If you are a creative type or just work from home regularly, you may want to consider building yourself a garden pod or studio to give yourself a space that is separate from the main dwelling. There are a range of options from the fully custom built to off the shelf designs that can be assembled in a day or two.

Choosing the position of the studio is quite important to the success of the end result. If you choose a space that is constantly shaded, be aware that you will get cold in winter and will need to factor in some sort of heating – think small woodfired combustion stove or simple water heater. However if you put it in direct sunlight, you will most likely be quite hot in summer as a small space will heat up quite quickly. The answer, as always, is compromise. Look for a partly shaded area or position near a deciduous tree that can shade you in summer, ideally facing south.

But what about privacy you ask? If you are going to be using the room for special purposes like a music studio or teenage bolthole, then ensuring you neighbours don’t hear the goings on is quite important. The key here is to adequately insulate the studio and use double or triple glazed glass in all doors and windows to keep sound in and also stop external sounds bothering you at work. Using large retractable glass doors works well at creating a smooth transition from inside to out and will fill the space with load of natural light. I have seen some great designs that use Brio’s range of high quality bifold doors or sliding door hardware to virtually make the walls disappear if needed and small and cozy when the weather is less than perfect.

Contrary to what you might think, small spaces don’t need to feel cramped. If well designed and solar orientated correctly, a small space can feel much bigger than its actual dimensions would suggest. Use lots of light timbers or bright colours to give the space energy and feel good factor and add some large glass doors if the budget allows.