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A Little House in the Garden

Garden offices, garden studios and garden rooms are the latest trend in space creation

If you are one of the more than 1.5 million people in the UK working from home, you are likely to be feeling the pressure of trying to create enough space. Not just physical space, but mental space also; it is hard to relax when your laptop and files are in constant view. For an increasing number of us the solution lies in building a garden room.

Flora McKillop, founder of Flossie & Bumble, runs her online homewares business from a studio at the bottom of her garden. ‘The three metre walk between house and office is so useful,’ she says. ‘It makes you feel like you are going off to work. You shut the door and you shut your mind.

'The previous owner had built the studio for his music and computers, and it was perfect to house the hub of our online business. An absolute deal maker, we wouldn’t have bought the house if it hadn’t had the garden room.’

But where do you start if you are thinking of building a garden room for yourself? The first question has to be “how do you want the property to look and function?” swiftly followed by “do you need planning permission?” In most cases the answer is no. If you don’t live in a conservation area, are prepared to follow the guidelines given for size and location and the planned usage is incidental to the main house you should be fine.

The next question is whether or not you have to comply with Building Regulations and, again, in most properties under 30 square metres, which do not include sleeping accommodation, it is unlikely. But whatever the regulations require, it is worth making sure that your property is built to a good standard and all electrical work must be certified.

Carl Wiegandt and Wagner Sangalli were not required to apply for planning permission for the Swedish Stuga style garden room they built when they moved into their New Malden home. The main house was completely dilapidated and, as professional restorers, they planned to do the work themselves. With Grand Design aspirations but limited budget they knew the process would take years, and so they built their garden room to be used as a workshop during the renovation process.

Once the main house was complete they transformed the garden room into a natural haven to relax and unwind. Combining practical storage with comfortable sofas and garden inspired artwork, ‘We love to throw open the windows and doors onto the deck and enjoy the peace and quiet in the summer,’ says Carl.

Leading architect and founding partner of 3s Architects, Reinhard Weiss couldn’t find a prefabricated solution for the high quality finish he wanted for his family’s garden room in Twickenham, so he decided to make a bespoke prototype for his own use.

Created out of insulated, heat-treated hardwood the garden house was cleverly designed to fulfil multiple functions all in one: warm and cold storage for winter clothes and garden equipment respectively, a room for guest accommodation or study and a sunken Jacuzzi and bathroom providing spa-like tranquillity at the bottom of the garden… until the children come whizzing down their slide from he rooftop!

The design has proved so successful he is working in partnership with Just Swiss to launch it in the UK this spring, lifting the bar for prefabricated garden rooms to a new level.

Garden Room Facts

Flossie & Bumble
( is a Laterna style log cabin from Dunster House. Prices start from around £4,000 for the basic structure.

Carl & Wagner’s Summer House
( is a flat-pack purchased from Holland and built by a local builder. Total cost approx £12,000.

Reinhard Weiss
Heat pressure treated insulated timber prefabricated garden room £1,500 per square meter. Contact Reinhard for more
info at

Eden Garden Rooms
Eden Garden Rooms guarantee an outstanding finish without any of the hassle for you and manage everything from the design and planning process, through to groundwork, electrical fittings and those special finishing touches that transform your garden into a unique and diverse living space.

Eden Garden RoomsReinhard Weiss Garden Rooms - image by Clive Bozzard-HillReinhard Weiss Garden Rooms - image by Clive Bozzard-Hill