14 Glorious Garden Rooms and Outbuildings

Garden rooms are a great way for you add charm, useful space and an extra appeal to your home’s plot. Here, Rebecca Foster discusses her top examples to inspire your outbuilding plans
Rebecca Foster
by Rebecca Foster
15th October 2022

Garden rooms can add a characterful addition to your home and its surroundings whilst offering multiple uses and functions.

Perhaps you may have started working from home post-pandemic and discovered your lack of quiet space, or maybe you’re in need of another bedroom to accommodate guests.

Garden rooms can offer you this space should you need it, and help you maximise the plot of your home in a creative and interesting way. It’ll also add to your house’s value should you ever decide to sell as they make an attractive addition to a property.

From beautiful oak frame structures to sleek contemporary studios, this hand-picked selection of projects show how a well-designed outbuilding can make the most of your space.

1. Multi-Purpose Timber Frame Statement

This outbuilding serves multiple uses, working as as a pottery studio, home office and entertaining space.

The bespoke timber frame structure is lined both inside and out in birchwood ply whilst the exterior has been painted black to create a design statement.

Grey Griffiths timber frame garden room

Photo: Adam Scott

Overhead glazing and a span of bifold doors ensure the interior is flooded with light all year round. This garden room was designed by Grey Griffiths Architects.

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Building with Timber Frame

2. Striking Oak Frame Outbuilding

This oak frame detached garden room was designed and built by Oakwrights.

Multi-use oak frame garden room by Oakwrights

The bays of the oak skeleton help divide the space into various zones, including a kitchenette, study and living area.

The vaulted ceiling provides a clean backdrop for the exposed rafters and trusses, making them the main focal point of this striking outbuilding.

Looking for oak frame inspiration? Take a look at these amazing oak frame projects

3. Compact Timber Frame Creation

Designed by RISE Design Studio, this timber garden office provides a quiet place to work, separate from the main house.

RISE Design Studio garden room

Photo: Jack Hobhouse

Inside, bespoke built-in plywood joinery has been incorporated to maximise every nook and cranny.

The corner window makes a sleek statement to the build whilst inviting plenty of sunlight in at multiple angles, ensuring the space doesn’t ever feel dark or cramped.

Read More: 12 Amazing Glazing Ideas for your Home

4. Industrial Inspired Studio

This timber frame garden studio has replaced an old garden shed.

Spanning the full width of the garden, the structure is clad in corrugated metal that will weather beautifully over time.

Amos Goldreich industrial style garden room

Photo: Ollie Hammick

Designed by Amos Goldreich Architects and constructed by London Garden Studios, this finishing material was chosen to complement nearby workshops and other industrial buildings in the area, and makes a sophisticated addition to this garden space.

Looking for garden room and outbuilding suppliers? Take a look at Build It’s Directory of established products and companies


There’s plenty of reasons why erecting a standalone garden room will enhance your property.

However, before charging ahead with your project, it’s important to check what permissions you’ll need to get in place first.

Providing your garden outbuilding falls into specific criteria in terms of its size, height and location within your outdoor space, it should be covered by Permitted Development.

However, formal consent will be required if your property is situated within a designated zone, such as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) or conservation area. If you plan on incorporating any standout design details or exterior finishes, it’s always worth checking with the local council first or obtaining a certificate of lawful development for peace of mind.

Typically, garden rooms measuring up to 30m2 are exempt from Building Regulations – unless you have plans to use your new space as sleeping accommodation separate from the main house.

Read More: How to Get Planning Permission in the Countryside

5. Brick and Block Guest Suite

Planning permission was required for this garden studio, as the property is in a conservation area.

Constructed by Parkwood Builders, the brick and block outbuilding at the end of this garden provides supplementary accommodation for when guests come to stay.

Parkwood Builders garden bedroom with bifold doors

It features a green roof, which helps it blend into the rest of the garden when viewed from the upper levels of the house.

6. Oak Frame Garden Room Retreat

Designed as a living area and artist’s studio, this oak frame outbuilding serves as a tranquil retreat away from the main house, surrounded by long grasses and trees.

Featuring clay roof tiles and redwood feather edge weatherboarding, the structure nestles beautifully into its scenic rural setting.

oak frame outbuilding with clay roof tiles and large glazing by Border Oak

Floor-to-ceiling fixed windows have been positioned next to a glazed French door to establish a wall of glass, with a glazed gable above for extra wow factor. This project was delivered by oak specialists Border Oak.

Read More: Specifying the Right Glazed Doors for your Home Project

7. Contemporary Construction

Designed by Fab Architects, structural insulated panels (SIPs) were chosen as the construction method for this quirky outbuilding complete with statement arched window.

Due to the lightweight nature of the structure, it sits atop ground screws rather than conventional concrete foundations.

Fab Architects garden room constructed with structural insulated panels

Photo: Matt Townsend

Planning permission was required for this project, but was a necessary space for the family as it now functions as a home office, rehearsal space and entertaining area.

8. Reclaimed Wash House

Designed by MW Architects, this studio replaces a derelict wash house.

Bricks from the original building were salvaged and reused to form the new structure, which makes up an office/reading room and a WC/shower. The project was completed under permitted development.

MW Architects garden room made with recycled bricks

Photo: French + Tye

Just starting out with your project? Read our guide to Buying Building Materials: Quantities, Quality & Lead Times

9. Oak Frame Pavilion

A unique oak frame pavilion design and build such as this from Oakwrights provides the perfect setting to relax in or entertain friends and family, whatever the weather.

oak frame garden pavillion by Oakwrights

10. Bespoke Pool House

A pool room from Redwood Stone Folly & Garden is the height of home luxury. This bespoke Gothic stone design brings a striking and heritage-style statement to this garden.

gothic design pool room

11. A Simple Statement

Turn your shed into an extra living space by injecting some design flair. This shed has benefited from a fresh lick of paint from the Cuprinol Garden Shades range, which is suitable for wood, terracotta, brick and stone – great for fences, too.

garden shed painted blue with Cuprinol Garden Shades range

12. Contemporary Pergola

Able to close up or be open to the garden, this versatile aluminium pergola has automatic windproof sun screens and glass sliding doors. The design can be freestanding or fitted to existing walls.Alumium extension

13. Minimalist Garden Office

Designed by architects Surman Weston, this home workspace is lined with birch plywood inside, while outside an innovative cork cladding creates a thermally and acoustically efficient external barrier 

cork cladding garden office room

Photo: Wai Ming Ng

14. Shepherd Hut Accomodation

Shepherd Huts are popular additions to offer guests a rustic stay. This design by Blackdown Shepherd Huts features horizontal timber cladding and pale green fenestration

Shepherd's hut in timber cladding

Photo: Ben Carpenter

This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated with new content in October 2022

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