Eight splendid garden rooms for work and play
An enticing green space is an alluring place in which to work – and there’s no commute
Garden rooms can provide a unique perspective on that lush green haven.
BEST IN CLASS: GARDEN ROOMS
Best in Class 1
Dorset-based Plankbridge creates some of the most beguiling escapes you can install in a garden. It has taken the concept of a traditional shepherd’s hut and luxed it up without losing any of the charm of these basic structures. This one (pictured), the Snug, is based on traditional builds and comes in a choice of tin or wood cladding, nine Farrow & Ball paint colours and an unfurnished or fully-fitted interior.
The basic model is just 1.9m (6.2ft) wide, big enough to take a standard mattress. This 12ft long, double-door designed abode, pictured, has solid oak windows and sheeps’ wool insulation and costs from €28,000, ex delivery. Plankbridge.com
Best in Class 2
This steel orangery looks like it has been in situ for ever and is something that you might stumble upon in the gone-to-seed grounds of a big country pile. The shape of these particular windows is very much in tune with the industrial look favoured by contemporary homes, but offers a fresh take on the square glass pane option that has become almost too popular.
Chapelizod-based craft workers Lambstongue can fabricate something similar from about €1.485 per sq m for the steel window element of this structure. But you will also need to factor in timber doors and a roof structure into your build costs. The Stecca chair (pictured) by Alban Le Henry for Italian firm Colos, can be used indoors and outside and costs €158, ex delivery. Lambstongue.ie
Best in Class 3
A simple timber structure can form the bones of a very charming garden room especially if you steal a leaf from Rita Koenig’s style book and use natural textures to create a very simple but effective canopy.
Pictured is a terrace she designed as the country house of Deborah Needleman and Jacob Weisberg’s in Garrison, upstate New York. Anyone with a small balcony or terrace can achieve the same effect using rattan beach mats, the kind you buy when on low-fi holidays in Greece or Goa, for the awning and installing bench seating on one side to accommodate additional guests who might casually drop by.
Ikea’s Vasteron metal bench, €25, in punchy orange is another option. Add some Lacko metal chairs, €20 each, also Ikea, and a smart but not too crisp linen tablecloth and you have a readymade sense of occasion for the simplest repast. Ritakonig.com; Ikea.com/ie/en/
Best in Class 4
The orangery has come of age, thanks to this contemporary design by UK-based Caulfield Company, a conservatory supply and installation firm that fabricates unapologetically modern structures.
With its inset lantern roof light this design translates well into modern architectural settings. The Askent roof is triple-glazed and the slim frame Ciro glass doors create a curtain-wall effect that has the functionality of sliding doors. These are available in heights of up to 6m and widths of up to 4m. These systems start from about €17,345 while prices for the orangerie start from €29,000. Caulfieldcompany.co.uk
Best in Class 5
The Victorians captured the art of growing plants indoors and this Victorian design conservatory by Vale Garden Houses is ideal for the greenfingered.
It has passion flowers and jasmine growing in profusion across the roof. The design also features widened windowsills that provide proper-sized platforms for plant pots. Prices start from about €46,500. A rug underfoot, takes soft indoor textures outside. Amazon has a good range with its Fab Hab Lhasa, an orange and violet melange that works inside and out. Measuring 120cm by 180cm it costs about €71, ex delivery. Valegardenhouses.com; amazon.co.uk
Best in Class 6
A garden room can be put to more practical uses like a home office, a teenage study room, a gym or an escape space for harried parents. Finglas-based Garden Rooms build each construction to order and spend much design time locating it so it feels part of the existing space.
Personalisation options include size, format, glass formation, app controlled heating, internal decoration, home cinema package and colour trims. This 25sq m Cube is situated in a Glasnevin garden and has a separate toilet, air conditioning and a home cinema set-up.
Its construction had a lead-time of 10 weeks and was built in 14 days. Prices start from €25, 000. This one (pictured) cost €43,000. Gardenrooms.ie
Best in Class 7
Create your own temporary sense of theatre with a dramatic use of fabric to create a stage within the greenery.
Here the new collection by Jean Paul Gaultier for French fabric house Lelievre is suspended to create curtains, showing, left to right: Escale natural, €124 per metre; Regard bleu, €138 per metre; Escale marine, €123 per metre and Regard or, €138 per metre. It comes with battery-operated fairy lights atop so dusk will not drive you indoors. This is a temporary abode that children would love to try at home. Lelievreparis.com/en
Best in Class 8
Former Accenture manager Dan O’Brien set up Lidan Designs with his golf buddy, joiner Liam Casey, to cater for homeowners looking for a room to call their own away from the main house.
Stress is a big factor among their clients, says O’Brien who has been asked to create quiet spaces for those who want to work from home. Lidan’s garden rooms are clad in cedar, which you can allow weather to grey or maintain its russet tones using a stainable oil. They have an airtight design that gives them an impressive A-rating.
The structures can be built in any size, starting from 12sq m, which costs €16,500. A larger, 28sq m size costs €37,500. While these prices are ex-VAT the rooms fall under the home improvement scheme which allow you to claim the VAT back. The rooms are portable and moveable with many craned into position, where access allows. Where access is restricted the panels are designed to click together, thus reducing the build time to one week. Lidandesigns.com