More than just a place to store your tools, there’s a new breed of ‘shed’ that’s seriously stylish. Think glamorous outdoor room, writing or yoga studio to library!
1 The open-air shelter Belgian designer Filip Janssens created this outdoor room slap bang in the middle of the lawn so that when its two glass doors are rolled back, he can enjoy views in both directions. Furnished with a daybed, built-in storage cupboards and a decked seating area, it has a deluxe lounge appeal.
2 The multipurpose shed During the day, this bespoke glass and timber ‘Shadow shed’ is used as a consultation space and children’s playroom, while at night it’s a yoga studio. Designed by Neil Dusheiko Architects it has wrap-around windows and pinhole fibre-optic lights arranged in a constellation pattern on the ceiling. It’s charred cedar wood façade was blackened using the ancient Japanese wood-burning technique shou sugi ban to help it blend in with the shadows of the trees, hence the name.
3 The creative escape Designed by Architensions, this simply-furnished but deluxe ‘Writing Pavilion’ has a glass door and a cleverly angled skylight to invite sunshine inside and cast dappled patterns on its plywood interior. Even in its busy Brooklyn setting, visitors are able to watch the gentle swaying branches above and switch off from urban life.
4 The garden library This outdoor reading room by 3rd Space is made from glass and black-stained Thermowood. With floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and integrated blinds for protecting books from the sun in brighter weather, the whole thing can be taken apart if you decide to move (£24,290 including sockets, lighting and shelving).
5 The practical poolhouse Set in a Seattle garden, this bespoke potting shed by Shed Architecture & Design is kitted out with an industrial-style workbench, integral basin and useful shelving. A huge sliding door opens the space right out to the pool area, making it perfect for entertaining. The double-sided design also allows for a second storage space, which the family use to stash bikes and sporting equipment.
1 Ecospace are a London-based architectural practice who’ve made their name creating beautiful modular studios and bespoke outdoor rooms for a variety of clients. Prices from £12,000.
2 A designer pavilion style shed is the ‘Zen Light XL double’ modular pavilion by the Italian duo Ludovica and Roberto Palomba for Exteta (£42,746). It comes with solid wood floors, but the slatted Canadian red cedar wall and roof panels have open sections for an airy effect. Smaller versions, outdoor saunas, hammans and tea-houses also available. Exteta Micro Architectures
3 For a ready-made solution, consider the architect-designed garden studios by the Devon-based Mökki (from £6,950). Mökki studios are fully insulated and double glazed and are ideal for use as garden offices, artist’s studios, craft spaces, music studios or guest rooms. They take about 2 days to install and are based on a modular panel system that can be configured in 30 different ways.
4 Another option is a garden cabin by Pod Space with five standard models available they range in size from as little as 2.5m wide to nearly 8m depending on your requirements. Windows and doors can be positioned to make the most of the light, and cosy underfloor heating comes as standard (from around £13,000).
5 An alternative to a stand-alone shed is a made-to-measure glass extension or conservatory from IQ Glass, which has modern features such as solar-control glass (that lets light in and keeps heat out) and remote-controlled doors.
But, before you get started… Most reputable ready-to-buy garden rooms will meet permitted development rules, which means that unless you live in a conservation area, a listed building, or if your garden belongs to flats, planning permission isn’t usually required. However, you should always check with your local authority before going ahead. For full advice visit the Planning Portal.
But if you’re after a few quick tips on how to update an existing garden shed, then see Lifestyle: garden sheds
A version of this feature was originally featured in ELLE Decoration Country Volume 8.