Summerhouse interiors through the decades

Sold on a summerhouse but not sure how to style it up? Every year at Scotts, we discuss ideas with local designers and landscape designers as we prepare to wow the crowds at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This year, we launched our bespoke super-sized summerhouse ‘The Grand’, which was furnished in the Art Deco style of the 1920s to help us celebrate our centenary decade. If you are thinking about creating a holistic design style for your summerhouse but cannot decide on the direction to take, our blog should provide some ideas and inspiration.

You might want to choose a period to focus on that reflects:

  • The time when you were born.
  • The era in which you grew up.
  • A period of history you enjoy.
  • Books and films you love.

Décor through the decades


The Art Nouveau period was known for its organic shapes, curved lines and motifs inspired by nature. The movement inspired flowing and decorative designs in furniture, architecture, and decorative arts. If the earliest years of the 20th century speak to you, choose one of Scotts’ octagonal summerhouse models and you will have plenty of walls to adorn. Our unique bay shelf feature provides the perfect setting to display your objets d’art and is supplied with a diamond leaded window that speaks to the theme.

Art nouveau hero – room divider screen

If you opt for a larger summerhouse model such as the Scotts Sun Ray Garden Room, you could effectively zone the space with an ornate room divider decorated in Art Nouveau style.


The Arts and Crafts movement embraced traditional craftmanship based on romantic, folk, and medieval styles of decoration. Championed by the likes of textile designer and artist William Morris, the movement sought to celebrate the beauty of handmade objects. Morris was a proponent of the belief that items must always be both ‘beautiful and useful’ which is a great guiding principle to follow when choosing your summerhouse décor, helping you to make the most of the space. William Morris’s designs remain popular in the 21st century and are reflected in two of Scotts’ most popular upholstery colourways; Strawberry Thief in Slate/Vellum and Willow Boughs. All of Scotts’ summerhouses are built with the craftsmanship using natural sustainable materials that Morris would have applauded.

Arts & Crafts hero – library table

This simple table topped with leather reflects the shape of an octagonal summerhouse perfect for serving afternoon tea.

summerhouse interior design table


The ever-popular Art Deco style is defined by geometric shapes, sleek lines, and luxurious materials. Exuding elegance, glamour and sophistication, the movement was influenced by Cubism as well as ancient Egyptian and Aztec art. Our exclusive premium garden building, ‘The Grand’ was dressed in the rich jewel colours, opulent textures and sculptural silhouettes made popular by the Art Deco movement. ‘The Grand’ was constructed in a classic octagonal shape and featured a stunning cocktail cabinet centrepiece and spectacular chandelier, with luxurious decorative accents that reflect the period. Furnishings echo the hedonistic ‘Roaring Twenties’ with plush velvet trimmings, sleek silverware, and glamourous feathers.

Art Deco item – cocktail shaker

Create your own party venue in your garden building by setting up a bar themed around a 1920s cocktail shaker.


‘Streamline moderne’ was inspired by aerodynamic deigns and a sense of movement, echoed in the style of ocean liners like Cunard’s Queen Mary, launched in 1936. Embracing the machine aesthetic, it was associated with the rise of industrial design. Add furniture based on metal frames and curved edges. Select a hero piece and accentuate with decorative items in soft subdued colours such as light blue and pale yellow. Choose a summerhouse with a sleek and simple roof style such as Scotts’ moulded composite glass fibre roof that mimics lead or slate.

Streamline modern hero – classic lounge chair

Set up a comfortable seat in your summerhouse and establish a base to read a book, watch the birds and relax with a warming drink.


Emerging after World War II, Mid-Century Modern design focused on simplicity, functionality, and a connection to nature, with clean lines, organic shapes, and the use of new materials such as moulded plywood. For a touch of nostalgia, decorate your summerhouse walls with vintage retro adverts or a stack of Home Front replica food cans.

Mid Century Modern hero – hairpin table

Simplicity is the keynote for a simple multi-functional table that makes a perfect home desk in your garden building.


The Retro and Atomic Age saw a nostalgic revival of earlier styles, complemented by the addition of futuristic elements, bold colours and atomic motifs influenced by space exploration. Paint colours in the 1950s were more vibrant and colourful than ever before with the advent of synthetic pigments making home decorating affordable and accessible to a wider audience. Little Greene’s Canton paint colour epitomises the 1950s aesthetic. To replicate this, choose a Scotts summerhouse in Teal for the perfect 1950s-themed setting.

Retro and Atomic Age hero – radio

Tune in your favourite jazz station on a 1940s-style radio and roll back the years.


The ‘countercultural decade’ of rebellion saw the rise of Pop Art which embraced popular culture and consumerism. Vibrant colours, bold patterns and graphic imagery defined mass produced objects. Theme your summerhouse interior with neon signs and striking artworks such as Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans, or distinctive prints by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Choose bright colours for your soft furnishings. Set up a record player and relive the hedonistic Sixties’ music of The Beatles, The Kinks and The Moody Blues. If you like the volume turned up, select Scotts’ optional insulation and double glazing so you don’t disturb the neighbours.

Pop Art hero – sofa

Install the iconic ‘Marilyn’ or ‘Bocca’ lips sofa and create a bold statement in your garden building.


Disco and Bohemian styles competed for centre stage during the 1970s. Bold, flashy elements with mirrored surfaces and bright colours competed with earthy tones, and natural materials. If you prefer the latter, choose a summerhouse colour in Forest Green, Wood Ash, or Birch, and match it with upholstery reflecting the natural world such as Scotts’ Kielder Natural or Sanderson Jackfruit Olive colourways.

1970s hero – G Plan sideboard

postmodern hero interior

Long and low, the G Plan sideboard would look stunning in a lozenge-shaped Scotts Sun Ray Garden Room. Available at up to 4.4m in size its extensive space lends itself to a showstopper.


Postmodernism challenged rigid rules and combined contemporary design elements with a look back at history seeing Art Deco style return to favour in geometric shapes and strong ornamentation. To recreate an 80s atmosphere in your garden building, install a vintage stereo or hi-fi system, dust off your CD rack, bring back the chintz and add ruffles to everything!

Postmodern hero

Tall and compact with a small footprint, the eclectic Memphis cabinet provides a striking centrepiece for your summerhouse combined with useful storage.


Minimalism reigned in the 1990s as a reaction against the excess of the previous decade, marking a move to clean lines, simple shapes, and a focus on functionality. Create an uncluttered space in your garden building with tongue and groove effect lining on the interior walls. Add a durable floor covering available as an optional extra from Scotts and enjoy the texture of sisal and seagrass underfoot. If you are drawn to 1990s styles, you may prefer our lighter paint finishes in Duck Egg or Putty.

Minimalist hero – Aeron chairminimalist interior design

Herman Miller’s Aeron chair, launched in 1994, provided the ultimate in breathable comfort for computer-users glued to the desks during the dotcom bubble. Design your summerhouse home office around its 21st century descendants.

Back to the future

As each decade inspires innovative design trends and manufacturing technology brought new materials, our interior design choices continue to grow. You might be inspired to create a holistic theme or choose your favourite styles from 100 years of fascinating design evolution.

Scotts’ team is standing by to advise you on the best models, colours and optional additions that will enable you to bring your summerhouse vision to life. Don’t forget we also provide a bespoke summerhouse service and can design and build the size and shape of garden building that will accommodate all your treasures from any age.


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