The finish you choose for your garden office interior walls will have much effect on its style and feel as your choice of exterior cladding. A few years ago your only option was timber matchboard cladding but today there are several options each giving a garden room a distinctive look. When deciding on your garden offices interior think about how close to a room in a modern house you want the finish to be.
Matchboard means several identical boarded joined together with a tongue & grove joint. This way of lining a garden office has been around for years, left in its natural state matchboard lined garden office can look a bit like a sauna but if painted it can create a soft, Shaker styled room. Boards are normally fixed vertically and come in different widths, for added detail, consider specifying beaded tongue and groove boards.
Vinyl Wall panels
Some suppliers use a shiny white panel as the wall lining in their garden office, this comes in large sheets and is jointed vertically every 1.2m (4ft) or so, some suppliers add a cover strip over this joint which protrudes slightly from the wall. This finish creates a light bright room which is practical as it can be easily washed down.
Many contemporary garden offices are finished internally with plywood. High quality plywood is used (not the stuff used for garden office sheathing) and it is waxed or lacquered to bring out the beauty of the grain. The finish of this type of internal lining is made by its hidden fixings and the neatness of the joints between panels. Plywood creates a crisp modern feel but at the same time the wood is warm and inviting.
Many garden office suppliers now offer a fully plastered garden room interior which gives the garden office the same feel as any room in your house. Plasterboard has many benefits in garden office design as it has good thermal and acoustic insulation properties and is fire retardant. You need to be careful when reading specifications, some suppliers line their garden offices with plasterboard and then paint it leaving the vertical joints visible, others tape and fill the joints between the boards and then paint whilst the best finish is achieved if the plasterboard is skimmed with plaster and then decorated – so be clear what your supplier is specifying.
Vinyl Coated Plasterboard
A few suppliers specify vinyl coated plasterboard for the walls and ceiling of their garden offices, this product comprises of plasterboard as described above coated with a vinyl film, this film is subtly coloured and slightly textured and is easy to clean if marked. You will have seen this type of product in the ceilings of commercial office buildings fitted in grid work frames.
White lacquered panels are popular in modern garden offices, they are normally fitted in small panels such as 50mmx 100mm with a small joint between each panel, and they take skill to install so that the fixings aren’t visible. This type of interior lining creates a modern light room.
MDF can be used as a lining for garden offices, it is a very hardwearing material and in its natural state is a beige/brown colour, and it takes paint well so you can create whatever look you want.
We have described metal garden offices in other areas of this guide, but they are made up of a sandwich of steel sheets and rigid insulation, one side forms the exterior cladding, the other side the internal lining. Metal linings are normally powder coated to give a long lasting, hardwearing painted finish.
When it’s completed a garden office is a blank canvas for you to make your mark on, you may decide to make a statement with a feature wall of wallpaper but most people opt for a painted finish. The paints you use in your house are all suitable for use in a garden office but as garden office construction is one of the most environmentally friendly building methods its worth considering completing the job with eco friendly paint. Eco paint is free from volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are normally found in paints, they are kinder to the environment and are considered to create a healthier environment for us, they come in a wide range of colours and many of the leading brands now offer eco friendly paints.
In the next part of this guide we look at garden office electrics.