Garden offices - giving you the space to work from home
If you're thinking about taking up a new vocation, or simply dusting the cobwebs off the paintbrushes and reacquainting yourself with an old hobby, a garden office could be exactly what you need. They don't come cheap, but settling down in a cozy garden office can be a great way of focusing your mind on your new goals.
There's a reason they build office blocks with plenty of windows. Myriad studies have shown that natural light helps to sharpen the mind and increase your productivity - and a well-lit garden office ticks all of the boxes.
When you're trying to get some work done, noise and distraction are the biggest enemies. A garden office means you can get away from it all for a couple of hours and get down to meeting those deadlines.
Your own space
Sometimes your latest creation isn't ready for the outside world. If you want to keep everything hushed up until the all the I's are dotted, a secluded space of your own away from prying eyes is the ideal foil.
Garden offices come in a few different incarnations - some resemble conventional sheds with a bulkier frame and a few extra windows; other look a little more like moden art installations, replete with curved roofs and tasteful decor. Which one you opt for really depends on how much room you have in your garden and, importantly, how much you are prepared to spend.
At a basic level, a garden office is just a boxy room with a desk and a bit of utility space, but there is also the option to add a bit of homely flair - an adjoining outside deck and a garden table or sofa swing for example. Again, it depends what sort of vibe you're shooting for, but remember the more complex your project, the longer it will take to realise.
Buying your office
The office itself can cost anything from £1,000 to £10,000, depending on the scope of your ambition.
And don't forget to factor in any additional expenses you may have to bear - for example on paving the ground and digging out any trees that are obstructing the immediate vicinity. Even though it's a supplementary room and not connected to your house, you still have to comply with local building regulation, too.
Although their popularity is fast growing, garden offices are still a relatively new concept, so there is not exactly a wellspring of options when it comes to choosing the right company to shop with. Smart Garden Offices are purportedly the leading manufacturers in the UK, and boast an impressive range of styles, as well as a comprehensive installation service.