What is a garden room?

31st October 2022
Estimated reading time 6 minutes

Garden rooms are so much more than a ‘posh shed’. They are an increasingly popular addition for homes wishing to extend their living areas and add a little luxury to their outdoor space.

A garden room is a stand-alone, well-built room that’s insulated against the elements and designed for the purpose for which it is intended. They are used all year round, so quality of materials and extras such as adequate heating and lighting are an essential part of the build.

They are designed for a specific function, like a garden office, or used as a multifunctional space tailored to suit the needs of all the family. 

What are garden rooms used for?

At Thames Valley Landscapes we’ve been building high quality garden rooms for several years. We find them being used for a wide range of purposes, most commonly:


As the trend for working from home continues, setting up an office in a spare corner of the home soon becomes an inadequate long-term solution. By adding a small garden office, you can easily have a quiet space equipped with everything a modern workplace needs. 

A garden office also benefits those who are self-employed or setting up their own business. From tranquil beauty rooms, to photography studios, or an office with storage for stock to run an online shop, we’ve built bespoke spaces to suit.

Having separation between an office and home environment helps to define the boundaries between work and leisure. Working is easier when not having to compete with a busy home, and downtime more relaxed when you can shut the office door and switch off.


We’ve also seen more people taking to the garden to pursue interests and hobbies. Not only does a garden room provide valuable extra space, but the proximity to nature inspires creativity.  

a)  Garden Studio

As any keen hobbyist, artist or crafter is aware, it’s very easy to accumulate more ‘stuff’ over the years. But it soon gets to the point when the spare bedroom, or dining room table is no longer big enough.  That’s when it makes sense to think about a dedicated garden studio with sufficient storage for your things, electricity for tools, natural light for close work and workspace to spread out and create. You could even include a sink for cleaning brushes.

Artwork on easel in artists garden studio

b)  Garden Retreat

Families with kids know that as they grow, they’re more likely to want their own space. Creating a garden den, games room or garden cinema room provides them with the privacy they crave, and you the peace of mind that they’re somewhere safe and protected.

c)  Pool Room

Pool rooms complete with showers and changing rooms are another great idea for garden rooms. If you’re the lucky owner of an outdoor pool this could be just what you need to keep your home free from wet feet and soggy towels, with somewhere convenient for family and guests to change and chill after a dip.


Having somewhere to keep fit and exercise just moments from your backdoor is another popular use for a garden room. The convenience of having a fully equipped garden gym within easy reach is a great motivator for actually using it. While placing a Yoga or Pilates garden room in the heart of natural surroundings is perfect for inducing the desired feelings of calm and relaxation.

The benefits of a garden room

While garden rooms may be viewed as a luxury item, in many cases they are an essential and cost-effective solution to the need for altering your home. And with good reason:

  • Most garden rooms don’t need planning permission as they fall under permitted development rules. (However, it’s always a good idea to check with your local authority planning department first.)
  • A garden room can be up and running in as little as a couple of weeks – compared to several weeks of building work should you choose to extend or convert parts of your home.
  • You don’t get the noise, dust and inconvenience of builders in your home as you would with an extension. Allowing you to keep home life as uninterrupted as possible.
  • The footprint of your garden room could be larger than that you’d achieve with an extension or loft conversion.
  • A garden room is a desirable feature that adds value to your home when the time comes to sell.
  • You get a private space with the peace and quiet needed to work, relax or create.
  • With a bespoke design your garden room, office, studio or gym is built exactly how you want it with everything you need within easy reach.  
  • Garden rooms are often a cheaper alternative to adding a conservatory, building an extension or converting a loft or garage. 

What’s the difference between a garden room and a shed?

A common misconception is to think of a garden room as a shed.  Or to try and convert a shed into something like a garden office. While it’s true both are standalone outbuildings, a garden room is a much more substantial building more akin to a room in your house.

Compared to a shed, a garden room is:

  • Watertight, insulated and heated so it can be used comfortably all year round.
  • Designed for ‘living in’ rather than for ‘storage’ with electricity, Wifi, toilets, showers and additional security as needed.
  • Built with high quality materials to ensure longevity and low maintenance. From cladding to roofing, windows and doors everything is carefully chosen to ensure a sound structure and premium finish.
  • A stylish addition to you garden designed to enhance your lifestyle and integrate beautifully with your outside space.

What’s the difference between a garden room and a conservatory?

A conservatory is sometimes confused with a garden room. After all, with all those windows it can feel more connected to the garden than other rooms in the house.

However, there is a difference between the two:

  • A conservatory is attached to your home, whereas a garden room stands detached from the house.
  • A garden room is unlikely to require planning permission (please check with your local authority first).
  • Conservatories can be notoriously hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Whereas a properly insulated garden room is designed to control heat loss and retention to keep a nice even temperature throughout the year.

At Thames Valley Landscapes our custom built garden rooms are full of clever features and designed with premium materials for a luxury finish. 

If you’re interested in finding how a garden room can benefit your home please get in touch or visit our garden room pages.

Simply call us on 01628 629720 or send us an enquiry via our website or email ask@tvlandscapes.co.uk

What is a garden room?

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