Contemporary garden rooms: 12 modern design ideas

Invest in a contemporary garden room for extra living space – outdoors. With all mod cons, they are an easy and versatile way to extend your home. Here are just a few of our favourite design ideas

contemporary garden room: converted shipping container garden room
(Image credit: Container Conversion Design & Build)

A contemporary garden room is a great alternative to an extension, especially if you're planning on using yours as a home office. From trendy pod designs to timber framed garden rooms, there are lots of shapes, sizes, and specs to choose from. 

Contemporary garden rooms are usually sourced via specialist companies that tend to offer a full installation service, but you may need to find a reputable tradesperson to build an off-the-peg design. Having a power supply fitted will enable you to install lighting and run appliances – perfect when the sun goes down. Route power from your home or consider solar roof panels to provide electricity without the expense of cabling being installed around the garden.

Ask your supplier to discuss any changes in the build, and associated costs, before going ahead. Finally, if your garden room will store items through the winter, remember to include security measures, such as casement windows and sturdy lockable doors.

Then get practical tips on adding a garden room in our guide. 

1. Choose a spherical contemporary garden room

Make a statement in the garden with a contemporary pod that’s perfect for entertaining in inclement weather.

The Delux Summer House Sphere by Farmer’s Cottage at John Lewis is made from waterproof laminated pine with bronze-tinted windows to reflect glare, a stainless-steel roof that reflects heat to keep the interior cool, and a sliding door so that the capsule is fully sealed.

2. Install a modern-looking shepherd's hut

It might have the look of a place to keep stray lambs warm, but this is a sophisticated new take on a shepherd’s hut.

Plain Huts  are contemporary garden rooms that are snug, waterproof, insulated with closed-cell foil-backed insulation and clad in cedar. Inside, they’re light and airy – just right for curling up with craft projects. Add power via a lead or generator, or the hut can be designed for solar power and leisure batteries or an LPG gas supply.

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3. Add a stylish studio

Working at home doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from the outside world, so make sure your contemporary garden room cum office takes in the garden views with floor-to-ceiling glass.

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. With a choice of glass, such as self-cleaning or thermally enhanced options, it is also linked to mains power, phone and internet networks, and costs £54,355.

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4. Go for a modular office

Contemporary garden rooms used as work spaces need not be visually intrusive or even resemble a traditional home office.

The Tetra Shed is a single module comprising a timber structure that’s either painted or clad in a choice of plywood, cork, rubber, copper, zinc or Cor-Ten steel. It comes with programmable electric underfloor heating and LED lighting, controlled via smartphone and tablet apps.

11 Tetra shed open

5. Fit out a functional garden work space

A contemporary garden room or garden office needs adequate space, and this insulated Quarto-size Suffolk Barn fits four desks, storage and a meeting area, but it would also make a great yoga space or leisure room.

Ready to connect to the mains for year- round use, this pressure-treated spruce/pine wood barn with weatherboard finish measures H320cm x W433cm x D312cm.

2 Smart Garden Offices Smart Studio - Suffolk Barn Quarto size

6. Build a contemporary garden room to your spec

Traditional Garden Rooms from Hudson Garden Rooms have a handcrafted timber frame and can be constructed in any shape, size and wood type. They include french doors and double windows, insulated hardwood flooring, walls and ceilings, interior lighting and sockets – plus connection to the house – painted plywood interior walls and a tiled pitched roof.

5 Hudson Garden Rooms Traditonal Garden Room HordenMain (1)

7. Make your contemporary garden room a pool house

Whether a place to unwind, storage for furniture or simply a practical pool-side space, this contemporary garden room from Vale Garden Houses has a gable front, terracotta tiled roof and inset glazed rooflights, plus bi-fold doors for a wider entrance.

Don't have a swimming pool but really want one? Find out how to add a swimming pool.

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8. Create a contemporary outdoor living space

A fire and seating area turns a simple glass structure into an inviting garden lounge. Insulated on two-and-a-half sides, this cedar building by IQ Glass features slim-framed sliding doors with an almost frameless effect, creating a stunning panorama even when closed.

1 IQ Glass MW Garden Room (5)

9. Build a home gym

This garden from Scotts of Thrapston, in pressure-impregnated green-stained European redwood, has double-glazed doors, windows and a tongue-and-groove interior painted in Buttermilk.

With its hardwearing varnished floor, it’s ideal for a workout space. A mineralised felt and felt-tiled roof with veranda-style overhang keeps the weather at bay.

Get advice on how to create a home gym.

9 Scotts of Thrapston The Polebrook 2

10. Go for rustic appeal

Why choose a shed when you could have a charming hut instead?

This new-build, rustic-style contemporary garden room makes a striking addition to a garden and has a touch of the trad about it – but with all the mod cons. With a pine tongue-and-groove interior, and finished in corrugated tin or cedar wood, huts from Cotswold Shepherds Huts start from £10,000. Electrics can be supplied.

Find more traditional garden room design ideas in our guide.

10 Cotswold Shepherds Huts Hut 2 017

11. Install a transformer garden room for multiple uses

Garden room, summer house, or canopy? It can be a tricky decision to make, especially if you're not sure how you'll be using your garden room, or when you know you want to have a lot of flexibility – for example, you'd prefer something open and airy in the summer, but something enclosed in the colder months. 

The clever Camargue Louvered Canopy by Garden House Design can perform as all of the above. Its aluminium frame can be equipped with windproof sun protecting screens (which can cover the whole structure, making it completely enclosed), or sliding doors, or panels, or a combination of all three. From £12,000. 

RENSON Camargue canopy - Garden House Design

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

12. Add industrial chic with a converted shipping container

Like the industrial trend? Used in everything from extensions to living room decor, industrial chic is defined by strong, graphic lines and the use of heavy duty materials. And now there's a way to bring some of that edgy style to your garden, with a garden room made from a converted shipping container. Basic shell with UK delivery from £8,995.

converted shipping container garden room

(Image credit: Container Conversion Design & Build)

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