Guide to the best Garden Room books

What is a garden room we hear you cry? And no it is not a conservatory… A garden room is basically a fully insulated, double glazed, electrically wired building that is usually made from wood and usually built freestanding (i.e. not connected to the house like a conservatory) in your garden. Whilst garden room is the Lazy Susan preferred description, they are also known as garden offices, studios, huts, garden buildings, log cabins or outbuildings but essentially they are all the same thing. Whilst a garden room can be attached to the house rather like a conservatory they are most often stand alone buildings situated in the back garden. Garden rooms are usually constructed like a European timber frame house and as such they come with house quality doors, windows etc. There are endless possible uses for a garden room such as a home office, music studio, design studio, playroom, games room, home gym or teenagers den. And depending on location, a garden room often doesn’t need planning permission, they come in a wide variety of styles, from modern to traditional, are quick to install and are a much more cost effective solution than a conventional brick built extension. So in our recent tradition of showcasing the best garden books, Lazy Susan have compiled a list of some of the best garden room books…

Shed Chic: Outdoor Buildings for Work, Rest, and Play
by Sally Coulthard

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Hardback – Released 28/04/09

The whimsical. Like a treehouse, everyone is enchanted by the idea of having a garden room – one’s very own private retreat. Whether a room of one’s own for quiet, much needed “personal” time away from the family, a hobbyist’s den, or an extra play space for the children, these picturesque structures can accommodate any purpose. The garden room – that charming cottage-like outbuilding – is coming into its own, and this detailed and wonderfully illustrated guide will inspire anyone interested in adding a shed to their home or redecorating an existing one with its vast array of design ideas. Whether you want a personal getaway, a studio for creative endeavors, a home office, or a traditional potting shed, this book is sure to inspire with details about planning, building, and decorating sheds. Included are a series of sample cases highlighting the multiple uses possible along with wonderful interior and exterior photographs. A must read – there are loads of beautiful images and wonderful ideas and tips that will inspire you! As a home office, guest quarters, or a grown-up tree house, a shed can provide much more than tool storage…this new book offers plenty of inspiration if you’re thinking of adding to, or reinventing, your property. Sally Coulthard studied at Oxford University and now specializes in property restoration, salvage, and eco-living. She writes regularly for leading publications including Country Living, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Independent.

Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations
by Debra Prinzing & William Wright

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Hardback – Released 29/04/08

Virginia Woolf was right… Women – and men, it turns out – yearn for a room of their own. But instead of a little nook beneath the eaves, that room is now a shed. Today’s sheds, however, are not dusty shelters for plants and tools. Lace curtains have replaced cobwebs, charming antiques stand where shovels and rakes once rusted, and instead of corrugated walls, you will find cedar shingles and window boxes. Sheds are stylish and elegant and offer a hassle-free and affordable way to create more space without undergoing a major renovation. They function as artists’ studios, writers’ retreats, yoga dens, entertaining pavilions, children’s playhouses, garden rooms, or serene hideaways for any personal pursuit. In Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, Debra Prinzing and William Wright showcase twenty-eight innovative and beautifully imagined spaces from New York City to East Hampton, from Seattle to San Diego, and from Atlanta to Austin to Santa Cruz. Some are elaborate and luxurious; others are delightfully modest. They are built in urban gardens and suburban backyards and tucked away on rural properties. Stunning, lush color photography graces Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, bringing the reader into each space and face-to-face with all its nooks, crannies, and details; the text describes how the owners’ needs and interests inspired the shed practically and aesthetically. With sample plans for building a shed, advice on the practicalities of designing and decorating it, and thoughts from backyard philosophers who celebrate the appeal and possibilities of simple structures, Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways is both an inspiration for creating your own backyard destination and an armchair journey to some of the country’s most private and serene places. Debra Prinzing is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Cottage Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Gardening, Sunset, and other magazines. She lectures frequently on garden and design topics. She lives in Los Angeles. William Wright is an architectural and interior design photographer and a regular contributor to many shelter magazines, including Old House Interiors, Romantic Homes, and Sunset. He lives in Seattle.

Smith & Hawken Garden Structures
by Linda Joan Smith

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Hardback – Released 21/09/00

Marrying inspiration with the nitty-gritty of design, materials and methods. Garden Structures covers all the different ways to create a framework on which a garden flows. Beginning with the very idea that makes a garden a garden – enclosure – and its expression as a fence or wall, through the most elaborate of structures, including greenhouses, decks, and pavilions, the ten chapters in this book celebrate the ways that gardening and building are linked. A chinoiserie trellis, herb beds edged in wattling, brick arches dripping with honeysuckle, flagstone walkways – this is how we carve our unique niche in the world’s vastness. Illustrating the book are more than 300 color photographs plus instructional line drawings that shows how structures are integrated into a garden, offer a range of possibilities, and help the gardener carry out the most involved plans. Structural elements are important assets that help to create a garden’s distinctive ambience. Fences enclose; gates invite; walls delineate; paths lead the way. Smith addresses these themes, together with all sorts of decorative embellishments and architectural necessities that should be considered when planning a garden, or thinking about making changes to enhance an existing space. The encouraging text looks at design issues from many perspectives, offering countless possibilities and solutions spanning a range of styles. How-to features present illustrated construction tips and explain technical principles, while the abundant, beautiful photography will have readers pondering the addition of a metal obelisk for the roses, or a sensational pebble mosaic for a sequestered patio. A handsome resource guide for sophisticated gardens. What separates the special garden from an ordinary one is not only what we plant in it, but also how we shape it. Build a wall with stone. Raise a trellis for the roses. Edge the herb bed with wattling. Be ambitious and erect an arbor for afternoon tea. Each of these is a garden structure-an element that has the power to define a garden’s mood, guide its uses, anchor it in time, and deepen its meaning. Equal parts wish book and how-to, Garden Structures marries inspiration with the nitty-gritty of design, materials, and methods to help every gardener create and carry out plans that will transform dirt, plants, and dreams into an outdoor home. Illustrated with over 200 exquisite color photographs and instructional line drawings, Garden Structures ranges from the simplest to the most involved ways to create a framework on which a garden grows. Here are structures to define boundaries: gates, fences, walls, edgings. Structures that give a garden lift: trellises, arbors, pergolas. Structures, such as paths and walkways, that shape the garden underfoot. And structures for living: patios, decks, terraces, greenhouses. Complementing each section are dozens of sidebars, from “Bamboo Barriers” to “What to Plant Between the Cracks” to “The Osage Orange” and “Paving Particulars.”

The Garden Room: Bringing Nature Indoors
by Ivan Terestchenko

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Paperback – Released 01/03/99

Whether it’s a sun-filled breakfast room, a charming potting shed, or a rose-covered gazebo, The Garden Room celebrates the happy union of indoors and outdoors, where house and garden merge. Featuring a variety of rooms full of comfortable furniture, striking combinations of colors and textures, and cherished family treasures, drawings, and photographs, The Garden Room inspires us to build our own spaces of delight, where we can while away the hours reading, relaxing, dining, and entertaining, surrounded by the sights, scents, and sounds of the garden. With more than 250 full-color photographs and evocative watercolors, a wealth of insightful decorating tips, witty gardening lore, and revealing anecdotes, The Garden Room highlights the joys of bringing nature into our homes. Like any place that has known great happiness, a slight nostalgia pervades the stone house in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills, where Nancy Cardozo lived with her husband, Russell Cowles, until his death in 1978. For twenty-five years they lived and worked in creative harmony, she writing, he painting. They reconvened from separate studios for quiet lunches–talk was reserved for dinner–and walks down to the stream or up the nearby hill to pick blueberries. “We ate in the shade of the arbor and danced under the starry skylight of the studio,” Nancy wrote in Creature to Creature, a collaborative work of poems and sketches. Though Russell died many years ago, the house today still suggests his presence–his crisp landscape paintings decorate the walls, and his photograph adorns the bedroom. Wistfulness flickers and vanishes as Nancy speaks of the past, and the atmosphere of the property, depending on the clouds overhead and the wafting of warm breezes, ranges from melancholic to romantic to euphoric, like the restored stone silo, open to the sky: on gray days it towers to the heavens like a medieval ruin; on sunny days it’s a fairy-tale leaf-strewn changing area for the nearby pool.

Conservatory Style: Garden Rooms, Glasshouses, and Sunrooms
by Jackum Brown

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Hardback – Released 20/02/07

Born out of the heritage of structures first imagined by and constructed for the British aristocracy, the contemporary conservatory represents the ultimate in traditional elegance married to informal comfort. With or without plants and flowers, they come in every conceivable size and shape-square, oblong, octagonal, or whatever your pleasure. The conservatory adds a treasured space to any home and makes a strong statement of individual style. The conservatories surveyed here play a rich architectural role through the use of classic detailing or sophisticated modern materials. Some are based on graceful Victorian antecedents while others are modernist sculptures of glass and steel. The evocative photographs in the book survey the spectrum of styles and interior design-everything from a Zen-inspired glass perch where the landscape outside becomes the room to a casual lounging area enclosed by a virtual jungle canopy. Specific chapters focus on decorating and accessorizing and demystify difficult decisions (color schemes, floor materials, and controlling natural light). Recent advances in weatherproofing, glass engineering, flooring, lighting, and zoned heating and cooling are covered. Also included is an A-to-Z glossary of recommended plants plus a directory of manufacturers and suppliers.

Garden Room Style
by Peter Marston

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Hardback – Released 14/09/98

With elements from both indoors and out, a garden room serves as a link between house and garden. No longer limited to the Victorian-style sun room, these glassed-in spaces can be kitchens or dining rooms, studios, small studies or garden retreats, even entire homes-in short, virtually any area that receives plenty of natural light. Starting with background information on the evolution of glass rooms and the basic elements of the style, the book examines each variation on the successful garden room. Chapters cover the effect of the garden outside, color, entertaining, wicker, and other furniture, pools and fountains, antiques and statuary. The more technical considerations of wall and floor finishes, heating and lighting, rugs and blinds-and of course, planting under glass-are all discussed in detail for a well-considered room. Filled with inspiring color photographs of relaxed interiors, Garden Room Style is a sumptuous guide and idea book for everyone who has a sunny, light-filled haven-and is a vivid wish book for readers planning for the future. Most of us don’t have the wherewithal to create conservatories and sunrooms on the extravagant scale of the ones documented here, but even those who are just looking to spruce up a little porch or carry the outdoors feel into living and dining areas will find plenty of inspiration in the lush color photos that fill this gorgeous volume. Text is minimal, providing only a very general overview of design considerations and no real specifics about the plants themselves. For a more instructional approach, you’ll have to look elsewhere, but for a visual feast to get the creative juices flowing, this is a delight. Peter Marston founded the company that is now Marston & Langinger in 1972 to revive the art of building fine conservatories. The company has expanded to include the production of garden room furnishings.

Studio Spaces: Projects, Inspiration and Ideas for Your Creative
by Better Homes & Gardens

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Paperback – Released 27/12/11

The most recent book we’ve purchased and with our economy still in a slump, handmade isn’t going anywhere, so it really was a fascinating read… In the online and print crafting worlds, craft and art studios and workspaces are extremely popular topics—and storage and organization is a perennially hot topic. Combining the two brings together the best of both worlds in a collection of inspiration, how-to, projects, and sneak peeks into the studios of favorite designers. With a unique combination of designer studios, inspiration, helpful projects, and creative how-to, you’ll find clever and helpful ideas to corral your crafting supplies, update your creative spaces, and spend more time creating and less time combating clutter. You’ll get an inside look at the studios of top designers and crafters. Dozens of projects to help contain, organize, and manage craft supplies and stash. Dozens of inspirational stories on studio and workspace organization. Countless clever and unique tips and tricks for wrangling clutter and getting the most out of the space you have, freeing up time for more creativity. No matter what your craft or experience, Studio Spaces offers the inspiration and ideas you need to better organize and decorate your home studio and let the creativity flow. Whether you prefer pretty or practical, we have a studio space that will inspire you! Better Homes and Gardens® Studio Spaces showcases hundreds of organizing and DIY tips that will keep you focused on making what you love. Get a glimpse into the places where six of the most talented quilters, fabric artists, crafters, and scrapbookers create, plus find out what inspires them. Learn how to turn boring and chaotic work spaces into organized and inspirational studios. Conquer clutter and bring order to your supplies with can-do projects for sprucing up your space. “Often I’m inspired to make something pretty for my home or for my friends. I just create things that I want to surround me.” – We love crafts at Better Homes and Gardens®! We’ve gathered the most creative ideas for making over your studio space. Whether your studio is a shared corner in an office or an entire bedroom turned into a craft room, see how we transform spaces with fresh accents, pretty designs, and clean looks. Make It Yours shares innovative ways to declutter, add whimsy, and include personal touches. Big, beautiful photographs show how flea market finds can provide unique storage ideas. Quick and easy tips sprinkled throughout zoom in on details to show you how they’re created. Tips for setting up and refreshing studio spaces provide makeover inspiration. DIY tips and projects help personalize your studio… After all, it’s about the joy of creating and the pleasure you find in your crafting!

Garden Rooms: Create and Decorate Outdoor Garden Spaces
by Catriona Tudor Erler & Linda Bellamy

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Paperback – Released 01/02/99

1999 was a great year for garden room books… Thresholds, doorways, paths, gazebos, and ponds are means to create outdoor rooms, and Erler shows how to use this outdoor space to promote peace and comfort. Catriona Tudor Erler is an internationally recognized garden writer, photographer, and speaker. She is the author of seven garden books as well as numerous articles for publications such as Architectural Digest and Southern Accents. Her photographs have been published in books, magazines, and newspapers in both the United States and Great Britain. She also specializes in adapting British gardening books for American audiences, editing them to reflect the American vernacular, climate zones, and plant selections. Catriona gardens with her husband and twin sons in Vienna, Virginia. A former resident of San Diego, California, she has extensive gardening experience on both coasts of the United States, including growing in tropical and subtropical regions.

The Decorated Garden Room: Interior Design for Your Outside Living Space
by Tessa Evelegh & Debbie Patterson

Guide to the best Garden Room books

Format: Paperback – Released 01/05/96

The first book on practical decoration for the outdoor room – beautiful, inspirational effects to transform any terrace or garden. Includes over 300 stunning, specially commissioned photographs, step-by-step practical projects for walls and floors, pots and plants, furniture, decorations, and embellishments. A guide to all of the traditional home decorating elements which demonstrates how the same principles can be applied to an outside space. The Decorated Garden Room is an inspirational foray through the beauties of the old, worn and commonplace brought together in beautiful harmony and mingled with flowers. It is food for the spirit, a lovely adventure in masterful photography. The project ideas presented are anywhere from simple to moderately labor-intensive, but in my opinion the main value of the book lies in its inspirational value. It is a real motivator for those who wish to live surrounded by beauty, but lack the vast sums necessary to create palatial gardens. The style is whimsical and eclectic, appealing to children as well as adults. I highly recommend this book as a starting point for gathering decorating ideas, both for the interior and the garden. Those with an interest in English, cottage and country gardens, and those who enjoy unusual outdoor family projects will enjoy this book.

About Lazy Susan

About Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan is a small family business that specialise exclusively in wicker, rattan and metal garden furniture, specifically cast aluminium. Visit to find out more and view our complete product range.

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