A garden room is a great way to give your home a new lease of life. If you’re craving extra space at home and have the ability and budget to extend out into your garden, go for it! A stunning outdoor room can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home, providing a tranquil bolt hole from day-to-day life. It also has the potential to add value to your property.
Our guide on how to choose the ideal garden room or garden office, showcases a variety of beautiful spaces that will inspire you, and with the help of a designer, you’ll be able to create your dream garden room, complete with a streamlined layout perfectly suited to your space and everyday living needs.
Do you dream of owning an ultra-modern glass box conservatory bathed in natural light with panoramic garden views? Or do you imagine an open-plan kitchen-diner orangery; a seamless extension that blends in with your home with doors that open out onto an elegant patio?
Whichever garden room you choose, make it a space you’ll love being in all year round by keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter with the best heating, ventilation and blinds you can afford, based on your garden rooms orientation.
Pinoleum roof blinds are a great choice for sunny south-facing garden rooms as they filter out 70% of sunlight. They’ll also complement a rustic decorating scheme as they’re made from tightly-woven pine reeds.
When it comes to furnishing your outdoor room, really consider the look you want to achieve. Rattan and wooden conservatory furniture, and floral-print textiles create an informal feel, which is perfectly suited to country-style garden rooms. In a contemporary glass box conservatory, minimal furniture such as a simple hi-gloss dining set, is best, and lets the garden view beyond be the main focus.
An extra room looking on to the garden is a traditional choice for many country homes. Painted hardwood is popular and has benefits over other materials such as aluminium. Hardwood will last for years with little more maintenance than repainting.
Contemporary conservatory designs can work well even for period houses. Glass with solar properties reflect internally produced heat back into a room and make the most of the suns rays. Glass box structures can be used to link two buildings together without detracting from original architectural details.
Box design conservatory
A conservatory that opens out from the kitchen must be planned with care. A high-level of built-in task lighting for the roof or ceiling is vital to ensure there is little heat loss or gain. In large, open-plan spaces consider using appliances with a low noise level as sound is magnified in a glazed area with a hard-tiled floor.
An orangery is more substantial than a conservatory. It is usually made of brick or masonry to match the existing property, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a lantern-style roof. Orangeries are the perfect solution for kitchen/diners so you will need to plan how to use the space from the start.
Glass Houses by Jeremy Uglow
Verandas blur the boundary between house and garden, offering an ideal space to explore the outdoor area while remaining sheltered from the weather. Verandas are adaptable and can cover a patio, door area, pathway or walkway.
Keeping a glass room warm in winter and cool in summer is a priority if you are to use it all year round. Pinoleum roof blinds are a popular option for shade. Made from tightly-woven pine reeds, they will filter out around 70% of sunlight. Underfloor heating maintains a comfortable year-round temperature. Plumbed-in systems are cheap to run and give subtle warmth. You can fit electric mat systems to existing floors.
Marston & Langinger
This is a popular style for homes with limited space. A lean-to is particulary common for period terraces as they make the most of the space at the side of a house. A lean-to style conservatory is often a good idea when the main house has a complex or non-symmetrical roofline, as it doesn’t confuse the outline any further. Take advantage of the ‘side return’ space at the back of a Victorian or Edwardian terraced house to create a long, narrow lean-to style conservatory. Small-scale structures with a floor area of under 30 square metres are usually exempt from building regulations.
Vale Garden Houses
A modern glasshouse can be used as an extension to a house or as a detached garden room, providing a bolt hole from day-to-day life. This open-plan conservatory living/diner is bathed in natural light by the floor-to-ceiling windows and glass roof. An aluminium structure might be specified where the weight is an issue. As it is light and very strong, spans can be longer and will support bigger glass panels.
Try creating an outdoor room by trailing vines over a canopy on a terrace. Here, a pretty dining room, complete with impromtu porthole window, provides plenty of shelter from the sun. Green crockery mirrors the greenery of the foliage.
In this kitchen extension, a high, pitched glass roof allows in plenty of light, while generous double doors offer a view of the garden beyond. When incorporating lots of glass into a design, make sure you allow for plenty of ventilation, to keep the room cool during warmer months.
Pastel-coloured bunting, a floral tablecloth and simple furniture lends this pretty garden room an elegant, country atmosphere. Wicker is a country favourite and is a practical choice for a dining chair, as it can be easily wiped clean.
A wall of glass doors allows plenty of light as well as a generous view of the garden. Rattan furniture creates an informal feel, while a potted palm hints at colonial style. Laying flagstones inside as well as out helps unite the two spaces, especially when the doors are opened.
In this modern garden room extension, large bi-folding doors create a streamlined approach to the garden beyond, while a matching floor treatment adds continuity. A wood-burning stove and cosy throws mean that the room can be enjoyed in all seasons.
Small and simple is the mantra behind this garden room, with neutral walls and floors and a plain glass dining set ensuring that the garden beyond is the star of the show. Round tables inside and out create a sense of unity between the two spaces.
Statement furniture, such as a limewashed, scrubbed oak dining table, will add wow factor and an elegant, rustic feel to a garden room. Team it with lightweight chairs to prevent it from becoming overdominant. Simple white crockery and linen napkins and place mats are all the setting a table like this needs.
This simple extension creates a spacious dining room and allows plenty of light, plus a great view of the garden. Reclaimed wooden chairs from churches or schools are a great way to inject a bit of history into a new-build extension.
Painted wooden furniture and a neutral colour scheme keeps the look light and bright in this small garden room. French-style chairs and formal ornaments conjure up images of Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Trianon at Versailles. A vintage chandelier makes an opulent finishing touch.
Wooden flooring, indoor planting and a soothing colour scheme make this rustic garden room a perfect sanctuary. There are nods to India in the elephant-print upholstery fabric and the green sideboard with tarnished copper basin makes for an intriguing focal point.