Are you starting to outgrow your home? Are you desperate for a private space where you can pursue your interests without constant interruption? Stylish garden retreats could be the perfect solution!

When we think about garden buildings, our first thought might be a small, damp and dark shed. Handy for storage, but far from a delightful extra room where everyone wants to hang out. So, let’s crank up the creativity and rethink what a purpose-built garden room could become.

Man Caves and Lady Lairs; the New Garden Retreats

In a recent BBC2 programme, ‘Your Home Made Perfect’, episode 8 featured a couple who wanted more space to enjoy their interests. The project had come to a standstill, as each had opposing ideas.

Rather than a home extension, the man was looking for a workshop for working on bikes with his son, a car parking space and a place to play the drums; a man cave. His wife wanted a calm sanctuary to practice yoga and to run a bereavement counselling business; a lady lair.

Two architects were called in to solve the problem. They took time to explore the available space and to really understand what both the husband and wife needed. The architects translated their interpretation of the needs into a functional and highly desirable garden building, in place of the existing garage.

The winning garden room design was a wooden-clad building, which was set at an angle to make the most of the plot and natural light. The front section was light, airy and heated, providing a calm lady lair. A side door led into a spacious workshop garage at the rear. This man cave provided sufficient space for drum practice, bike maintenance and storage.

A far cry from a shed, this multi-purpose family retreat clearly illustrated what can be achieved if you branch out from conventional ideas about garden buildings.

If you have been inspired by a programme, Pinterest board, magazine article or neighbour, you don’t need an architect. As specialists in the design and build of bespoke garden buildings, Handmade Hideaways can deliver unique ideas, professional craftsmanship and full project management.

Is a Garden Building Better than a Home Extension?

If your home is feeling a little cramped, the first thought is often to extend. There is no doubt that increasing the footprint of a home can provide additional rooms, but could a garden building be a better solution?

Escape to the Garden Retreats

The first reason why Handmade Hideaways believes that a Garden Retreat could be better is that it provides an escape. Step out of the house and into a new environment.

Your garden room can be tech-free, providing a much-needed digital detox. It could be a space where you can work on a project without having to clear everything away before dinner is served. It can allow you to enjoy your passion without disturbing others in the home. It could even be a treehouse!

Let your Imagination Run Wild

Within the home, each room has to work together. The spaces generally serve a specific purpose and unless they are carried throughout the home, radical ideas would jar and look out of place.

In a garden building, anything goes! There is no set blueprint. The retreat can be adaptable and built to suit your quirky and wild ideas. We shared a few less conventional suggestions in our previous garden buildings blog.

The Flow of the Home

Sometimes adding an extension to the rear of your home can make the footprint very long and narrow. The home can start to feel like a corridor. There can be a particular issue in terrace houses, where light is lost from central rooms as the building expands. With separate garden buildings, there is no compromise on natural light and the existing flow of the home.

Planning Permission for Garden Buildings

There are height restrictions and guidance on the position of garden buildings, but if they are not being used as a separate residence, planning permission is not usually required. This can make it easier to achieve your vision, than an extension. When designing a retreat, Handmade Hideaways designs with regulations in mind, minimising the need for planning permission.

Bespoke Garden Building Company

If you love the idea of a man cave or lady lair and would like to find out what’s possible in your garden, contact Evan at Handmade Hideaways on 07786 070318. He can arrange a site visit and get the conversation started.