Garden pods: discover the all-new outdoor home office

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  • The garden pod is here in all its curvaceous glory. Forget your ship lap she-shed.

    Who wouldn’t want a garden office pod? Sleek, beautiful and inspiring – just imagine the work you would get through! Office pods are the new garden buildings and using one to extend your living space has the advantage of providing a quiet pocket away from the main hubbub of your main home. A role traditionally filled by sheds and summerhouses is now the remit of the outdoor pod – a garden building singled out by its curvaceous, organic form and beautiful finish.

    Pods for the garden come in many forms, from outdoor office to guest bedroom, hobby room, play den, entertainment hub, teenage hangout or simple covered seating. Choose from curvaceous outbuildings in smart timber, organic armadillo-shaped cladded structures or rotating spheres (yes really). Pods for the garden tend not to require planning permission or foundations, which makes them quick to buy and speedy to install.

    Buy with no fittings and either furnish it yourself or use it for storage, or choose an interior scheme to match your requirements. Many garden pods come with a choice of interior fittings to match the function of the pod – or go bespoke for a truly personalised space.

    We take a look at some our favourite outdoor pods.

    Ornate Garden’s Wheel Bench garden pod

    The eye-catching Wheel Bench garden pod is constructed from stainless steel, polycarbonate and two pressure-treated laminated timber rings with a large 80 x 120cm table and two wooden benches at the centre. Seats six.

    The stainless-steel roof reflects heat and provides shade over the water-resistant interior and the whole pod takes up no more room in your back garden than a standard patio set. Two or more Wheel Benches can be joined together to form a run of tables and benches. The Wheel Bench garden pod costs £3,495, but do check as the company sometimes offers ex display models at discounted rates.

    Archipod garden pods

    Red cedar shingles make stars of these gloriously fun garden pods. The Archipod and its pleasingly larger cousin the Fatpod are built to order and make the perfect garden offices. The curved plywood pods have a one-metre polycarbonate roof dome that maximises light and ventilation, a double-glazed stainless-steel porthole window and a top-hinged, gull-wing door. The cedar shingles are available treated or untreated. They are fully insulated and come with heating, lighting and power pre-installed. Electrics include spotlights, panel heater and a data outlet for the connection of phone lines. Concrete foundation blocks are included, but the ground will need to be prepared before installation. Garden Office pods include an ergonomic semi-circular desk. Archipods, from around £15,000; Fatpods, from around £22,800.

    Garden Hideouts garden pods

    Garden Hideouts’ smart garden pods have sleek profiles that will grace any garden. Double glazed and thermally insulated, the outdoor pods are made using top-grade plywood from Finland and the sustainable cedar wood cladding of the exterior can be oiled or left to weather.

    The pods comes with five interior fitting options depending on the function of the pod: Freestyle, Office, Classic, Entertainment, Hobby, Extra Bedroom and Treatment. The decor is by Bayswater Interiors and features tongue-and-groove panelling, hardwearing flooring, upholstered banquette seating that converts to a double bed, plus optional extras including solar panels and outdoor decking. Prices start from £14,950.

    Armadilla garden pods

    Edinburgh-based Armadilla built its first pod prototype in 2009. The company is run by Managing Director Archie Hunter and his designer son Ross and they have made over 500 Armadillas to date. They employ a range of expert craftsmen, including welders and steel fabricators, electricians, plumbers and kitchen assemblers.

    Armadilla pods, it goes without saying, are beautiful. Prices range from £13,150 for the Armadilla Garden Room pod to £32,900 for the all-singing all-dancing residential Xtraroom Deluxe pod. All are moveable, transportable and built for year-round use.

    They feature low-maintenance Siberian larch cladding on a rigid box-section steel chassis. As the pods are regarded as caravans under planning law they are treated as temporary structures that require no planning permission. The pods are delivered fully constructed and, as they need no foundations (they are mounted on four concrete blocks), take only around one hour to install.

    Designed and built in the company’s Edinburgh factory, they include electrics, underfloor heating, controllable ventilation, double glazing and insulation for all-year use in any climate. Choose from a catalogue of readymade internal layouts that can be interchanged or slotted into the core product range.

    They are built in three sizes in a range of colours and finishes inside and out – or go bespoke for that personalised touch. Armadilla designs include the Guest Room, Garden Room, Xtraroom and Essential, Hybrid, Guest, Duo and Executive Offices.

    Farmer’s Cottage Garden Pods at John Lewis

    These fabulous garden pod spheres are the equivalent of a covered lounger and all have circular seating and a round table. The pods can be used for working or study, dining, relaxing and sleepovers and can be rotated to make the most of shade on a hot day or to protect from wind on a chilly one.

    Made from laminated pine with UV protected polycarbonate tinted windows, these outdoor garden pods feature stainless-steel louvres around the windows to help deflect heat, stylish waterproof interiors and timber-clad frames.

    They are available in three core designs: the Seater, the Lounger and the Summer House. Prices start from £7,999 for the Seater rising to £18,995 for the Deluxe Summer House. Stainless-steel upgrades are also available, as is as a Bed Upgrade – lower the adjustable table and add a set of cushion pads for £500 to create a sleeping space.

    The spheres have enough space for seven to 10 guests depending on the model, a front canopy or sliding door to protect from draughts and acrylic windows so you can enjoy all-round views. They feature a reflective stainless-steel cover that keeps the heat inside comfortable. The pod rotates on chromium bearings and a galvanised track that requires a hard-standing base for installation. The Deluxe Summer House can support a power supply, which can power lighting and other appliances.

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