Garden Rooms: The 2012 Shed of the Year Awards!

Garden Rooms News: This week has seen the results of the prestigious Shed of The Year Award announced. The winner was John Plumridge from Shrewsbury, who has spent four long years converting his shed into his very own pub. Called The Woodhenge Pub, this garden shed pub is home to an astonishing 500 different real ale bottled varieties, 110 ciders and even a few spirits.
The Shed of the Year Award saw 2000 entries this year, from the weird to the wonderful. There was a whole host of fantastic creations, including Britain’s smallest working post office, an eco-friendly solar shed and even one that paid tribute to Dr Who’s Tardis. Although The Woodhenge Pub won overall best in the competition, there were several categories including garden office, ecofriendly, summerhouse, unique, garden studio, pub, tardis and normal garden shed.

The judging panel included the founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox, property expert Sarah Beeny, author Neil Gaiman, self-proclaimed ‘Sheddie’ and author of Shedworking Alex Johnson, as well as 2011 winner Jon Earl. The judging panel has witnessed tougher competition year on year, as garden rooms and garden studios become ever more popular.

Perhaps surprisingly, individuals in London submitted the most shed entries to the competition. London offered 63 entries, followed by 42 from Kent and 35 from both Lancashire and Essex. This year it was the garden office category which proved the most popular, with more than 125 entries. More and more people are choosing to work from home and avoid long commutes.

Here at Garden Lodges this news got us thinking about all the possibilities there are for garden rooms. Some of the entries for the competition were really inspirational and unique, and yet still completely possible in your own garden, no matter what space you have available. Our bespoke garden studios or garden offices can be designed to fit where required. If you have specific ideas or a specific purpose for your garden room, you can discuss this with the team and they can advise you on the best ways to meet your needs. If you have any questions or if you would like to book a site survey, please contact us


Time for Tennis

Here at Garden Lodges, we’re gearing up for this afternoon’s semifinal at Wimbledon, when Andy Murray takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Directors and several staff members of Garden Lodges come from Glasgow, Murray’s city of birth, so support for him is particularly high here at head office. Although Murray has reached this stage of Wimbledon for the past four years running, it is the first time he has gone into the match as favourite.

Due to play second on Centre Court this afternoon, it is likely that the Friday afternoon rush hour will see more than its fair share of hasty drivers, anxious to get home in time to watch some of the match. How are you planning to enjoy the tennis? Pimms and lemonade accompanied by strawberries and cream is the ideal, preferably sitting in warm sunshine if you can persuade someone to drag the TV outside.


As I write, however, the weather outside the window is looking distinctly unpleasant, rain and wind battering the road and cars. This really is the perfect scenario for which a garden room or garden studio would be ideal. Centre Court has its own invaluable roof these days, but it’s not only the risk of rain which a garden lodge can alleviate. As they can be fully habitable, a garden room can have its own TV, comfortable furniture and even a kitchen area to prepare those strawberries. If you haven’t got tickets for Centre Court, at least you could get out into your garden room to recreate some of the atmosphere. It’s likely that this afternoon, that would even be preferable to the exciting but soggy Murray Mound. Call us today to get your very own garden lodge installed, ready for the rest of the
sport in this exciting Olympic year.


Garden Lodges chosen to build a studio on the London 2012 Olympic site

Greeted by enthusiastic, flag-waving crowds, the Olympic Torch is making its way round Britain as the countdown to the 2012 games continues. Excitement is mounting as the day of the Opening Ceremony draws ever closer. The Olympic Park has undergone a stunning transformation and the entire area has been regenerated into a modern, thriving environment.

Garden Lodges is extremely proud to have been chosen to construct one of the smaller buildings on the Olympic site, one with a very important function. Finished in May this year, the garden studio will be used as part of the overall security operations. After another company was unable to fulfil the contract, Garden Lodges stepped in to save the day.

With a strict time limit of two weeks and difficult working circumstances, including restricted access, the team worked tirelessly to complete the project. The building method used for this garden studio was particularly suited to the constraints involved here, since the panels are constructed in a manufacturing facility in Sandy, with close attention to every detail, and then transported to the site for assembly. The requirement was for full length glass windows all along one elevation, and these were carefully fixed into place after the wall panels had been erected.

This bespoke studio building is perfect for use by the security team on the Olympic site, and has been designed to fit neatly into an existing space between John Lewis and Cisco, blending in neatly with the surroundings. It may not be as big as the Orbit or the Stadium, but it plays an essential part in the successful overall operations of the London 2012 Olympics.


Garden studios inspire artists of all types to perform and create

Garden studios are extremely versatile rooms situated in outdoor environments. Avoiding the constraints of adapting an indoor office or room, having a beautiful outdoor studio can foster creativity and allows you to design and create a fresh open space. Studios are often used as offices, game rooms, gyms, and music or art studios.

Aside from these examples, there are many ways outdoor rooms can be used – the possibilities are endless. Musicians are often inspired by their surroundings. Garden studios allow performers of all levels to perform in a new environment, while continuing to receive the benefits, among other things, of amplified sound and electricity. Music studios are easily set-up within each unit and the garden studios come in a wide variety of sizes to accommodate all styles and types of music as necessary.

Other types of artist, those who wish to have a home gym, or business men and women can all use garden studios to not only find inspiration from the environment around them but escape from the elements of the environment as well. With the unpredictable weather we Brits know all too well, using one of these garden rooms can help serve as an escape from bitter weather, rain or even snow. As weather permits, many studios also have floor to ceiling doors that can be closed and opened to allow in sunlight and warm weather. These outdoor rooms can also include a kitchenette to allow the homeowner, artist or musician to settle into a different area for a period of time. The unit is often thought of as extra space that is useful for both doing creative work and just taking time to relax.

More information on garden studios, rooms, offices and other areas can be found at Garden Lodges. Garden Lodges provides all different types of outdoor rooms – with the capacity to be customised to fit the needs of each client and help create an inspirational oasis for anyone who would benefit. They utilise the newest and most eco-friendly technology to construct each studio and focus on presenting a wonderful range of buildings to satisfy every consumer. Any creative professional would benefit immensely from the joy, comfort and versatility provided by these studios.


UPDATE – Congratulations Craig!

We are very pleased to report that Craig and Lorne have been triumphant in their quest to complete the Caledonian Challenge, walking a gruelling 54 miles in just 24 hours.

Battling terrible weather and undergoing a heroic dash for the end, they finished with just 7 minutes to spare.

The toughest part for them both was reached at 48 miles, but they kept going and have successfully raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

Craig’s final comment? “I will never do it again!”


Craig’s Caledonian Charity Challenge

This Saturday at 7am, while the rest of us are tucked up in bed enjoying a lie-in, Craig McKillop of Garden Lodges, along with his wife Lorne, will be embarking on an epic 54 mile walk in just 24 hours. Craig is part of the Santander team who have entered the 2012 RBS Caledonian Challenge and he has raised hundreds of pounds in sponsorship for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Scottish Community Foundation. The route follows the West Highland Way, beginning north of Fort William and going via famously beautiful landscapes such as Glencoe, before finishing near Loch Lomond. During the 24 hours, Craig will cover a distance greater than the equivalent of two marathons back-to-back, and astonishingly in terms of height will have covered the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis twice! Craig’s day job involves overseeing the operations at Garden Lodges, but in his spare time he enjoys getting even further afield than the gardens which accommodate the lodges and garden rooms which the company builds. The training has involved practice hikes in some of Scotland’s most stunning and rugged areas. “I’m excited,” Craig says, “especially as I’ve been training for what feels like a long time. I hope that thinking about the charities and how the money can be used will keep me going through the hard parts.”


If you are inspired by Craig’s example, how about considering a physical challenge of your own? Craig has been shaping up for six months. Gym visits are an essential part of any training programme, in order to ensure that it isn’t just cardiac fitness which is improved, but that each muscle group is strengthened individually. There are many factors which put people off joining their local gym, including the cost, the time needed (especially if a journey to and from the gym has to be factored in), and the embarrassment and awkwardness of working out in front of strangers – or perhaps worse, friends and colleagues. A perfect solution is to install a personal gym at home. Few of us have the space to squeeze gym machines into one of our current rooms, so garden studios or garden lodges are an ideal way to create your own bespoke gym. Thousands saved on gym memberships, hours saved on commuting to and from the local gym, and blushes saved by working out in the privacy of your own garden room.