Once upon a time, a structure in a garden was most likely to be a shed.
It was a place where tools were kept, plants were potted, and DIY projects were hatched.
Things have changed a great deal since.
Now stylish, functional and environment-friendly, garden rooms are an increasing part of the modern garden.
Michael Smith, director at Garden Room Sanctuary, has seen for himself the wide variety of creative uses that people have for their garden rooms.
He said: “Whether it’s a growing family looking for a little more space, an artist in need of a studio or someone wanting space for a home gym, our garden rooms are being adapted to fit for all kinds of creative needs.”
Here, we look at some of the innovative ways the garden room can be used for.
A Home Office
Once the preserve of creative professions and craftspeople, working from home is rapidly becoming a widespread feature of working life.
With space at a premium in most family homes, a garden room can make an ideal alternative for your home office.
A garden office can give you much-needed space, allowing you to better separate work and home life.
What could be better than working, surrounded by the tranquillity of your garden?
Artists need space, light and preferably somewhere tranquil to work.
Whether they’re painting, making pots, jewellery or stained glass, having ample studio space to work in makes all the difference.
Many domestic homes are unsuitable, and commercial studio space can be costly.
Garden rooms that can be designed to maximise light make excellent artist studios.
In the summer, the doors can be opened, while in the winter heating ensures that the room is a cosy hideaway from the cold weather.
More and more families now live further apart.
Having space in your home for guests to come and visit, perhaps for extended stays, can feel like a luxury when you have a young family.
Garden rooms can make excellent guest bedrooms.
They can include showers, as well as separate sleeping and living sections, all of which adds up to a comfortable place for your guests to stay.
When the garden room isn’t needed for your own guests, it can be let out to paying visitors through services such as Airbnb.
If you or your family are keen musicians then a garden room can make for a great place to play, write music and rehearse.
Fully soundproofed, there’s little chance of annoying the neighbours.
Having somewhere dedicated to music can also be helpful if you have children who are learning an instrument.
In the garden music room, they’re removed from other distractions.
If you want to record your own music, then why not fit a home studio in your garden room?
One of the most wasted subscriptions making a hole in your savings is gym membership.
No matter how good our initial intentions, it can be hard to sustain the motivation to travel to a gym to workout.
Perhaps it might be easier if you only had to walk down the garden path?
Garden rooms make excellent home gyms.
Fit a range of equipment in your garden gym, and never have an excuse not to work out again.
Get that authentic cinema experience at home by turning your garden room into a dedicated home cinema.
Choose a model with less windows to create a cosier, darker space that is perfect for your large-screen TV or projector and screen.
With surround sound and comfortable seating, you’ve got your own dedicated space to watch movies and box sets.
Make it big enough to invite friends to join you, but tell them to bring the popcorn.
Your kids will be the envy of their friends with their own dedicated playroom.
Get them, and their toys, out of the house, allowing them a bit more freedom from under your feet.
Let them decorate the space and give them responsibility for keeping it tidy; it’s their space to enjoy and look after.
As they get older, add a sofa and space to do their homework.
It can be the perfect hideaway for teenagers craving a little more independence.
Have your very own garden sanctuary in which to enjoy a little home pampering.
Fit a rainfall shower, a home sauna or a steam room.
Fill it with cushions, towels and soft lighting.
Burn incense and light candles, and you’re well on your way to creating your own perfect getaway.
You could even fit a hot tub in the garden next to the garden room and expand your home spa experience into the great outdoors.
The Local Pub
A perennially popular use of a garden room is the home pub.
If you brew your own beers, or make your own wine or gin, then why not expand the operation by serving your products in your own bar?
You’ll need a licence to sell to the public, but you can become popular with your friends and neighbours by hosting evenings down your very own garden room local.
Combined with an outside barbecue or pizza oven, it’s a great option if you like to entertain.
With cushions, pillows and yoga mats, the tranquillity of a garden room can make for a perfect home yoga studio.
With wellbeing increasingly moving up the public agenda, yoga and other meditative techniques have grown in popularity.
Having a dedicated space to develop your practice can make all the difference.
Yoga teachers could even use the space for one-on-one lessons.
Whether you collect old maps or like to craft, it can be great to have your own space to indulge your hobby.
Store materials, or things you’ve collected, and spend time away from the bustle of the house pursuing your interests. With the extra space that a garden hobby room could provide, your hobby might develop into a full-time business.
Garden rooms are flexible spaces that can transform the way you work and spend your leisure time.
Adding value both to your home and your lifestyle, it’s little wonder that are proving to be such a wise investment as it is cost-effective way to add space and value to your house.