Do you have a small, unused garden shed? Perhaps a large garden with plenty of space to build upon? Or maybe just want a refuge where you can get away from it all? Whatever your reasons and needs, a garden house is a great way of creating some extra living space, and the perfect place to relax indoors this summer whilst also enjoying the full glory of the outdoors. Here are a few types of garden house that could be of interest…
1. The Hardanger Retreat
This wooden prefab house was created by the architectural duo Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen. They have made all sorts of summer homes throughout Scandinavia, usually in far-out and unusual locations, with designs that are in harmony with the stunning scenery that surrounds them.
2. The Accordion House
This otherworldly summer home is powered entirely by solar energy and has the ability to extend over the nearby stream, thereby earning the name ‘the accordion house’ from the locals. The cabin is built from a mixture of pine and western red cedar shakes, and measures a total of 775 square feet. Here, Maartje Sammers and Boris Zeisser have invented a house with an ethos and compactness that could potentially be replicated in a garden.
3. The Pool House
There are plenty of homes in the UK that have large gardens. Unfortunately, many people do not use those gardens to full capacity, which is why something similar to the pool house might be worth consideration. An outdoor pool seems incomplete without a summer home – particularly in the UK where shelter from the elements is often required – and neither need be too imposing upon a garden, as the picture below demonstrates.
4. The Intimate One
Sometimes, simplicity is best, and this garden home is a great demonstration of fuss free, functional design. Those wanting to create a sanctuary of calm and tranquillity may wish to build something akin to this – it’s perfectly suited for small gatherings and al fresco dining.
5. The Award-Winner
Yet another Swedish design, this time from the award-winning firm Arkitektstudio Widjedal Racki Bergerhoff (WRB). This particular summer house won the Swedish Wood Award in 2000, and is still an influential work in the world of architecture. The house has removable timber slats in order to allow more light in during the summer months, and is separated into two parts: a well-insulated living room for the winter months, and an adjoining, glass-veiled veranda and hallway that are heated by the sun.
6. The Granny Flat
Some garden homes are known as ‘granny flats’, and this one, with its open-plan design, is a good example of why. Indeed, many build such homes in order to house parents, children, guests, carers or au pairs. These garden homes can also be a great source of rental income.
7. Southern US-Style
A house that’s traditional both inside and out. With its blue/grey colour scheme and vintage furniture, this Southern US shack-styled house is reminiscent of a Tennessee Williams play. Many, when they think of America’s non-coastal regions in summer, think of living spaces similar in design to this.
Whilst building a garden house can be a relatively straightforward process, it’s important to remember that you may need planning permission to carry out a large construction in your garden. Proper planning of even the smallest garden homes will avoid wasting time and money in the long-run.