• fb icon
  • fb icon
  • fb icon
  • fb icon

George Clarke, architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man, shares his latest tips and ideas on garden studios.

George Clarke talks garden studios1

For series three of Amazing Spaces, I set out to build the ultimate garden studio for my kids: their own space to draw, make and create whatever they want. A garden structure is a great way of adding a fun space away from the main house where you don’t have to be so precious about children making a mess, but for the children it is much more powerful than that. A garden studio is their space, which provides them with a sense of freedom and an escape away from the parents – so much so that they are hardly ever in the main house any more.

However, I didn’t just build the garden studio for the sake of it; there was actually an area of my garden that was going to waste. It was a narrow patch of space that you walked through to get from the main outdoor area to the small garage located at the very end of the garden. This redundant strip of land was a bit like an unused corridor.

We set ourselves the challenge of building the studio under permitted development rights, so that no planning permission was required, and we wanted to build it out of readily available and affordable materials that anyone could pick up from their local builder’s merchants. I also planned to convert the garage at the same time, and put it to better use.

The result is a simple timber-framed studio (pictured top), in which we created a multifunctional space where the kids have individual work desks, lots of storage, a dining table that doubles up as a table tennis table and a drinks cabinet – plus the entire space can be opened up, with sliding polycarbonate walls and roof. Between the new studio and the garage conversion, we built a small butterfly house for the kids. Yes, a butterfly house – it is absolutely incredible!

George Clarke talks garden studios1

Finally, the old garage was turned into a felt-lined TV room, mini cinema and planetarium. It’s the most life-changing of projects in the smallest of garden spaces. If you have kids and don’t have a garden studio, get building.

Credit: Thomas Stewart

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
guide-architectural-lighting-interior
Home Improvements

A guide to architectural lighting for interior spaces

From planning considerations to different types of architectural lighting, our nifty guide explains everything you need to know when choosing the right lighting for your...
schueco-continues-to-expand-its-range-of-panoramic-systems
Home Improvements

Schueco continues to expand its range of panoramic systems

Discover Schueco's range of Panoramic sliding doors and façade systems.
bring-the-outside-in-with-co-ordinating-indoor-outdoor-flooring
Home Improvements

Bring the outside in with co-ordinating indoor-outdoor flooring

One way to create that luxurious feeling of extra space is to connect indoor and outdoor living areas. The key to this is to create...
things-to-consider-when-buying-windows
Home Improvements

5 things to consider before buying windows

Avoid pitfalls and learn how to choose the right style of windows for your self-build or renovation project with our top 5 factors to consider...
buyers-guide-to-music-and-tv-entertainment-systems
Home Improvements

A buyer's guide to home entertainment systems

We round up 4K home cinema systems and sound systems on the market are impressive both in terms of style and substance.