How to create your perfect garden office this summer

The flexibility to work from home is a a perk for many, but our homes aren’t always suited to such a set-up. Looking outside the home and into the garden may be the perfect solution to the home office dilemma

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If you enjoy the benefits of working from home, you will undoubtedly be familiar with the associated distractions — family members, household chores, the call of the kitchen. If you want to work from home and have the best defence against at-home distractions then a garden office is worth your consideration.  

How will you use the space?

Before you start thinking about any of the specifics, you need to decide how you want to use the space. Will you be using it as an office on a daily basis or sporadically? Will you be using it all year round? Does the space need to be dual use, encompassing a home gym, storage space or relaxing area from which to enjoy the garden? Once you know what you want from the space, you can decide on the best structure.  

Quarto size Suffolk Barn from Smart Garden Offices

(Image: © Smart Garden Offices)

This insulated Quarto-size Suffolk Barn fits four desks, storage and a meeting area and is ready to connect to the mains for year-round use. Measures (H)320x(W)433x(D)312cm, from Smart Garden Offices

Creating a comfortable environment

If you’re planning on using the garden office all year round, you’ll need to consider lighting, electrical outputs and heating as well as internet access. You could route power from your home, or even consider the installation of solar roof panels to generate power directly to the building. Specialist garden room companies will be able to advise how these elements can be incorporated in your chosen design.

Mill oil heater

(Image: © Mill oil heater)

The Mill oil heater has a 2,000W output and can heat a room 29% faster than standard oil-filled radiators. As a plug-in electric heater, it is a versatile option for garden offices. RRP £209.99 available at AO.com

If you’re chosen garden room features a lot of glazing, then shades, blinds or curtains are another consideration you’ll need to make. 

With many home offices featuring expensive items such as computers, scanners and printers, it is also important to ensure your garden office can be effectively secured when not in use (again, window treatments will help keep valuables out of view). 

Green Retreats garden room

(Image: © Green Retreats)

This Green Retreats garden room is suitable for year round use, measures 6mx4m and costs from £19,245 – including base, installation and VAT. Suitable for use all year round 

Decor

When it comes to decor, you may find a neutral colour palette the most conducive to a home working environment and will also work if you change the use of the space from home office to home gym or cinema room. Consider the garden office an extension of your home, not just in terms of space but decor and style too.  

Freestanding garden studio

(Image: © Atelier Garden Studios)

Measuring (H)294x(W)883x(D)461cm, this Freestanding Garden Office by Atelier Garden Studios has steel frames, timber cladding and aluminium doors and windows 

Home office essentials

Once you have your fundamentals set-up, it’s time to consider the essential elements for your home office. The first step is to measure the space to ensure you don’t overfill it with furniture and make it unusable. Using graph paper can help you to draw up a scale drawing to work out the best arrangement of furniture before you commit to purchase.

This John Lewis Colosseum Ladder Desk would be suitable for smaller garden offices, or dual-use spaces

Obviously, a desk and chair are essential. Decide where these elements are to be placed first, ensuring that you have space to move around the items without obstruction. Consider the view you want from your desk and areas that will get the most natural daylight.

Understandably these will need to be located near power outlets to avoid trailing cables which are not only a safety hazard, but look unsightly. 

Storage

The next step is to consider any storage space you need - whether that’s cupboards, drawers, filing cabinets, shelves or bookcases. Don’t forget to allow for any non-office related items from your home that you may wish to store in the garden office.  

Must-haves

The AnglePoise Type 75 Mini Desk Lamp is highly adjustable and would be complementary to contemporary decor schemes

Optional extras

The De'Longhi TRNS0505M Nano oil-filled radiator offers a compact size and low running costs