According to a recent (ok not so recent as blog posts take me a gazillion years to write!) BBC News Feature by Dan Ascher more and more people are taking refuge in the most British of places – the garden shed, with the garden path becoming the daily commute. There I was nodding along in agreement until it mentions the £25-£30K installation costs. Woooooooaaaaah slow down there Danny boy. Say what?? £25k you shitting me??? I am not sure how many people can afford to spend that on a glorified shed and we certainly did not so let me break it down for you.
Your first stop has to be Pinterest. Look up Garden Studio and your mind will be blown. Yes I would love the roof to be filled with succulents and the doors to be double glazed but be realistic whilst also making sure you fall in love with your pimped up shed.
Pinterest is where I create all my heart desires and then I get real. What do I need. What can we afford. MY huge inspiration was the wonderful @deborahvos on Instagram and her beautiful home in Devon. I loved how the black structure sat so beautifully amongst nature. From the second we visited her glorious home I knew the studio had to be black. I mean look at this!!
So we worked out what we needed from the space. Not only a studio for me but given there are six of us and a new way of living with working from home it needs to be shared for school work, zoom meetings and simply somewhere to breathe. I wanted the end result to feel like an extension of the house albeit at the bottom of the garden. To be honest I think it is now better than most of the house!
So Pinterest board bursting at the seams I took to google. HOW MUCH? If you are working to a budget do not even bother to add the word studio, stick to shed. I could not see the wood for the trees in the end. After months of on/off searching there were a few Shed suppliers around the same price point so I sent a few questions to each of them and went with who was friendliest and answered my silly shed questions without making me feel silly.
So the Shed is called the Diplomat Grandmaster Garden Room from Project Timber and we went for the 18x10ft. When we bought it in 2019 it cost a little over £2K so it shows how much these lockdowns have sent prices spiralling as it is now over £4K. They were a brilliant company, delivered when they said and were always available on the chat to answer any questions. One thing I would say is if you can afford to – go for the best windows you can afford. We worked to a budget so have the standard windows which are not that brilliant and the door has always been a shocking fit as no matter how it is hung there is a gaping hole.
We didnt want to put down a tonne of concrete for the base and thank goodness we didn’t because we ended up moving the shed after 18 months! We used some snazzy feet things Mr INPO had seen on Tiktok! Honestly the things that come up on his Tiktok are like nothing you have ever seen!! They cost approx £100. Search Plastic Decking Risers. We got ours from Wickes.
Project Timber recommended Thorndown Paints who sent me a couple of black tins and I have since purchased more for when we did the fencing. It’s such good paint. We used Blackdown Wood Paint. It is a bit pricey at £40 a tin but it coats really well and I have been pleased with the depth of colour as it has aged. Mr INPO since bought some cheap shit which was shocking to paint with and highlighted just how brilliant Thorndown is so I ended up painting over everything he painted!
So the studio was origianally built at the side of the garden with Mr INPOs shed behind it back in 2019. Then last year we realised this stole all the sunshine and space from the garden so we decided to move it. And pimp it up.
Let me break it down for you. Interior costs.
We put down underlay and a laminate flooring from Wickes. £280
All the walls were lined with foam board insulation. £300 – THIS IS A MUST! I thought it would be great for the winter but what has blown my mind is how cool the studio is in the summer. Last year it was a sauna and you could only stand in there for 30 seconds max!
Lined the walls and ceiling in Plywood. 15 1.2m x 2.4m sheets. £375
I painted the inside of the windows with a pale blue All Purpose Paint from Decorating Centre Online that I had left over from another project.
The heater we use is a Klarstein Bornhold Smart Convection Heater. £109.99
We built a huge cupboard to hide everything with sliding doors using the Rothley Ares track from Screwfix. £100
There you have it. A beautiful space to do with whatever your heart desires.
Total cost approx: £3350
Like I said if we had more budget I would have got better windows but that is also something I am sure we can change in the furture? I will chat to experts ODC Door & Glass Systems to see what is possible for the future. I realise I am super dooper lucky to have Mr INPO who is some kind of DIY Whizz because it does cost another couple of grand to have them come and install it and obviously he then did all the work inside too. Let me tell you when we met and got our first flat he could not put a shelf up straight! The man is some kind of machine. I bought him the Readers Digest DIY Manual and boom. So it is all down to me really.
Interior design wise I was over the moon to be able to pick some products from my beloved West Elm which I know you may think whoooooah lucky you and it really is. I am. I know. Everything I have picked for out there are pieces for life. Liberty has already said she is taking the mirror when she moves out one day. She isn’t. As in I will not ever let her leave.
Instead of a desk we picked the Modern Expandable Dining Table which is extendable for when we have huge amounts of people round for dinner but I also needed a really workable area. Desks are often too thin so this is perfect because my screen printing set up can attach to it with ease. I picked white because I wanted the light to bounce around the room so nothing too dark in here. Beautiful Mid century solid wood legs are angled and damn sexy. The fiddle leaf fig is FAUX! How amazing does it look. I have these planters in the house and I love them.
Like I said I wanted the studio to feel like an extension of the home so I picked a rug and I am so happy I did because when it was cold it felt so nice to have the rug underfoot (always bare foot! – Sorry Mum) and the Remy Rug had a hint of colour without being overpowering in the room.
I picked a mirror because eventually I can see me doing little fashion edits out here but I have not really been getting dressed up much lately so that has not happened but also to bounce more light around the studio. I will probably have more to tell you so I will probably end up doing a third blog post!!! I can’t stop shouting about this space because look I have not even started talking about the printing press that is now on WHEELS!! But that is enough for now.
Products Gifted from @westelmuk AD Pr Product