Create your own garden studio – for business or pleasure

From the Italian ‘studere’ (to study), the word ‘studio’ implies determined intent. Whether you have decided to set up a dedicated workspace in your garden or are aiming to create a high-quality haven of wellbeing, you are sure to reap the benefits of careful planning and research. In our blog, we explore some of the endless possibilities for a garden studio and provide some pointers on how to navigate the process of bringing your vision to life.


Garden Studios to fire your imagination

Perhaps your ambitions turn to a bespoke workplace that you can call your own provided essential separation from domestic concerns. Or maybe you have always wanted a peaceful retreat where you can indulge in hobbies undisturbed. Setting up a dedicated building in your garden opens doors to a realm of possibilities. Imagine stepping out from your back door and being able to instantly access a world of creativity, tranquillity, and productivity? Much more than simply a place to sit and relax, a garden studio enables endeavour and dedicated effort that will help you to fulfil your dreams, whether they are professional or personal. A garden studio can serve multiple purposes from a serene retreat to an artist’s haven and from a functional workspace to a blossoming business.

Here are a just a few ideas that might resonate with you:

  • Art studio: use the space to paint, draw, sculpt without creating a mess indoors.
  • Home office: create a tranquil workspace away from household distractions if you are working from home or self-employed.
  • Yoga or meditation: design a suitably serene environment for daily practice and the development of mindfulness.
  • Reading: whether you are studying to enhance your skills or reading for pleasure, a garden studio provides the perfect peaceful base.
  • Writing: a cosy nook with a comfortable chair overlooking the garden could sow the seeds of inspiration for that novel you always planned to write. You might like our blog on how to create a summerhouse writing hut.
  • Music room: use your garden studio as a special place for playing musical instruments, composing your own tunes, or listening to your favourite tracks.
  • Workshop: a garden studio provides the perfect venue for all types of crafting. Why not set up your own mini ‘Repair Shop’?
  • Fitness space: equip your garden studio with exercise equipment such as a rowing machine, weights, a stationary bicycle, or elliptical trainer for a convenient workout area. For the inside track, read our fitness studio
  • Hobby room: create the space to store all the kit you need for photography, sewing or model-making and you can return to work in progress when time allows.
  • Workout or dance studio: with a big enough footprint, your garden building could accommodate sufficient space to move. Use a trampoline rebounder for dancing on the spot!
  • Library or bookshop: create a mini library in your garden with comfortable seating and your own personal book collection. Use it is as a base for your neighbours swap their favourites reads or sell pre-loved volumes to raise money for charity.
  • Therapy or counselling office: a garden studio can provide a comfortable space to welcome your clients.
  • Games room: kit out your studio with board games, video game consoles and other entertainment options to create a party house in your garden.
  • Tea or coffee house: create a cosy entertaining space and invite friends over for morning coffee or a luxurious afternoon tea.
  • Home cinema: set up a comfortable seating arrangement around a projector to enjoy your favourite big-screen movies.
  • Classroom: use your garden studio to host workshops, TED-style talks, or u3a meetings to provide educational sessions on a range of topics of interest to your local community.

Creating a garden studio – your questions answered.

Can you build a studio in your garden?

The popularity of garden buildings and summerhouses has increased significantly over the last five years with home-working on the rise, better connectivity, and an improvement in the quality of building materials. Constructing a garden studio that complements your property brings many benefits as well as adding potential value to your home and increasing its future saleability.

Before you start, draw up a plan of your garden and map out the footprint of your proposed garden studio space. Assess your plan against the checklist below:

  • Do you have a clear, flat space on which you can construct a firm and solid base?
  • One the building is in place, how close will it be to your neighbour’s fence, and the boundary of your property?
  • Will your garden studio border the front of the house or the road?
  • Can you keep the area around and above your garden studio clear from overhanging branches and encroaching foliage?

How big can a garden studio be without requiring planning permission?

A garden studio that does not exceed 15 sq. m is generally regarded as permitted development and would not require planning permission. This reduces to 10 sq. m if the building will be 20m or more from your main dwelling. The building should not take up more than 50 per cent of your total outdoor space.

In most areas of the UK, the restrictions below apply to permitted development, but we always advise checking the local rules where you are.

A garden studio should be:

  • located more than 2m from the boundary of your property with a roof no higher than 3m (flat or single-pitched roof) and 4m (dual-pitched roof)
  • located less than 2m from the boundary of your property and the maximum height of the eaves is 2.5m
  • situated at least 5m from the house (or is less than 10 cubic metres in size)
  • not located at the front or to the side of your house and not overlooking a road or footpath.

Can I run a business in my garden room?

Across the UK, thousands of individuals are self-employed from home, and a garden studio creates an ideal business base. Before you set up shop, check the planning restrictions in your area as these may vary.

It is also important to check with your mortgage lender or landlord before engaging in any commercial activity from your home. You will need to formalise your activities for legal and tax reasons whether you are operating as a sole trader, partnership, or limited company. Seek advice from the Charity Commission if you plan to raise funds for worthy causes from your garden studio base.

Check whether your income is likely to exceed the annual threshold for VAT or business rates. And make sure you have the right insurance in place to protect yourself, your clients, and your property. Seek professional advice before setting up a garden studio business.

It is always wise to keep your neighbours informed and keep the impact on them to a minimum. Once you have all the checks and balances in place, there is no reason why your plans should not come to fruition.

How can I add a touch of luxury to my garden studio?

Maximise the enjoyment of your garden studio by creating a luxurious haven at the heart of your home. Below we explore the features and key design elements that will help you to design a luxury garden studio of which you can be proud.

Natural light: make sure your garden studio has plenty of windows facing the most attractive view. Check the position of the sun before you decide on your garden studio’s location so can bask in its rays as often as possible. Scotts’ garden buildings offer plain glazing options or decorative leaded glass. All our standard summerhouse models are designed with glazing on at least three sides.

High quality materials:

Invest in a solid foundation and high-quality construction materials to ensure the durability and longevity of your garden studio. Scotts uses a sustainable hardwood called Red Grandis for the exterior of its garden buildings. This exceptionally durable material is crafted with expertise to provide long-lasting protection from the elements. Roof materials are important too and Scotts’ high-quality options include natural cedar shingle or composite moulded glass fibre options that will protect your garden studio for decades. Choose energy efficient windows and doors that fit perfectly preventing unwanted draughts.

Technology: extend mains power and connectivity to your garden studio and you will be instantly in business. Incorporate state-of-the-art features such as an integrated sound system, smart lighting controls and high-speed internet. Consider installing a projector or large screen TV. Always reach out to a qualified electrician so that installations are compliant and safe. Read more for details on how to install electric power in your garden building.

Lighting: with mains electricity, you can enhance the atmosphere of your garden studio through the judicious suitable lighting. Incorporate a range of options based on ambient, task and accent lighting. Add dimmable LEDs, chandeliers that make a statement, or space-saving wall sconces. We have already explored lighting options for all seasons.

Heating and cooling: to create a truly luxurious garden studio, incorporate a climate control system to maintain a comfortable temperature all year round. Consider adding underfloor heating which saves space while enhancing your comfort levels. Air conditioning will help you to keep cool during the summer.

Furniture and decor: select high quality, comfortable furnishings that complement the design aesthetic of your garden studio. Invest in bespoke pieces (your local auction house can reveal a treasure trove). Choose bespoke feature items such as a luxurious sofa, ergonomic desk, or artisanal coffee table. Personalise your space with luxurious décor including cosy rugs and throws, original artworks, and natural materials that create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

workshop garden studioStorage and organisation: your garden studio should be convenient and easy to use so think about what you will need to store and how much space you will require. Add wall-mounted shelving where possible to free up floor space or add a bespoke storage unit or extra cupboard.

Design and layout: do not simply plump for the first structure you see; take advice from the design team at your chosen garden studio supplier about the type of building that will complement your property. Will you prefer a more modern style or a classic design to blend with a period house? Scotts’ specialist design team can even help you to achieve a bespoke design that maximises space, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. When considering the layout of your garden studio, think about how you plan to use the space and how much storage you will need. If you plan to invite clients in, make sure you incorporate external access.

Landscaping and exterior: the situation of your garden studio will enhance your pleasure as you return to it day after day. Keep the garden around your studio tidy and well-managed, and prune bushes and trees to prevent damage from pests and overhanging vegetation. Create an enticing pathway from your house to the studio that is lined with interesting plants to create visual appeal. Consider evergreen hedges that will always look smart. Conduct regular maintenance around the outside of your garden studio so it is always looking its best. Consider employing a handyman or gardener to keep on top of the housekeeping so you can focus on your core garden studio activities.

Bespoke experience: Scotts’ bespoke garden studios can deliver any aspect of luxury that your imagination can generate. You can choose from any size, shape or colour of garden studio and complement it with additional luxuries such as a wood-burning stove, reinforced floor, or glazed roof.

A garden studio for your home

garden studio for your homeWith plenty to think about, you might be wondering where to start on your journey to creating the perfect luxury garden studio. Do your research and engage with a reputable supplier that has extensive experience and can demonstrate knowledge and expertise. Scotts has been in the business of creating beautifully designed wooden structures for over 100 years.

Trust our team to guide you and bring your garden studio dreams to life. Contact us online or call 01832 732366.

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