A Garden Studio Where Work Meets Relaxation - Case Study

A Garden Studio Where Work Meets Relaxation - Case Study

Olson Timber Buildings installed a 25’ 8” by 15' timber garden studio within the curtilage of a listed building in the South Downs area. It features a charming front porch, bespoke extra-large windows, and attractive stone black Tapco Slate Tiles. The garden studio is composed of two rooms - an office and a lounge - and is fully insulated, heated, and powered.

Garden Studio Featuring Front Porch, Extra-Large Windows And Black Tapco Slate Tiles

The client

Emma lives with her family in a charming farming village nestled in the South Downs National Park. Her listed home is immersed in the countryside and surrounded by fields, where sheep graze freely under the vibrant blue skies dotted with wispy white clouds.

There used to be a timber outbuilding within the curtilage of her home, where she played every afternoon with her siblings as a young child. The ex-playroom brought fond memories back for many years; however, it had been falling into disrepair for some time.

So, after thinking about it for a couple of years, in the winter of 2023, Emma and her family decided it was time to replace it.

She wanted to build an outbuilding that reminded her of the original one. The family didn’t need a playroom anymore, though. The studio needed to be like-for-like on the outside and a functional space for working and relaxing on the inside.

The process

Emma started researching timber outbuildings online in the spring of 2023. While she found multiple companies that build timber garden studios in the UK, she was immediately struck by Olson’s offering - especially our unique front porches - and our family-run business philosophy. So we were the only company she invited for a site visit.

When Emma met our team, she found us “approachable, helpful, and straightforward,” so we “clicked right away.” Emma says she “felt in good hands” from the start.

As the original outbuilding was located within the curtilage of a listed home, Emma had to obtain planning permission from the Local Planning Authority. This covered both its demolition and the erection of a new, sympathetic garden studio.

She hired an architect and had her solicitor help her complete the process. She’s very happy to have employed professionals, as the paperwork for adding new structures to listed properties is a little complicated.

It took a while to gain permission, demolish the original building, and lay new foundations, so Emma placed an order with us in January 2023.

Olson took three to four days to complete the build, which Emma found “fast.” “It was incredible,” she remarks. During that week, the dry weather that blessed the South Downs helped the Olson team swiftly complete the installation.

The garden studio

The new garden studio is on the grounds surrounding Emma’s home. It’s only 25 feet from the back door, so it’s easy and quick to access, even in bad weather.

The studio matches the dimensions and design of the original outbuilding. The stone black Tapco Slate Tiles match those of the main house’s roof. Emma remarks that it looks like the building “has always been there,” as it belongs to its surroundings.

Garden Studio Exterior

She opted for bespoke extra-large 9-foot-long windows, as she wanted lots of natural light to come into the building. Olson provided the openings and frames for these. She later hired a carpenter to add ledge flashings above the windows to protect the frame joints and prevent future leaks.

Emma chose to add a front porch to the studio, making the building look unique. She has now discovered that this area forms a sun trap where she can enjoy a good book or a cuppa while feeling warm.

Inside the garden studio are two rooms with beautiful LVT oak flooring. One is an office with a desk and chair; the other is a lounge with armchairs, paintings, and reading lights. Emma had electricity and heating installed so she could enjoy the building year-round.

Garden Studio Interior

The studio is complete, but Emma plans to add two final touches. She wants to grow a creeper along the porch’s middle column and install a flagstone pathway that leads back to the main house.

The customer’s feedback

Emma is extremely pleased with her new timber garden studio. The extra-large windows let “masses of sunlight in,” and the porch gives the building a charming character. “We love being out there, just spending time in it; it’s a happy place,” she comments.

She says she is: “Thrilled with having gone ahead and chosen Olson” because “they couldn’t have looked after us any better.” The team was “very thorough” - from the planning and design stage to the installation - and “helpful.”

Emma says she has “nothing but high praise for Olson.” “We didn’t luck out; we did our research and found the right company to deliver the garden studio we wanted to build,“ she comments.