Contemporary statement

Garden studios: how to choose your perfect outdoor work space

If you need to work from home but you’ve no room in your house for an office, then opting for a studio in your garden could be the ideal solution. Here are some inspirational designs to take ideas from

If you have limited space in your house for an office or studio, you could opt for one in your garden. There are lots of different styles and designs to choose, from contemporary huts to traditional ‘Wendy House’ style buildings. Before making a decision, really consider your outdoor space and choose a part of the garden that is right for your workspace, but doesn’t compromise the rest of the garden design. Once built, you can plant around your garden building to disguise it from the rest of the house and create a more secluded, private space. Below are nine different designs to inspire you to choose the right studio space for your style and garden.


A contemporary garden studio made from a shipping container makes an ideal garden room

This contemporary studio is actually made out of an old shipping container; the strong and robust metal shell makes an ideal garden room. Eco-designers John Little and Dusty Gedge specialise in making these modified garden buildings. Made to order, they can also feature special ‘habitat panels’ on the outside walls.


A garden room of one’s own

A bright blue garden cottage style shed is situated at the bottom of a garden with a leading plan and tree surrounds

Personalise a standard garden room by painting it a colour that blends with the surrounding planting scheme. Warwick Offices specialises in traditional garden buildings, such as this one, and offers a huge range of styles, along with a bespoke service.


Build your own

A wooden garden studio with large glass windows is nestled behind colourful planting

This studio was designed and built from scratch and it occupies about a quarter of a courtyard garden. As well as providing me with ample studio space, it also features two concealed cupboards positioned along the front face, which are crammed with garden tools and logs.


Contemporary statement

A contemporary wooden panelled garden room with large glass windows overlooked a green filled garden.

Some studios are large enough to incorporate a kitchen or even a bathroom. By positioning the doors and windows to one side, it then allows more internal space to accommodate another room. This one is from Roomworks, which offers studios starting from 3m x 3m upwards.


Traditional look

A traditional garden studio mounted on saddle stones resembles an old grain store

If you would like to have a garden office but you live in an older, period property then this may be the best solution. Grainstore Garden Buildings designs its buildings to look like an old grain store and when mounted upon staddle stones, it has a much more traditional appearance.


Architect design

Cedar slatted designed garden studio offers an innovative architectural design

Created by the innovative architectural company Weston, Surman & Deane for an author and illustrator of children’s books this east London shed looks almost good enough to live in. The cedar-slatted façade allows sunlight in by day and at night the illuminated shed shines out across the garden.


While shepherds watch…

A dark green Shepherds hut is idyllically placed on the edge of a natural pond

The beauty of having a shepherd’s hut as a garden studio is that it it’s on wheels so you take it with you if you move home. Dorset-based company, Plankbridge make contemporary huts that can even be fitted with a log burner, making them very cosy indeed.

A guide to planning restrictions

Before building a garden office you should consult your local planning authority and, if you are using a company to build your studio, make sure that it complies with planning regulations. It is generally quite straightforward to build a garden office but here are some main points to consider:

  • The building must be single storey.
  • You cannot build a studio at the front or side of your house – only at the rear.
  • You cannot use the studio as a dwelling.
  • If your home is a listed building you will not be allowed to build a studio or office in the garden.
  • The total area that you can construct any garden out buildings – including garages, summerhouses etc – must not exceed 50 per cent of the total area of land around the original house.
  • If your home is on the Broads, a World Heritage Site, a National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, then further restrictions will apply to the area the building can occupy and its position.
  • If your building is within two metres of the boundary it should not be any higher than 2.5m.
  • If the building is further than two metres from the boundary then it should be no higher than 4m high. This website is a great starting point. It offers information about building a garden room and has a comprehensive directory of companies that build them.


Here are some companies offering garden offices and studios:


WORDS Annie Guilfoyle