Home office

Garden cabins, re-imagined

A beautiful garden office by Garden Affairs is made even more attractive and usable by Bear Interiors

A beautiful garden office by Garden Affairs is made even more attractive and usable by Bear Interiors

A timber garden building is a wonderful addition to your home. Not a dusty shed, you understand, but one of these solid pine, insulated cabins you can use all year round.

Make it an office, a hobby room, a treatment space, a guest suite, a summer house, you name it. Designed and installed by our friends at Garden Affairs in Trowbridge, it’s quicker and less expensive than an extension and will outlast most of us.

I was inspired by the many different styles available, from the most traditional copper-roofed period piece to flat-roofed uber-contemporary. Clever options like sliding doors, combined garden stores and roofed verandah areas make the very most of the space available.

So it was a treat to be asked to design and build furniture for one of these beauties, already in situ in a client’s garden – and even more of a treat to be asked by Garden Affairs to get creative in their office and show buildings.

With the solid construction of the garden rooms, we didn’t have to accommodate any special requirements for the furnishings: most are normal ceiling height, the floors are as solid as in your house, and with treated timber walls there’s no damp or condensation.

What we did need to do was think about how an average family might make use of a garden building. The cabins come in every style, big and small, and all feel surprisingly spacious inside, but thoughtful storage and display will make any size of room calm, multi-functional and pleasant to be in.

Organised storage and a foldaway desk in a garden office

Organised storage and a foldaway desk in a garden office

Built-in furniture designed to fit exactly makes best use of available space, and foldaway elements like the desk above make the room easy to adapt for other uses. Close off your work space and meet clients in a home office, or entertain guests in a room also used for a hobby or craft. (True in your house too, or course, as our custom-built furniture customers will tell you.)

With robust and hard-wearing materials and finishes, these units are built to last and withstand all the use your family can throw at them. I’m loving the exposed ply and clean white laminate in this treatment, but you can choose any style you like.

Our Forest Contracts manufacturing partner combines craftsman standards with CNC factory precision, to make your garden room furniture both bespoke and affordable.

I love imagining a happy garden cabin owner walking down the garden path to their inviting, orderly personal space, with everything ready for them to work, play or relax.

You can visit the Garden Affairs show site at Trowbridge Garden Centre, Wiltshire. If you can’t wait, take a virtual tour – and check out their Bear Interiors sales office furnishings too!

A kitchenette nestles in a built-in module, keeping things tidy and functional in the garden office

A kitchenette nestles in a built-in module, keeping things tidy and functional in the garden office

 

 

 

 

 

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A hard-working home office

A multi-functional custom built home office designed by Bear Interiors

A multi-functional custom built home office designed by Bear Interiors

A good bit of the interior design work we do at Bear Interiors is making space work really hard. However large or small a home, you can always winkle a bit more use out of well-planned rooms. Investment in clever design – and furniture which fits spaces perfectly – really delivers.

And many of our clients have rooms which need to do more than one job: the kitchen which also serves as a reception room, the dining room which needs to double as an office. It’s a rarity for a design to meet just one single brief.

Take our clients who needed a home office. Not only do they want a functional and enjoyable workspace for themselves, but staffing levels in their city centre offices also fluctuate according to projects on the go, and sometimes there’s a need for overspill into their home office. That calls for more deskspace, but also the storage and separation which makes it easy to welcome colleagues into a defined area without falling over domestic bits and bobs.

Home-based working can make family contact easier too – as long as you plan it right. Our clients wanted this office to be an attractive place for their children to come and do homework (on the days when their co-workers weren’t using the desks!) while still maintaining a calm and professional working environment.

The solution is creating several flexible desk areas, served by more storage than you can shake a data-stick at, even using under-desk space to the maximum. The space seems far more generous when you can use it in multiple ways, and an air of order keeps everything ticking over even when multiple users need the space.

I especially like the window seat (below), making practical use of the alcove and, of course, building in more storage. We’ve designed similar solutions to under-stairs space and nooks of every size and shape.

Using every available space for clever storage creates a calm and inviting working area

Using every available space for clever storage creates a calm and inviting working area