A recent report says 60 per cent of the city’s home owners would prefer to improve their existing property rather than shoulder the expense of leaving the area they love for a district where they could afford more space, but which is less attractive.
When you are out to create extra room, a garden building is cheaper than a loft conversion and usually far less disruptive to install. A new wave of chichi cabins is fuelling a trend for “shepherds huts” that double as office space or extra living accommodation, says Paul Bennett of Red Sky, which makes them in Oxfordshire.
Eight garden rooms with wow-factor
Eight garden rooms with wow-factor
1/8 Bespoke garden rooms
Garden rooms have come a long way since the humble garden shed. The website www.iqglassuk.com (01494 722 880) offer their clients bespoke options for home gyms, bike storage or even 'man caves' for those who want their own little getaway.
2/8 Portable garden rooms
A 16th-century inspired Shepherds Hut is the answer to gaining space without having to get planning permission. Double glazed windows, wool insulated walls and a volt electricity hook up pack mean these huts can work as a home office or spare room for guests. Plus, it's on wheels you can take it with you if you move house. Prices start at £10,000. Call Red Sky (07870 223 114).
Claire Williams Photography
3/8 Garden rooms for small spaces
The Rotating Sphere is perfect for small spaces, and can double as an extra dining area or workspace. In summer, the table can also be dropped-down and turned into a spare bed for last minute sleepover guests. Prices start at £7,999. Contact Ornate Garden (01675 464 705).
4/8 Contemporary glass structures
For an alternative to a conservatory, consider a contemporary structure like this one. Using architectural glass technology and minimal framed glazing, these glass garden rooms will make the greatest use of sunlight. Visit www.iqglassuk.com (01494 722 880).
5/8 Homes with ready-built garden rooms
Charles Baker Place in Wandsworth has a selection of new-build contemporary-design houses that have ready-built garden rooms. Prices from £1,325,000 through estate agent Rymer Irens (020 8767 2222).
6/8 Homes with ready-built garden rooms
The size of a small studio, this garden pod comes as part of the garden of a four-bedroom family home in Stephendale Road, Fulham, SW6, It is on the market for £1,799,995. Call Haus Properties (020 7751 0400).
Dowling Jones Design
7/8 Homes with ready-built garden rooms
For £1.35 million: a three-bedroom house in Greenwich Park Street, SE10 comes with this outdoor room that includes a bathroom. Call JLL (020 8712 6596).
Stoyanov & Jones
8/8 Homes with ready-built garden rooms
This high quality, versatile garden building is in the garden of a four-bedroom house in Wingate Road, Hammersmith, W6. Currently being used as a home office, it's the perfect quiet space needed for work. Price £2,095,000 through Savills (020 3618 3777).
“It’s a romantic, lovely thing,” he says. “People enjoy ‘glamping’ and then want something similar at home.” Inspired by 16th-century huts-on-wheels in which shepherds would tend their lambs, these charming, bespoke buildings are highly functional, featuring handcrafted steel wheels, horizontal timber exteriors, wood-framed windows and a curved roof. Downsized furniture painted in muted Farrow & Ball shades adds a roomy feel to the huts, which have walls insulated with sheeps wool, double glazing and 240-volt electricity hook-up packs.
With a background in furniture making, Bennett prides himself on attention to detail in his “shepherd-chic” spaces. Extras include wood-burning stove, kitchenette and shower. On wheels, the huts don’t need planning permission so you can take them with you when you move. “It’s crucial — despite what you are told you won’t make your money back,” says Bennett, whose customers include home workers tired of commuting and hairdressers who want a salon in the garden.
These huts are easy to install if you have an access route that is 8ft wide, or they can be craned over houses as long as telegraph poles aren’t an issue. Prices start at £10,000. Call Red Sky Shepherds Huts on 07870 223114.
For a sleeker look, IQ Glass designs and builds contemporary structures using architectural glass technology and minimal framed glazing. Demand is rising. “Home owners are finding it hard to finance a bigger property,” says the firm’s Ellice Bateman, pointing to IQ commissions including “his and hers” art and pottery studios for one couple, and a games room for an Essex family.
Prices start at about £1,000 a square metre including design, fabrication and installation, but excluding VAT. Call 01494 722 880.
In Ham, pretty Pointers Cottage, for sale at £1.25 million, comes with a detached room at the end of the garden that attracts buyers seeking versatile space. Paul Price, of estate agent Hamptons International, says: “Privacy is easily found in your pod at the bottom of the garden.” Call 020 3369 4388.
HOW ABOUT A HOME GYM?
Wandsworth’s big gardens are prime territory for garden rooms, says Simon Tollit of UK Sotheby’s International Realty. A friend recently installed a garden studio for his pool table, bar and giant plasma TV.
“It’s his man cave,” says Tollit. “Garden studios add tremendous value, offering more square footage without the headache and large bills that extensions cause.” Green Studios specialises in bespoke options for home gyms and bike storage. Call 01923 205090.
Outdoor playrooms give busy mums a break. Michelle Vanlint spent £20,000 on a garden room at her South Woodford home. It has a sedum roof, storage and bathroom: “The children love playing in there and use it as a den when friends come over.” Installer London Garden Rooms will be at the NEC in Birmingham for The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show from April 14-17. Call 020 8418 9498.