Home: Garden studios help many space-starved households.
Flexible backyard studios are proving a popular choice for families looking to spread their wings, writes CHELSEA CLARK
We could all do with some extra space. Whether it’s a home office, chill-out zone for the kids (or parents), a music room, art studio or just a private space away from the hustle and bustle of the main house, sometimes accommodating these spaces in a renovation just isn’t possible. Enter the backyard studio. The rise and rise of the backyard room tells the story of homeowners who love where they live and are future-proofing their homes rather than looking elsewhere for more space.
They might want to expand their floor space without compromising their main abode or just need some extra multi-use storage space away from the house.
The concept of creating extra space in the backyard isn’t new — granny flats have been around for years.
But with council permissions getting more complicated — and expensive — many are now choosing to accommodate adult children or elderly parents in the house and installing a prefabricated backyard studio to make extra space for living or a home office.
“Backyard space is becoming more popular because it is a great way to expand a family’s living space,” says Tony Atkinson from specialist studio builder In Outside. “Often an extra room is needed in houses, especially if a new baby arrives or an elderly relation moves in.
“It tends to be the office that has to go so putting that office in its own dedicated space in the backyard appeals to many.”
More manufacturers are now in the business of prefab backyard studios, so even if your outdoor space is small, you may still be able to find the room to install one. Aside from the obvious chill-out zone or home office, backyard studios are useful in a number of situations.
“From man caves, she-sheds and traditional workshops to ever-popular pool side cabanas, the different usages that we hear about from our clients are many and varied,” says John Chesterfield from the garden room company Melwood.
However the main use continues to be a home office.
Jason Fremder from Harwyn, which manufactures a range of architecturally designed prefab pods, says creative industries especially have a lot of people working from home offices.
“Some of our clients are video editors, musicians, lawyers, consultants, accountants or design professionals,” he says.
As most prefab designs by these companies are portable, taking your office with you if you move house is simple.
See: inoutside.com.au; harwyn.com.au; and melwood.com.au