually use for our garden rooms.

For my little experiment, I used Sadolin Superdec Satin, simply because it has a wide variety of colours, and it is the one we usually use in our garden buildings. To make it more accurate, I first applied a light grey base-coat and then two coats of the chosen colour.

Please be aware that the colours on a photo will always differ from the ones you see in real life. My intention is simply to establish the colour chart reliability.

 

X8530Y Blancmange*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colorful wood paint

RAL 6018*
Perfect match!
Colourful wood paint

Apricot*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly darker than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

14 E 51
Perfect match!
Colourful wood paint

12 E 53*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

22 D 45
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

RAL 3009*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Sandbank*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

S7243T Cocktail Time
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

H8284K Crazy Daze*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter and brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

12 C 33
Pretty good match! Although it does not show in the photos, the colour on the cladding is slightly lighter.
Colourful wood paint

Red Pepper*
Perfect match!
Colourful wood paint

Grey Umber*
Pretty good match! The difference between the chart colour and the painted cladding is less evident from the photo. The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

RAL 7038*
Not a very good match. The colour on the cladding is lighter and with less yellow in it than the one from the chart.
Colourful wood paint

U7123W Tokio Bay*
The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter and brighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

M3383R Tallulah*
Considering that blue is the most difficult colour to reproduce, this is a pretty good match! The difference between the chart colour and the painted cladding is less evident than from the photo. The colour on the cladding is slightly darker than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

K1572M Water Fight*
Not a very good match. The colour on the cladding is lighter and with less green in it than the one from the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Berberis Blue*
Not a very good match. The colour on the cladding is lighter and less greyish than the one on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Stratus*
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

18 C 35
Pretty good match! The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

P0115Q Mutiara*
The colour on the cladding is much brighter and with less grey in it than one on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Bright Blue*
The colour on the cladding is much brighter and with less grey in it than the one on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

Blue Peter*
Considering that blue is the most difficult colour to reproduce, this is a pretty good match! The difference between the chart colour and the painted cladding is less evident than from the photo. The colour on the cladding is slightly lighter and with less grey than the one shown on the chart.
Colourful wood paint

All in all, I am quite happy with the result of my experiment. I can confidently say that the Sadolin Dulux Superdec colour chart is pretty accurate, with the exclusion of a couple of colours. Be aware though, this article was simply meant as a guideline. Always try a sample of your chosen colour before starting painting your garden room.

To make things easier for our clients, after you’ve selected one or several colours, we’ll always bring you a sample applied to the cladding so you can be sure of what you will get.

garden buildings offer

Path ideas for your garden office and summer house

Path ideas for your garden office and summer house

If you are thinking about adding a room in your garden, no matter if it’s a summer house, a garden office or a play house for your children, you will need to have a garden path to reach it in a comfortable way (especially on those wet days!).
Choosing the right garden path can be a bit daunting. There are so many different materials to choose from, and so many different styles…

To help you choose the best material and style for your garden path, I have made a list of a few possibilities, describing each of their pros and cons and suggesting what kind of look they will help you to achieve.

 

GRAVEL

If you want a long-lasting path that’s easy to apply and has good drainage, but you don’t want to spend a fortune, gravel could be the right option for you. There is also the option of eco-friendly gravel made from recycled concrete, though the price may increase a bit, especially if you need to cover a big area. With a gravel path, you will have to look after it: rake it every now and then and add new gravel every few years. Gravel has the tendency to move from the path and enter your borders or flower beds, which is not a problem if you want to achieve a natural look. But if you prefer a tidier, cleaner look, you can create a border out of materials like bricks, roof tiles, wood or metal edging, just to give you a few ideas. This will stop the gravel from moving around. To avoid weeds growing through, remember to place a good weed-membrane underneath it. To make it a little more personal and fun, you can find gravel in a number of different colours and sizes. Smaller, angular pieces are easier to walk on than larger, rounded pebbles. Gravel paths are recommended for low/medium usage, so it may not be the ideal choice for you to reach your garden office every day. In addition, the small stones can get stuck in the grips of your shoes, so it might be best to avoid if you have a pristine floor in your garden room.

Gravel garden path ideas
Photo from Balcony Garden Web

Gravel garden path ideas
Image from Acacia Gardens

Gravel garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Gravel garden path ideas
Image from Pin-Insta-Decor.com

 

STEPPING STONES

Stepping stones are a very good compromise between cost, durability and style. The greater the distance between the stones, the cheaper the cost of the path will be. You can use different materials to create the stepping stones depending on the look you want to achieve. If you haven’t yet decided what style you want for your summer house or garden office, start browsing the internet for ideas and collect all the images you like. Here, you can find my favourite 20 summer houses, collected for you for inspiration.
You can put your stepping stones on the grass (but do remember to cut the shape of your stepping stone in the grass and to add gravel for drainage) or on gravel. To avoid unwanted weeds growing between your stepping stones, and to personalise your path, you could use low-growing, ground-covering plants.

Stepping stones ideas
Image from Garden Lovers Club

Stepping Stones ideas
Image from Pinterest

Stepping stones ideas
Image from Garden Lovers Club

Stepping stones ideas
Image from Garden Lovers Club

Stepping stones ideas
Image from Pinterest

Stepping stones ideas
Image from Acacia Gardens

 

SLABS

Slabs are a very versatile material and can easily be adapted to different styles of gardens. It is the most expensive option due to the cost of the slabs, and the fact that the ground will have to be prepared before you can start putting them down, which requires special machinery. You will have to level the ground carefully, and ideally add an underlay of gravel which will help with the water drainage and will stop the slabs from wobbling. Cement slabs are cheaper than stone, although the latter are better for the environment, and, if well maintained, they will last longer than any other path material. There is also an eco cement version, but, once again, the price will increase. Use irregular stone slabs for rustic look. Geometrical cement slabs will create a more contemporary look, perfect for a path to a modern, sleek garden office.

Rustic slabs path ideas
Image from Cool Housez

Garden office path ideas
Image from Google

Garden office path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Slabs garden office path ideas
Image from Pinterest

 

WOOD

Wood paths are getting more and more popular, and they can help you achieve pretty much any look that you have in mind. Wood is usually cheaper than a slab or paved path, but it will require a bit more love and care to protect it from the weather. It is ideal if your garden office or summer house is to be situated in a slopping garden, because you can easily create steps, or, if you decide to go for an elevated path, you can just adjust the height to create a dynamic look. For a rustic, hearty feel, you could use old reclaimed wood to build a pallet walkway, or, for a less expensive but still very effective version, you could use it as stepping woods. Vanished, new wood will give your garden a very modern, sleek look.

Wood garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Oriental garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Colourful garden path ideas
Image from Google

wood garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Wood stepping stones
Image from Wood Home

 

BRICKS

Certainly not the cheapest option, but using bricks for your garden path has got quite few positives. Brick is an extremely durable material, very easy to maintain and clean, it can be arranged in various patterns and it does not fade with time. The only negative is that there is a limited range of colours and the fact that the corners can chip over time. This can be avoided if you buy bricks with bevelled edges.

Brick garden path ideas
Image from Acacia Gardens

Brick garden office path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Brick garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

 

LET YOUR IMAGINATION GO…

Why don’t you mix and match different materials for a more unique look? Or paint your stepping stones to create something that’s special to you and your family? Or you can use broken pieces of tiles for a very colourful path. Like when creating your perfect summer house or garden office, the options are endless, and just because you have not seen it anywhere, this does not mean it is not possible! Be brave. Have fun. And do not forget to send us a photo!

Unusual garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

unusual garden path ideas
Image from Love the Garden

Unusual garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Unusual garden path ideas
Image from Pinterest

Unusual garden path deas
Image from Pinterest

 

garden buildings offer

Garden room: 20 great architecture ideas to be inspired by

Garden room: 20 great architecture ideas to be inspired by

Imagination. It’s a tricky old thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it can put a thought in our heads that we just can’t shake out, and we’re pretty sure is impossible. Like when you’re designing your new garden room, been a garden office or summer house. You know what you really would like, but you’re annoyingly constrained because of things like floors being flat and walls being straight.

Here at A Room in the Garden, we’ve taken a look around the world and come up with a whole heap of buildings that might have seemed impossible right up to the moment they weren’t. From super minimalistic to mad extravaganza, there’s something there for everyone! Take a look, and be inspired!

 

1. HUNDERTWASSER HOUSE, AUSTRIA

Garden office inspiration
Hundertwasser house is just pure joy in building form. The strong, contrasting colours and the wobbly lines makes it look like it’s just popped out of a child’s drawing! Artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser in collaboration with the architects Josef Krawina and Peter Pelikan created this building, and we think it’s a perfect idea to integrate into your child’s playhouse. You could even ask them to draw it themselves!

 

2. GLASS HOUSE, CONNECTICUT

Garden office inspiration
The Glass House was built in 1949 by architect Philip Johnson in a 49-acre pastoral landscape. We love it. The glass all around makes the inside and outside come together as one, so you feel that you’re working as part of the natural landscape. That’s great for productivity and creativity, and is a great idea for a garden office.

 

3. CASA DO PENEDO, PORTUGAL

Garden office inspiration
The Casa do Penedo, or ‘Stone House’, was built between 1972 and 1974 by a Portuguese engineer as holiday home. It’s actually built between four large boulders which have been integrated into the house’s foundation. Built almost entirely from stone, inside and out, it’s another example of seeing how humans and nature can work so perfectly together, to the extent that it’s hard to see where one ends and the other begins. If you want to see it close up, you’re not alone; so many tourists go to visit so that it’s now a small museum. It’s a lovely thought, isn’t it? Using something that is already a part of your landscape as an integral part of your new garden room.

 

4. KRZYWY DOMEK, POLAND

Garden office inspiration
Krzywy Domek is rightly considered one of the most unusual buildings in the world. It was built between 2001 and 2004 by architects Mr and Mrs Szotynski, using Jan Marcin Szancer’s drawings  for inspiration. Wobbly walls, stretched windows, uneven roof… something like this would make a wonderful kid’s playhouse… or a garden bar!

 

5. AUDITORIUM OF SANTPEDOR, SPAIN

Garden office inspiration
As conversions of old buildings go, this one is particularly special. It was originally an old church, but is now an auditorium designed by the architect David Closes. The harmonious coexistence of old and modern materials creates a firm look to the past with a romantic look to the future. If you have an old, dilapidated out-building,  you could bring it to life again using it as a backdrop for a very elegant summer house or garden office.

 

6. LO RUVO CENTRE, NEVADA

Garden office inspiration
Lo Ruvo was commissioned by the entrepreneur Larry Ruvo, and designed by the architect Frank Gehry for use as an Alzheimer Research Centre. We love the metal clad skin and the complex use of curves and lines. This building is on a grand scale, but could you imagine the look on your teenager’s face if you were to show them something like this for their new garden room!

 

7. SHELL HOUSE, JAPAN

Garden office inspiration
This one is one from ARTechnic architects. Their mission was to create a building that could withstand time and the harsh, cold, humid weather of the Japanese region where the building is set. Does that sound familiar? Using a shell shape made from concrete will protect your summer house from the damaged caused by the elements and humidity, which will greatly extend its lifetime. This sort of shape is clean and modern, yet it has a solid base in the natural world.

 

8. CLOUD HOUSE, AUSTRALIA

Cloud house
This is rather wonderful. Again, it’s inspired by nature; a beautiful, fluffy cloud letting you reach right up into the sky! The contrasting use of straight lines throughout the inside of the building which merge with the outside area makes you feel as though you’re drawn into it. This one is a house extension by the Australian architecture firm McBride Charles Ryan. I guess we need to rethink the idea of a house extension here in the UK!

 

9. HEMLOFT, CANADA

Unusual architecture
This one sits like an egg in a tree. It was imagined and built by Joel Allen, a former software designer turned carpenter, so don’t feel that you have to be born as an architect to turn your imagination to something rare and different. A big tree can take up quite a lot of space in a garden, and it’s tempting to get rid of it just for the light. You can actually make it a feature of your new garden room, using what’s already there to increase the use of your space.

 

10. A-FRAME SUMMER CABIN, BELGIUM

Unusual architecture
Originally built as a summer cabin, this building was then transformed into a permanent house by dmvA Architecten. The classic and sturdy A-shaped design has been used for centuries as a base for buildings. On a smaller scale, this would bring a very funky look to a playhouse, and I guess we can all see the slide that your children will use! Then the glass surface gives the building a really dramatic and spacious feel. This is something that can easily be adapted to even a small summer house, and then you can claim it as your own for use as a garden office.

 

11. WALDFORD SCHOOL, GERMANY

Unusual architecture
This new addition to Waldford school was designed by LINK Arkitektur in 2016, and it’s easy to see how the pupils would draw more inspiration and creativity from it than they might from a more standard cube of brick. The use of silver-grey Kebony wood as cladding is intercut with bright windows, and this comes together to give the impression of the sun through the trees in the surrounding forest. From the practical side, raising your summer house on stilts like this will reduce the damage to the building as well as the impact on the environment, and it’s worth knowing that Kebony wood is a great, sustainable alternative to hardwood if you want a natural, wood look to your garden room.

 

12. MUSHROOM HOUSE, USA

Unusual architecture
James H. Johnson built this house in 1971 and said he was inspired by ‘a stem of Queen Anne’s lace in a Coke bottle’. Unsurprisingly, due to its characteristic shape, it’s known as the mushroom house. What we really like here is the fun you can have with shapes. It might be true that your imagination sees something that someone else might see differently, but isn’t that what art is really about? The key thing is to create something from your heart that you know you will love.

 

13. VITRAHAUS, GERMANY

Unusual architecture
Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra commissioned the architects Herzog and de Meuron for the construction of their showroom in Germany.  What we like about this is that the house motif has been reduced to its very basic form, which brings a softer simplicity to what is in fact a very industrial design. With plenty of light allowed in through those full-wall windows, it would make a perfect garden office.

 

14. CLOSE TIES, SCOTLAND

Unusual architecture
Close Ties is one of the many creations of North Caroline artist Patrick Dougherty. Patrick combines his carpentry skills with his love of nature and passion for primitive techniques of building. The woven walls and the undefined shape will make a very unusual summer house. Or a very magical playhouse!
Photo Fin McCrea

 

15. NAUTILUS HOUSE, NEW MEXICO

Unusual architecture
The effect created here by the colourful glass wall swirling about the building is just wonderful. It’s actually quite hard to tell the outside from the inside! You can see the inspiration from the work of Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright in Javier Senosian’s building. This sort of stained glass is something I really love working with in garden rooms. It is a very nice touch for a meditation room.

 

16. S-HOUSE, UKRAINIA

Unusual architecture
This is a fresh look at a traditional log house design by the Ukrainian architecture firm Ko+Ko. Wood and concrete combine to create something both innovative and ancient, and the look is beautiful but functional. A fantastic addition to any garden. There is also the really great idea of using the logs and raised section to create a lovely veranda for your garden room for those lovely summer days.

 

17. MALATOR HOUSE, WALES

Unusual architecture
This one is really great if you have an uphill garden! The earth house with the glass front  becomes an integral part of the landscape around it. Portholes are a really nice way to add an original touch to your teenager’s garden room without going crazy. It was built in 1998 by architects Future Systems.

 

18. SKY GARDEN HOUSE, SINGAPORE

Unusual architecture
You can see where it takes its name from! And it’s a very clear example of how you can have a summer house or garden office without having less garden. You just need to relocate it a bit. This was designed by Guz Architects, but having a green roof to your outside building is widely used. It helps with insulation and can let nature reinstate itself a bit. Alongside the greenery, the curved lines make this house really connected to the geography around it. It really is worth looking around with an artistic eye to see what shapes and styles fit in with where you are.

 

19. THE TAROT GARDEN, ITALY

Unusual architecture
Niki de Saint Phalle designed a whole esoteric sculpture garden based on Tarot Cards, and we really love this bold-coloured, crazy-shaped playhouse. The great thing about the garden is that Niki started it in the late seventies and was still working on it when she passed away in 2002. It is a marvellous example of how a space can continue expand and change. Children do that annoying thing called growing, so the Wendy House you made for your 2-year-old doesn’t work as a playhouse for your 5-year-old, or a hang-out space for your pre-teen. Like Niki’s house, a design can be adapted, changed, and added to, and all the while you and your children are creating something utterly personal for your family.

 

20. MEETING CENTRE, JAPAN

Unusual architecture
The meeting place for the town of Rikuzentakata was created as a gift by various organisations in Italy. The town was completely destroyed by the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011, and they recognised that people needed a calm, quiet place, just to be together. The shape was inspired by a lotus flower floating serenely on the water. It’s a good reminder that sometimes in life, everyone needs a calm place to just be themselves.

 

So you see, there is no limit to imagination. And when it is paired with skills and knowledge anything is possible. If you need a little help to put all your ideas onto paper, just give us a call. We love talking design!

 

For more inspiration read our article 20 great summer houses ideas to inspire you

 

 

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