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.
- Traditional garden rooms – find design ideas for a period home
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.