Escape to the garden room
The summer house is the new way to extend your home, says Talib Choudhry
Incessant drilling and groundshaking rumbling is rife in Britain’s cities as urban dwellers extend their homes in the desperate search for more space. There is, however, an alternative to building up or down. Garden rooms are becoming an increasingly popular solution to creating more living space with minimal disruption.
There has been a significant spike in demand for summer houses at John Lewis this year according to the company’s outdoor living buyer Nicola Gidlow.
“In recent years people have begun to use their garden as an extension of their living area rather than viewing it as a separate space,” Gidlow says. “We are finding that more and more people are looking to erect a structure which will allow them to adapt to the changing demands on the family home.”
With more people than ever working from home, Gidlow reports that customers often want to create a versatile, multifunctional space such as an office which can also double up as a gym or relaxation space. Parents are also increasingly finding that their children are returning to the family home after university and garden studios offer a welcome retreat for either generation. If the need arises, they can also be used as an extra bedroom.
“It is often a more affordable solution to increasing square footage than a loft or basement conversion,” Gidlow adds. “It’s nice to be able to sit out in the garden with a cup of tea and a book, and have a moment of tranquillity.”
John Lewis’s bestselling models are produced by the Norfolk-based company Crane Garden Buildings, which has been making sheds, studios and summerhouses for the past 42 years. The latter are generally built from high-grade FSC-certified Scandinavian redwood and topped with cedar shingle-tile roofs. Prices start from £8,000 and Crane will deliver and install, but you will need a ready-prepared base of paving slabs laid on mortar, or a concrete base no less than 4in thick.