Garden Office Guide: Outside Space


Your main consideration will be the space you are going to gain inside the garden office, but don’t forget the outside space, by developing it you will gain another living space. Some of the most successful garden office projects are those that are designed to be part of the garden.

Extending Your Living Space

You can extend the living space in your garden office by adding a veranda or decking area. There’s something rather nice about sitting on the veranda of your garden office on a balmy summers evening, glass in hand! Traditional style garden offices tend to have a balustrade enclosing the veranda whilst contemporary designs have open plan verandas, the roof overhang offers some shade which will be welcome on hot days. Verandas look great but you can often find that they are too narrow to be a truly useable outdoor living space, think about what furniture you would use on the veranda and how many people it will take.

A way of overcoming the limited space problems of a veranda is to install a deck area, decks tend to be larger than verandas and can wrap around a garden office providing plenty of living space. Many garden office suppliers can design in deck areas into the project and it could be argued that decks that are part of the garden office design are more successful than those added at a later date, this is because care is taken to match or compliment the materials used in the garden office, attention is also paid to floor and decking heights so there’s an almost seamless connection between the two spaces. So, consider outside space early in your project and you’ll end up with two rooms for the price of one!

Planting Around a Garden Office

The most successful garden office projects are those that are nestled into an established garden, the garden office looks like it was part of the garden design rather than a large box plonked in the corner! If you don’t have an established garden, consider developing the area around your garden office to make that connection. We’re not gardeners so you’re not going to find a planting plan in this guide but you could do worse than take inspiration for the planting around your garden office from the designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. When garden offices have been shown at Chelsea they have been coupled with topiary – shaped box often in matched pairs gives a garden office  a strong architectural feel. The other thing we have learnt from the Chelsea designers is that an expanse of a single colour planting can offset a garden office well, this year it was the blue/purple of lavender which contrasted dramatically with the wooden cladding.

Material Contrast

Striking effects can be created by choosing different materials for the elements that surround your garden office, for instance the reddish brown colour of cedar and strong straight lines of the cladding contrast well with the silver colour and smoothness of steel planters, the opposite effect can be achieved by mixing wooden planters with smooth metal clad garden offices. Natural stone is another material that contrasts well with the timber; why not pave the area around the garden office to make maximum impact with this combination? Think about the colours you choose, what looks right with new timber might not contrast as well with aged timber, for instance slate colour paving contrasts well with new reddish brown cedar but will there be such a contrast when the cedar goes silver?

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