What is it about shedworking and creative people? Why have so many authors, artists and musicians found their genius burns hottest in a garden studio?
There’s the isolation a special outdoor space offers the creative soul. It’s a warm, inviting space that’s yours and designed just for you.
Artist Damian Hirst’s many assistants work in a vast studio near Stroud, but he paints alone in a timber studio in Devon. Roald Dahl wrote his best-loved books in a brick-built studio in his garden – telling his children there were wolves in it, to keep them from interrupting him.
Natural light is important for all kinds of creative work, keeping the energy levels up and the eyestrain down. Well-designed roof lights and large windows can make the most of the daylight for your particular workspace all year round.
Some creative cabins are so famous they’re on the tourist trail, like Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse above the bay at Laugharne and sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s summerhouse, now part of her museum in St Ives. Visitors can peer in at the windows to see her comfortable day bed where she took power naps: another way your garden studio can increase your creativity!
Whilst these Sheds of old are undoubtedly charming, none are quite up to the minute in terms of insulation, double glazing, plumbing or security. Happily, custom-built creative studios attend to these matters as part of the package. It may seem boringly down to earth, but a comfortable workspace where you can work all year round without getting chilblains is fundamental to keeping creative juices flowing.
Author Louis de Bernieres has this covered: he wired up his own solar panel, gas bottles, caravan heater and a camping stove to create a homelike garden studio overlooking his vegetable patch. As well as keeping toasty, he still enjoys what he calls “the quintessential smell of sheds”.
Artist Sylvia Antonsen a talented painter, commissioned a timber garden room for her art studio. As her work shows, beach huts and summery outdoors form a theme through her work. Another customer, painter John Harland, creates playful, naïf pieces in his garden studio. Is it the influence of their workspaces?
Perhaps this is the real creative appeal of the outdoor studio. We all know a well-built garden room is economical, secure, quick to install and easy to heat, and that we can incorporate all our special storage, tables, lighting, modern kilns and so on. But even these practical reasons don’t account for so many artists and writers loving them so much.
Property expert Kirstie Allsop loved the garden workroom at her previous London flat for all the predictable reasons – it still adds to the rental value of the property, she says – but her real love for it gives us a clue. “I do miss the charm of my outside room office; it reminded me of the tree houses my father built for us when we were small.”
This is the key to it. A timber garden studio offers serious benefits, but it’s not a serious place to be. It’s a space to play, experiment, remember childhood and invent new worlds. Artists (of every kind) and sheds go together like paint and canvas. A creative cabin is where the magic happens.
Talk with the experts at Garden Affairs to design and create a space for your work, hobby or passion.Get in contact