Above: Inspiration at H&M Home
If there's one thing I look for hopefully every time we move house, it's a place that has a garden room, shed or some sort of outbuilding (I'm talking warm and weatherproof, not old metal bicycle store!) We've got a conservatory in our current place, which is nice, but until recently it's just been my work area - which basically means it's packed full of old craft stuff I don't use anymore, and is usually a total mess. I've been having a pre-Autumn clear out though, which means I'm going to be making it a bit less work-y and a bit more home-y - I'm thinking somewhere bright and airy in the summer, and cosy in the winter. I've been trawling Pinterest and my favourite online shops for inspiration, and have come up with five easy tips to make the perfect garden room - so if you're creating a similar space read on!
1. Invest in a good building
If you're planning on using your shed or garden room on a daily basis, all year round, it makes sense to spend a little bit more on a well-made building; Lidget Compton have spent over thirty-five years perfecting the art of the outbuilding, and offer a wide range of options when it comes to garden rooms. Everything is customisable, from the size and roof height, to the finish; choose from brick, stone, texture or even timber-effect cladding for anyone who's looking for a more rustic-style retreat. Best of all, Lidget buildings are double-glazed and designed to be maintenance free, which means no sanding, treating or painting. Hurrah!
2. Choose comfortable furniture
A garden room should be somewhere you can relax, so it's important that any furniture not only looks good, but is also practical; opt for comfortable seating with plenty of cushions, and some shelves and baskets for easy storage. If you're on a budget, try local charity shops, eBay or Gumtree for second-hand bargains, or check out any house-clearances - if you're into vintage, these are usually a goldmine for great chairs, plant pots and even lamps. Better for the environment, too!
3. Add pile of cosy blankets
I think about blankets the way my friends think about shoes; you can never have too many. If you're going to have a shed, conservatory or garden room, you're going to need blankets - no matter how well insulated it is, it's going to be nippy in winter, and even the summer evenings get chilly. The ones above are from The Future Kept, who have pretty much the best selection of blankets in the world - pile them high in the corner, then cosy up on a chilly evening with a great book or some knitting or crochet. Heaven.
4. Include a good selection of books (or magazines!)
Because what could possibly be better than losing an afternoon surrounded by the outdoors, settled on a comfortable chair with a great book?! (I've got a big post on Autumn reading coming up next week - I've spent ages browsing Persephone Books lately!)
5. Don't forget the plants
Merge the outside with the inside by adding loads of plants to your garden room; if you're not great with keeping them alive, cacti and succulents are a brilliant option - they require almost no care - and spider plants are pretty hardy as well. Trailing plants like string of pearls or string of hearts are great for weaving along the top of shelves or hanging in a macrame planter, and a pilea plant is always a nice addition to any room (I've just found a great one, after years of looking!) Try Botany Shop or Geo-Fleur online, if you can't find anything local (be prepared to have a seriously long lust list after looking at their websites, though!)
Many thanks to Lidget Compton for collaborating on this post.