Garden room ideas: 17 contemporary designs for every modern garden

These garden room ideas will inspire you to create that garden office, outside cinema room and much more. Brilliantly versatile, a modern garden room is now a must-have feature for all types of home

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

The search for garden room ideas is on the up. After all, it's no secret that we're all spending more time at home and likely to be in need of a little extra room. So when contemporary garden rooms can provide a cheaper alternative to a regular house extension, all while giving you a beautiful and functional space to escape the confines of your home, this is one project to pursue!  

Whether you want an adjoining or separate but small garden room, we've rounded up a variety of models to inspire this cool and contemporary addition to your home. From jazzy garden pods to lavish spots for relaxation, to functional garden offices, natural looking garden rooms and more, there are lots of shapes, sizes, and specs to choose from.  Just keep scrolling for heaps of modern garden room inspiration, and for more garden ideas, check out our feature.

  • If you're starting from the top, be sure to check out our feature on garden design for all types of outdoor spaces

1. Squeeze a small garden room into a lost corner

Crane The Hub garden room by John Lewis


(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Choosing a small garden room to fit into a corner of your outdoor space is the perfect way to max out the space you do have. Go for something minimal and modern like The Hub corner studio by John Lewis & Partners, designed exclusively and in collaboration with Crane Garden Buildings. Built from FSC-certified northern Scandinavian redwood, finished with a dark micro-porous paint and complete with floor-to-ceiling glass panels, this model will ensure that you can enjoy views of the garden from a light-filled and modern feeling garden room.

2. Pick a modern garden room pod, that's tinted

Quite possibly one of the coolest modern garden rooms going anyhow, make it tinted, and well, that's a pretty grand design statement. This contemporary garden room pod will add a futuristic feel to every garden space from the outside, while inside you'll enjoy panoramic views as you entertain and/or chill out.

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.

  • Get practical tips on installing outbuildings and finalising garden room plans in our guide

3. Install a modern-looking shepherd's hut

7 Cath Caesar IMG_8822

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.

4. Make a glass garden room a stylish studio

6 Apropos 158.external.daytime.4

There's nothing quite so chic and studio-esque as a glass garden room. And as working from home doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from the outside world, making sure that your contemporary garden room cum garden office takes in all the views of your outside space, with floor-to-ceiling glass is a must. 

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.

5. Go for a modular and jazzy garden office

11 Tetra shed open

Contemporary garden rooms used as work spaces need not be visually intrusive or even resemble a traditional home office. Choosing a single module like this one with a unique timber structure and cool colour scheme is sure to add energy to your working from garden day, every day.

6. Fit out a functional garden work space

2 Smart Garden Offices Smart Studio - Suffolk Barn Quarto size

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.

7. Stay close to nature with a timber garden room, built to spec

5 Hudson Garden Rooms Traditonal Garden Room HordenMain (1)

Choosing a garden room that is made from sustainable materials, like timber, is a great way to keep the colours of your garden room in tune with your outdoor surroundings, while also minimising your environmental footprint in the process. 

Choosing a timber frame garden room that can be constructed in any shape, size and wood type will allow you to in keep with your garden's style too. Whether you want French doors and double windows, painted plywood interior walls and a tiled pitched roof – you could have it all.

8. Make your contemporary garden room a pool house

12 Vale Garden Houses IMG_5876

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. And for gorgeous conservatory ideas, be sure to check out our feature too.

9. Choose sliding doors luxury

1 IQ Glass MW Garden Room (5)

Everything about this contemporary garden room oozes luxury. From the beautifully refined finish of the landscaping materials used, to the sliding doors and stunning garden room interiors, recreate the look in your modern garden and create the swankiest retreat ever, completely fit for stylish outdoor living. 

Inside, the 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.

10. Make a garden room gym blend in with your surroundings

9 Scotts of Thrapston The Polebrook 2

Painting your garden room a shade of green, – or another colour that's very present in your garden – to help camouflage it, will help the structure sit more naturally within your surroundings. Perfect for simple garden settings, and especially for those who aren't completely sure about the addition of a garden room in the first place!  

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.

11. Keep your garden room on wheels

10 Cotswold Shepherds Huts Hut 2 017

A great garden room idea for renters, or for those who envisage moving house in the coming few years, having a garden room (hut in this particular case) that is portable, is not only very charming and 'Little House on the Prairie'-esque, but also, just really functional. 

This new-build, rustic-style contemporary garden room makes a striking addition to a garden and still has a trad touch 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.

12. Add concertina windows for zero distractions in a garden office

Bespoke garden room design


(Image credit: Steve Lancefield)

When you're designing a garden office you need to think about how to make the best use of the space. It's likely that you'll need storage, a couple of shelves and more to make your garden room inviting and functional on the inside, so choosing concertina windows rather than floor to ceiling windows will be a wise (and stylish) move. David Nossiter Architects created this modern garden room as a peaceful space for an author so if you need to concentrate, this is the garden room for you!

  • If you want to create a garden room extension, take a look at our house extension feature to get you started.

13. Zone in a big garden room

RENSON Camargue canopy - Garden House Design

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

If you've got the room, use it! Having a garden room large enough to zone into different areas for cooking in, eating in, and relaxing in is the ultimate dream really. And as we know how unpredictable the British weather can be, adding a BBQ is a fine way to make use of shelter, while you'll still get to enjoy an open plan and airy setting.

The clever Camargue Louvered Canopy by Garden House Design will be a joy to have in summer, and will still perform just as well in cooler months.. 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. 

14. Go industrial chic with a converted shipping container

converted shipping container garden room

(Image credit: Container Conversion Design & Build)

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. The contrast against the green of the garden provides the perfect amount of drama to make this space really cool and inviting. 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.

15. Invest in a tailor-made outdoor kitchen

Garden room – Hampstead Garden Gem LONDON NW3 closed doors

(Image credit: William Eckersley)

If you’ve a passion for feasting al fresco, push the barbecue aside and go for a full-on  kitchen in the garden. Kitted out with a grill, fridge and sink, it will be a godsend when the heavens cloud over. Install heating and it will get good use in the cooler months, too. 

Ar’Chic designed this garden room for a home-owner who is obsessed with Mediterranean cooking. Glazed panels open entirely, revealing a kitchen that doubles as a games room, reading room or office. The 28 sq m steel-framed module has gas radiant heaters concealed in the roof overhang. Cost, from £80,000.

Garden room Hampstead Garden Gem LONDON NW3

(Image credit: William Eckersley)

16. Add a green roof to a garden room

Green roof covers garden building

As a general, the overall design of your garden room should complement that of your home (and garden). If it isn't practical to mimic the gradient and angles of your home’s roof, exactly, and if you want a bohemian and wildlife-friendly finish to your structure instead, then you might could consider a lush living roof. Build it so that it slopes gently towards the house and you'll be able to enjoy the foliage, flowers and wildlife from indoors too.

if you're going through a supplier, ask if they can create a this as part of the package – if not, there are plenty of specialist companies who can; all you’ll need is a watertight roof construction that can take the weight.

17. Or, bring the outside into your garden room

garden room interiors of The Hub Plus Garden Studio, John Lewis


(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Your garden room interior design is mightily important and choosing a style that complements your garden and even your main home will help make the transition seamless and stylish. We love the tall plant inside this garden room, alongside the tongue-in-grove panelling which continues onto the garden room's decking area, as it creates continuity and a really contemporary feel. The Hub Garden Studio by John Lewis is the perfect spot for entertaining in.

The Hub Plus Right-Hand Corner Garden Studio. by John Lewis


(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Garden room plans and installation: what you need to know

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.

For information on garden room planning permission, costs, maintenance and more, be sure to read our guide to adding an outbuilding and be sure to get your home improvement project right from the start. 

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