Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Potting Sheds/Garden Cottages Become Home Offices/Backyard Studios


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
7 Comments » | Published in Architecture, Landscape Design  |  7 Comments

When you hear “garden shed,” do you picture some faux barn structure like this?


How far Garden Pavilions have fallen since TJ designed this one at Monticello: tf-pav.jpg

Or have they? There is a new trend in backyard structures. Like iconic architect Thomas Jefferson before him, Michael Graves has now jumped on jump-started the pavilion bandwagon. Here is an example of one of his, as built by Lindal Cedar Homes:


By the way, these are expensive as hell, even though they are related to Target somehow.

If the colonial look is for you, the “Original Williamsburg Garden Shed” is perfect:


I’m also partial to the Gardenbelle – the roof and the obelisk on top are a fantastic detail for a modest shed, and the scale really works well:


If those are too traditional for your tastes, there are plenty of modern options out there. Here is one from Sunset with a great accompanying article:

recycled from sunset

Metroshed Pre-fab sheds are simple, modern, and let it tons of light and air. Thanks to Garden Design magazine for turning me on to these:


Obviously, people are using sheds for a lot more than storing the lawn mower. Think about it, if your house is bursting at the seams, perhaps a “backyard studio” (a nice way of saying big shed) is for you. I have one, and it’s so nice to keep my home business away from my home. The trick is to keep them smaller than the size required for a building permit. This one is from The Shed Shop:


Summerwood Products is full of studios from a nostalgic camp cabin to a Bali Tea House. Their designs remind me of follies in English gardens:



If sheds don’t float your boat, perhaps you might like to park an Airstream trailor in the backyard. Whatever floats your boat, remember that a small structure in the backyard can help you find more room for growing seeds or growing your business. The options out there right now have never been better.


airstream photo by Simon Brown for the New York Times

P.S.  Thanks to Kim for letting us know about modern-shed.com, which is full of modern playsheds, dwelling sheds et. al.:


About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. uncle wilco says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 4:00 am (#)

    We are having a shed of the year competition and you will see all shapes of sheds, from TARDIS, to temples to common garden structures.


  2. Becky says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 12:21 pm (#)

    Hey Thanks Uncle Wilco – where can we find out more information about the contest?

  3. Kim says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 12:33 pm (#)

    check out modern-shed.com for some of the coolest “sheds” out there

  4. Sewdough says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 1:46 pm (#)

    I once interned at Mother, an ad agency in LOndon. They had an Airstream in the front of the agency where teams would go to concept and discuss ideas. The rest of the agency was really one big room. There wern’t even cubicles, just one realllly big table where everyone sat at. So the AIrstream in the front was a nice seclusion. They are definitely multi-purpose.

  5. Becky says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 2:50 pm (#)

    Thanks Kim, I think I’ll add that link to the original post.

    Sewdough-That is such a great idea! I think I might have found myself sneaking out there for a nap! Airstreams have such a timeless design. Have you seen the new concept car they have designed? It’s very futuristic looking (it’s in a post of mine from about a week ago, originally posted on mod*mom’s blog).


  6. uncle wilco says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 10:42 pm (#)

    Becky , go to http://www.shedweek.co.uk to find out more…

    thanks wilco

  7. Andy says:

    September 12th, 2008 at 4:03 am (#)

    Anybody know where I can get some plans to build something akin to the Gardenbelle? I really like that octagonal shape and curved roof. Thx, Andy

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