Making Your Garden Room a Dream – Tips for Designing and Decorating

a garden room at the bottom of a stone path
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Garden rooms are a luxurious addition to any home, offering a calm and peaceful space to relax, work, and entertain guests. Whether you want to use it as a reading nook, a home office, or a summerhouse, designing and decorating your garden room can be a fun and rewarding process.

Garden rooms are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people recognize their potential for transforming outdoor spaces into comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing extensions of the home.

In essence, a garden room is a self-contained structure, often detached, that sits within your garden. While the specifics may vary, they are usually fully insulated, double-glazed, and equipped with power and light, making them usable all year round.

In this article, we’ll take you through some key steps to create a beautiful garden room that’s perfect for you.

The Benefits of a Garden Room

a garden room in the woods
  • Additional living space which can be used for a wide variety of purposes
  • Connection to nature
  • A well-designed garden studio can significantly increase the value of your property.
  • They can provide a dedicated workspace separate from the main living area.
  • They can be designed and personalized to match your specific needs, tastes, and lifestyle.
  • With the right design and materials, garden rooms can be a sustainable and eco-friendly addition to your home.

These are just some of the benefits that a garden room can bring to your home and lifestyle. As we delve deeper into the design and decoration process, we’ll see how these benefits can be maximized to create a room that’s both functional and beautiful.

A skilled garden room designer can transform your outdoor space into a serene retreat, meticulously crafting a harmonious blend of nature and comfort tailored to your personal style and functional needs.

1. Plan Your Garden Room Space

a garden room with pitched roof. There is glazing on one side of the roof and floor to ceiling glazing at the front of the garden room

Before you begin designing or decorating your garden room, it’s essential to consider how much space you have and how you want to use it. Think about the style or theme you’d like to achieve, and how you can incorporate your garden into your design.

Some garden rooms may be small and cozy, while others may be more spacious and open, so it’s important to map out your ideas before you begin. When working with a garden room designer and company specializing in this, your garden will be measured and your new garden room built to your specifications and dimensions.

2. Consider Lighting and Views

a garden room with glazing all around it and a small patio out the front with chairs on to admire the view

Lighting is a crucial aspect of your garden room design, as it can significantly affect the mood and atmosphere of the space. Consider installing plenty of large windows or glass doors to allow natural light into the room, or adding some solar lights to your garden for an eco-friendly touch.

You could also include some beautiful outdoor seating to take advantage of any stunning garden views. Making the most of the natural lighting is perfect for creating an indoor/outdoor feeling.

3. Choose Your Furniture and Decor

a contemporary garden room used as a home office. There is a table and two chairs with laptops on the table

Choosing the right furniture and decor is key to creating a stylish and functional garden room. You could opt for garden-friendly materials like wicker or rattan, and incorporate soft furnishings such as cushions or throws to add comfort and warmth.

Don’t forget to include some greenery in your decor, like potted plants or a beautiful herb garden, to breathe some life into your space.

How you wish to use your garden room will help you determine the style and furniture you may want to incorporate within it. If you are going to use it as a garden office, make sure you add comfortable chairs and a desk. If it is just a place to relax, add sofas, plenty of textures, and soft furnishings, and keep the decor neutral.

You may also like to make your garden room feel like an extension of your main home, incorporating colors, tones, and textures of your family living room or kitchen to create a seamless blend between the two.

4. Storage Solutions

a garden room being used as an office with plenty of desk space and shelving

Proper storage solutions are a must to maintain an organized and clutter-free garden room. Utilize the walls for built-in shelves or cabinets. They offer a lot of storage space without taking up much floor area.

You can customize them to fit your needs and the style of your room. Use furniture that serves more than one purpose. For example, ottomans with storage inside, or a coffee table with drawers or shelves beneath can provide extra space for storing items while also serving as functional furniture.

If you’re using your garden room for plants, consider a vertical garden. Many vertical garden systems come with integrated storage like drawers or shelves, which can be used for storing gardening tools.

The space beneath windows is often underutilized. Installing cabinets or drawers under the window provides extra storage without obstructing the view or natural light.

a desk under a window in a garden office with lots of shelves and panelled walls

Pegboards can be a flexible and creative storage solution. You can hang shelves, bins, and hooks to organize tools, craft supplies, or office items. Plus, it can add a unique perspective to your garden room.

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5. Add Some Personal Touches

a garden room with lots of shelves and plants

One of the joys of designing and decorating your garden room is that you can really make it your own. Consider adding some personal touches, such as family photos, artwork, or decorative accessories.

You could even incorporate your hobbies into your decor, such as gardening tools or a bookshelf filled with your favorite reads or plants.

If you enjoy hands-on projects, consider creating some DIY decor. This could be hand-painted plant pots, homemade candle holders, macrame hangings, or even a piece of furniture you’ve upcycled.

Not only can these pieces add a unique charm, but they also infuse the space with your personal touch.

6. Keep it Low-Maintenance

a garden room with decking out the front

While a garden room can be a delightful space to spruce up, it’s essential to consider maintenance and upkeep. Choosing durable materials and designing a space that’s easy to clean and maintain will help ensure your garden room lasts for years to come.

Consider sustainable and durable options such as bamboo, cork, or reclaimed hardwood for flooring. For a budget-friendly option, consider linoleum, which is made from natural materials and comes in various designs.

You could also consider investing in some outdoor furniture covers or storage solutions to protect your space from the elements.

7. Insulation and Heating/Cooling Options

a large garden room with stone patio and stairs leading down to the garden

The insulation and heating/cooling options for your garden room are essential considerations to ensure year-round comfort. Here’s a brief look at what you might want to consider:

Insulation

Insulation is vital in maintaining the temperature of your garden room. You could use traditional fiberglass or rock wool insulation, or opt for more eco-friendly options like sheep wool or cellulose insulation.

Remember to insulate the floor and roof as well as the walls for optimum thermal efficiency.

Windows are often the weakest point in a building’s thermal envelope. Double or triple-glazed windows can significantly reduce heat transfer, keeping your garden room warm in winter and cool in summer.

Similar to windows, it’s important to install well-insulated doors to prevent heat loss. Opt for doors with good-quality seals to prevent drafts.

a garden room with lots of glass windows, seating areas, plants and a path winding back to a main house

Heating/Cooling Options

For smaller garden rooms, a portable electric heater can be a cost-effective option. However, they may not be the most energy-efficient choice for larger spaces or regular use. If your garden room is well-insulated, a small wood-burning stove can provide an efficient and cozy heat source. 

Underfloor heating provides comfortable, even heat. It can be run on electricity or connected to your home’s central heating system.

Heat pumps are a more sustainable option for both heating and cooling. Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside and use it to heat your garden room. They require electricity to run but are highly efficient.

For warmer climates or the summer months, an air conditioning unit can be a good option. Some units also offer a heating function, providing a year-round solution.

Ceiling fans are a cheaper option and can help circulate air, providing a cooling effect. Some models also have a reverse setting for winter that circulates warm air down from the ceiling.

a garden room with lots of glass windows, a sofa and a path winding back up to the main house

Designing and decorating your garden room can be a fantastic way to enhance your home and bring some extra joy to your life.

By planning your space, choosing the right decorations and furniture, and adding some personal touches, you can create a beautiful garden room that’s both practical and stylish.

How do I choose the right location for my garden room?

Consider sunlight exposure, privacy, the view from inside the room, and the room’s purpose. A spot that gets plenty of natural light is ideal for a studio or office, while a more secluded area might be better for a relaxation nook.

What materials are best for constructing a garden room?

The materials should complement your garden and house while being durable enough to withstand weather conditions. Common choices include wood for a natural look, aluminum or composite materials for minimal maintenance, and glass for maximizing natural light.

How should I decorate my garden room?

Choose a theme that reflects the purpose of the room, whether it’s a serene retreat, a home office, or an entertainment space. Use colors, fabrics, and decorations that create a cohesive look with the garden. Indoor plants can help blur the line between indoors and outdoors.

What kind of furniture works best?

Opt for weather-resistant furniture if the room is not fully enclosed or insulated. For fully equipped garden rooms, choose comfortable and functional pieces that fit the room’s purpose, keeping in mind the space’s exposure to sunlight and the outdoor environment.

How can I create a seamless transition from my home to the garden room?

Use similar or complementary materials and colors for both the garden room and your house. Consistent paving, decking, or landscaping between the two can help create a fluid transition.

Do you need permission to build a garden room?

Whether you need permission to build depends on various factors, including your location, the size and purpose of the structure, and local building regulations. In many cases, garden rooms fall under “permitted development” rights, which allow you to build without needing formal planning permission, subject to certain conditions and limits.

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