Shed quarters: how to set up an office in your garden | Working from home

For millions of us, homeworking is here to stay for a while longer at least and some anticipate that they will never return to the office. However, many have struggled to find a satisfactory spot in their home where they can get on with their work undisturbed.

So it’s not surprising that lots of homeowners have been eyeing up their garden as a potential new working environment.

Research by Direct Line’s home insurance arm found that since lockdown began almost 1 million homeworkers have splashed out on a shed or similar outbuilding to use as an office or workspace and a further 1.1 million are planning to do so in the next 12 months.

Companies specialising in shed offices (or “shoffices”) and garden rooms have reported a surge in inquiries and orders. That applies to the mass-market retailers, where the most basic summerhouses start at only a few hundred pounds, all the way up to the high-end players, whose often architecturally striking creations can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

The boom in demand means that some designs are out of stock or you may have to wait several months for a delivery.

So what’s on offer and how much do they cost?

The average “shed worker” spent just over £3,300 on their garden workspace, according to research from the digital bank Starling, carried out a few weeks before lockdown.

The average size of a garden workspace was 65 sq ft (6 sq metres), according to the survey.

There is a vast array of options depending on your budget and aesthetic taste.

Go online and it’s not hard to find small wooden summerhouses for under £500 but something that cheap is only really going to be usable in good weather.

Realistically, you will need to spend a few thousand pounds for something you can comfortably use all year.

At the specialist site Sheds.co.uk, insulated garden rooms and buildings start at £5,694 for a 3×3 metre structure, going up to £9,899 for a 6×4 metre one (these prices include delivery and installation). The walls, floor and roof are fully insulated and the windows are double-glazed.

The Rowlinson 4.2 metre x 3.3 metre garden office log cabin from Sheds.co.uk
The Rowlinson 4.2 metre x 3.3 metre garden office log cabin from Sheds.co.uk. Photograph: Sheds.co.uk

At the log cabin specialist Summer House 24, offices start at about £2,400 but installation, insulation and roofing cover typically cost extra. For example, the 3.2×3.2 metre Nora B log cabin is priced at £2,430 but using its installation service costs an extra £850, while a floor and roof insulation kit is £570 and a roof shingle kit is £180. On its large Hansa log cabin offices costing £14,500, installation alone adds an extra £3,500 to the price.

John Lewis sells garden offices and studios made by Norfolk-based Crane Garden Buildings, including a 3×3 metre one costing £8,499, including installation and delivery. It is made in the UK from FSC-certified Scandinavian redwood, features floor-to-ceiling glass panels and is fully insulated, lined and double-glazed.

What is and isn’t included when you buy

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Small quarters means more attention to kitchen essentials

We’ve been gearing up for our fall RV trip and for the resident cook that means getting the kitchen dialed in.

Take it away, Chef Leslie!

One of the biggest shocks about downsizing from a full kitchen to a tiny setup was the large number of tools I had to leave on the shelf back at home. I thought I couldn’t live without them.

Guess what? I’ve adapted. Less isn’t exactly more, but it’s just fine to streamline what’s in the single cupboard and the lone drawer where the cooking essentials live. These are the tools I can’t do without in our RV.

Cast iron skillet: I’ve worn out plenty of non-stick pots and pans over the years, both cheap and spendy, but when it comes to durability, nothing tops my trusty cast iron skillet. This MVP sears salmon fillets and braises chicken in wine. It’s key in creating fluffy pancakes and eggs fried sunny-side up, crispy around the edges. I’ve even baked cakes in it. Our special bond goes back more than 25 years when I found it at a second-hand shop on the Oregon Coast. Ah, sweet memories.

Staying sharp: There’s a butcher block filled with knives back in my full kitchen, but the go-to slice-and-dicer is an eight-inch chef’s knife, followed by a paring knife. Those are no good, though, unless they’re sharp. Enter the amazing Wüsthof hand-held sharpener. It’s a bit bulky, so it’s tucked under the couch until it’s needed. I take a couple of passes with a dull knife through this affordable gizmo and I’m back in action.

More than a peeler: Speaking of sharp, my trusty vegetable peeler has been drafted into duty far beyond scraping carrots clean. I put it to good use making zoodles, ribbons of veggies like summer squash standing in for noodles. When it shaves Parmesan over a Caesar salad and turns citrus peels into flavor-packed zest, that peeler is almost like a hand-held food processor.

Magnifique coffee press: Someone in our traveling twosome cannot function without the morning caffeine kickstarter, so we invested in a top-notch coffee maker. The Espro P7 has two built-in microfilters to create a smooth cuppa. The double-sided stainless carafe helps keep it hot until that certain somebody’s eyes are wide open and his adventuring spirit wonders: “What trail do you want to explore today?”

Electric kettle: Ever since a long-ago trip to England, we’ve been fans of heating water in a kettle that’s plugged in. Don’t forget to occasionally descale the kettle with a vinegar solution, especially after staying in a place with hard water.

It’s the champ: Absolutely couldn’t be happier than when cooking outdoors on the excellent George Foreman Smokeless Grill. Yes, I love the flavor imparted by charcoal and wood chips, but this grill offers the ability to control the heat. I’ve made neighbors jealous frying bacon, burgers and chops, the savory fragrance perfuming the air. It also puts a pretty char on veggies and has even been pressed into

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Accent Your Living Quarters With Wrought Iron Home and Garden Decor

Wrought iron home and garden décor makes a great accent to any living space. You can find a large selection of items for the kitchen, bath, bedroom, dining, family room, and garden in a wide variety of designs. Wall art is a favorite that brings style to any room.

Dating back to ancient Roman Times, wrought iron started as a functional metal from water pipes to nails and various other mechanical and building needs. Through time, wrought iron has developed into a fine artisanship in ornamental yet highly functioning gates, as seen at Westminster Abbey in London dating back to the 13th-century, and other decorative home and garden décor.

The artisanship that has been around since the European Middle ages has brought decorative wrought iron home and garden décor the rich touches to railings, doors, and furniture, to subtle finishing touches such as cabinet handles, light switch plates, candle holders, wall scones and décor. This metal has many places in history and was once an essential material in numerous products.

Wrought iron in the 20th century is used for primarily for decorative purposes and can definitely add charm, style, and beauty to any home or garden. In the garden or on the patio, wrought iron not only offers great decorative value it also offers the durability needed to withstand Mother Nature's elements. In the home, it adds a rich touch to your home décor from the subtle touches to a café dinning set or a wrought iron baker's rack. Even a simple candleholder can add a touch of class to a dinning room table or as mantle centerpiece.

In the garden or on the patio outside, wrought iron décor can create spaces to a garden such as a quaint and quiet reading spot by simply adding a wrought iron bench. Trellises can section off the area and with some deep gorgeous green ivy growing up the trellis, you will have a little slice of heaven to enjoy a good novel. The patio is a terrific location for a wrought iron garden table with some matching decorative garden patio chairs. Accent your garden chairs with just the perfect hued cushions to bring your patio new life and elegance. This creates yet another completely new new quarter to a home and makes a great place to entertain guest in style while enjoying the fresh air.

A garden path is nicely accented by wrought iron garden rails or fencing accented along the path with a decorative flower pot or two to add the finishing touches. No classy home would be complete without a wrought iron lamppost placed prominently in the front of the home. There are many ways this special metal can add classy charm to any home interior as well.

You cannot go wrong by adding wrought iron home and garden décor to the interior, patio, or garden of your living spaces.

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