These innovative and beautifully designed garden offices are transforming the way we work from home… The backyard commute just got a whole lot more inviting.
Remote working is here to stay and in response to this workplace revolution, our home offices are evolving. For many, that means setting up a work space in the garden, but forget overhauling the draughty old shed, the new wave of modern garden offices is an altogether more creative affair.
Work from Shed is a fascinating look at inspirational garden offices across the UK and beyond. They don’t all command acres of space, huge budgets or months of construction, in fact their commonality is found in their feel-good qualities.
Through their thoughtful architecture, these ‘sheds’ elevate both their surroundings and the lives of their owners. And surely that’s what great design is all about? Here, we share some of our favourites…
HOLLOWAY LIGHTBOX. ARCHITECTS: STUDIO BARK. IMAGE: JOHN HOLLOWAY PHOTOGRAPHY
This striking garden building is both a photography studio and a writing room which makes the most of the natural light. Designed with a pitched roof and a large south-west facing skylight, the angle of the roof matches that of the sun’s rays as it sets, flooding the studio with elusive golden-hour light.
DANIEL HEATH’S GARDEN STUDIO. ARCHITECTS: DUNSTER HOUSE/SELF-BUILD. IMAGE: CARMEL KING
Daniel Heath’s Garden Studio
Wallpaper and textile designer Daniel and his wife Laura, an author and colour consultant, constructed their new studio themselves using a kit from Dunster House that consisted of hundreds of pieces they had to ‘post’ through their bathroom window and into the back garden, thanks to a hard-to-navigate corridor!
A ROOM IN THE GARDEN. ARCHITECTS: STUDIO BEN ALLEN. IMAGE: BEN TYNEGATE
A Room in the Garden
This playful garden structure is a workspace, a playroom, a spare bedroom – and everything in between. Inspired by a traditional folly, its jewel-toned exterior is designed to blend in with the surrounding garden. Inside, there’s a desk, shelving, and a reading nook that folds out into a bed.
THE LIGHT SHED. ARCHITECT: RICHARD JOHN ANDREWS. IMAGE: CHRIS SNOOK PHOTO
The Light Shed
When architect Richard John Andrews decided to design a low-cost studio space for his expanding practice in his back garden, he had two key things in mind: natural light and collaborative working. The timber frame is clad in corrugated, black fibreglass panels, punctuated by sliding doors. Inside, there is built-in shelving and desk space for two to three people, so collaborators can come and share ideas.
NESTLE STUDIO. ARCHITECTS: MUSTARD ARCHITECTS. IMAGE: TIM CROCKER
These clients asked Mustard Architects to create a painting studio in their back garden with two key requirements: they needed plenty of natural light, and they wanted to retain the mature silver birch that stood right where the studio was supposed to go. The result is this subtle structure, which wraps around the treasured tree and has multiple, angled windows. A feathered edge to the top of the cladding creates the illusion that the studio is fading into the surrounding planting.
MANBEY POD. ARCHITECTS: STUDIO BARK. IMAGE: TARAN WILKHU
Constructed from one of Studio Bark’s innovative ‘U-Build’ kits, this space was designed to function as an extra family room, storage area and textile studio. Nestled under a mature maple tree, the interior is clad in birch plywood for a uniform finish, with skylights to provide extra light.
ENCHANTED SHED. ARCHITECTS: FRANZ&SUE. IMAGE: ANDREAS BUCHBERGER
This 1930s black timber outbuilding in Vienna, Austria, was in bad shape and at risk of being torn down when, determined to save it, Franz&Sue architects set about refurbishing it while retaining many of its original features. The downstairs portion is used to store gardening equipment, while a brass trapdoor leads up into an attic space with a treehouse-like feel where one of the gable walls has been entirely glazed.
LA POTTERY STUDIO. ARCHITECTS: RAINA LEE AND MARK WATANABE. IMAGE: PHILIP CHEUNG
LA Pottery Studio
When ceramicist Raina and her partner Mark, an architect, moved into their new home, they discovered this small treehouse in the sloping backyard, and they set to work transforming it into a display studio. Accessed by wooden steps and a bridge, the exterior is clad in exposed fir in homage to its surroundings.
Work from Shed: Inspirational Garden Offices from Around the World published by Hoxton Mini Press. £25 (hardback). Available to buy here.
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