Garden trends - outdoor rooms

With more of us spending time at home, garden rooms are increasingly in demand as another place to work or exercise in, or simply to escape to.  But there’s lots to consider from the style of your structure to its location to maximise the benefits of your new bolthole.

The first thing to decide on is the size of building you’ll need, making sure it’s in proportion to the spot you’d like it in.  As well as what it looks like from your house, consider the outlook from the outdoor room and where you’d like your large glass doors or windows.  The function of your building can also influence this.  You might want to feel more hidden if you’re doing morning yoga there, but have a full view of the garden if you’re working from home.  And consider the aspect and whether you want direct light or not

The style you choose, whether contemporary or traditional, will need to work with the surroundings and the style of your house.  And consider the materials.  Cedar cladding is stunning and weathers beautifully but if your shed is made with treated softwood, paint it  - dark colours and even black recedes better and provide an attractive backdrop for planting.  Doors and windows help break up the façade, but too much symmetry can look a bit twee.

Creating a garden building can be a good chance to rethink areas of your outdoor space.  It’s lovely to have a deck or patio seating area outside the office for tea breaks and chats.  Paths leading to the building look attractive and will help it to be accessed throughout the seasons.  Last but not least, the right planting will be key to frame, screen and soften the façade.  Hedges, multi-stemmed trees, tall beds of grasses and perennials, and pots of herbs and grasses will also help soften the front of the structure.  One of the benefits of an outdoor building is that wonderful feeling of being closer to nature, amongst plants and trees, watching birdlife and wildlife.  Just make sure it doesn’t put you off your work!