How to choose the ideal garden room

A garden room is a great way to give your home a new lease of life.

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.

Love your garden? Visit the Ideal Home garden shop and check out our curated collection of flowers and shrubs.

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 the room's 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.

Looking for more ways to transform your garden? Be inspired by these gorgeous garden summerhouses and garden buildings.

1/17 Create a classic hardwood conservatory

sloping roof house with garden and grass lawn

(Image credit: Vale Garden Houses)

An extra room looking onto 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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Orangery, Vale Garden Houses

2/17 Go contemporary with a glass box extension

glass box room with grey glass door and round table with chairs

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

Contemporary conservatory designs can work well even for period houses. Glass with solar properties reflects internally-produced heat back into a room and makes the most of the sun's rays. Glass box structures can be used to link two buildings together without detracting from original architectural details.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar glass box conservatory, Trombé

3/17 Build a kitchen-conservatory extension

house with white glass door and table with chairs

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

A conservatory that opens out from the kitchen must be planned with care. It's worth having a thermal comfort analysis carried out and tweak your design accordingly to ensure the space doesn't become too hot it summer or too cold in winter. 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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar conservatory, Malbrook Conservatories

4/17 Add a traditional orangery

room with exposed brick walls and white tiled flooring

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar orangery, Glass Houses

5/17 Nod to colonial style with a veranda

veranda with sloping glass roof tops and garden

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

Verandas blur the boundary between house and garden, offering an ideal space to explore the outdoor area while remaining sheltered from the weather. They are very adaptable and can cover a patio, door area, pathway or walkway.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar veranda, Veranda Living

6/17 Stay at a steady temperature

house with sloping roof tops white tiled flooring and wooden table with chairs

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar Pinoleum blinds, Marston & Langinger

7/17 Maximise on space with a lean-to conservatory

house with exposed brick walls and garden with wooden chairs and plant in pots

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

This is a popular style for homes with limited space. A lean-to is particularly common for period terraces as they make the most of the space at the side of a house. 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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar lean-to conservatory, Vale Garden Houses

8/17 Think big with an aluminium frame

house with sloping roof glass tops and exposed brick walls

(Image credit: Tom Merton, Rachel Whiting, Getty Images)

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-room-diner is bathed in natural light by the floor-to-ceiling windows and glass roof. An aluminium structure might be specified where weight is an issue. As it is light and very strong, spans can be longer and will support bigger glass panels.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar aluminium frame conservatory, Apropos

9/17 Design an outdoor garden room

vine covered garden and table with chairs

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson)

Try creating an outdoor room by trailing vines over a canopy on a terrace. Here, a pretty dining room, complete with impromptu porthole window, provides plenty of shelter from the sun. Green crockery neatly mirrors the greenery of the foliage.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar crockery, Habitat

10/17 Instal opening roof lights

room with wooden flooring and white walls

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson)

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 the warmer months. Here, opening roof lights allow air to flow without having to open the doors.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar dining chairs, Ikea

11/17 Blur outside and in with wall-to-wall glass doors

living room with arm chair with cushions

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson)

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 open.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar wicker chairs, Neptune

12/17 Keep cosy with a stove

living room with white tiled flooring and sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: Paul Graham)

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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar wood-burning stove, UK Stoves

13/17 Keep a clear view of the garden

dining room in garden with round table with chairs

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Dining chairs, The Conran Shop

14/17 Choose an oak table for rustic charm

dining room with oak table and chairs

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson)

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 with plain linen napkins and place mats are all the setting a table like this needs.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar oak table, Rustic Oak

15/17 Create a garden room you can dine in

dining room with white tiled flooring and wooden table with chairs

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson)

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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar reclaimed church chairs, Church Antiques

16/17 Indulge in French fancy

dining room with wooden flooring and round table with chairs

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

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 adds an opulent finishing touch.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar French-style chairs, The French Bedroom Company

17/17 Add intrigue with a striking focal point

living room with plant in pots and window with curtains

(Image credit: Lois Crighton)

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.

Get the look:
Buy now: Similar sideboard, Orchid

Feeling inspired? Which of these garden room ideas appeals to you the most?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.