Picture: Clare Arran; Alamy
Having recently read an article in the Telegraph on-line, looking at how famous people over the years have found haven in their garden sheds, it seemed a perfect subject timed with the launch of our new website. I have spent the last 5 years with Lasita designing our ranges to fit the UK market, and having worked from home for a good proportion of my life, the subject is quite close to my heart.
From Bill Oddie, to George Bernard Shaw, it seems I am in very good company when I slope off down to my garden shed to do a days work! Although my garden shed has evolved over the years, as it had when Virginia Wolf revamped her shed to write her novels. Sadly she also wrote her suicide note to her husband in her garden shed, before drowning herself in the River Ouse.
I for one have no intention of writing a suicide note, having just been through the slog of cancer, and my chemo and radiotherapy treatment concluded, I found my garden shed therapeutic, a place where I both spent time working and relaxing. I designed my garden retreat, (a little bit more grand than the average shed) with the help of Lasita, and wanted something to show my customers, as well to replace a less than robust draughty summerhouse that stood in its place. I wanted something that had a dual function. I wanted to have a desk in there, and also a sofa to lounge on, but on the outside I wanted a decking area with some nice relaxing sound of water too maybe. I am a big BBQ buff, but our wonderful English weather never allows me to cook come rain or shine. So we designed a seating area that was sheltered where I could BBQ to my hearts content, and part of the decking was over a very tiny pond with a small water feature. Very peaceful.
Sometimes it is nice to have a space to work or do a hobby that is not cluttering up your home, where you can take yourself off into your back garden, listening to the birds on route, and smelling that smell of fresh cut grass. There is somehow some sense of calm and serenity. Then start a days work, in an atmosphere conducive to something akin to a holiday.
These days the garden shed has taken on even greater meaning as many people like me, lucky enough to work from home, or looking for a hobby room, studio, games room, hideaway, or somewhere to let the kids get out from under your feet, have opted to invest in a garden sanctuary. The selection of off the shelf DIY models that are available are quite incredible, or like me design your own to fit exactly what you really need. The garden shed is not now just something to be used to store tools and the mower in, and can be used all year round, with proper insulation and a small heater they are so very cosy. I wish in mine, I had bought a bed settee instead of a sofa.
Sarah Beeney another shed advocate who has judged Cuprinol’s Shed of the Year competition for over six years, said “With square footage costing so much, a shed is a brilliant inexpensive way of adding some space to your home,” and I have to agree, for very little outlay, my Log Cabin/Garden Shed/Summerhouse, whatever you deem to call it has given me some sanctuary these last few months.