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Architectural and design ideas for outbuildings

February 15th, 2013

When thinking about outbuildings, many people may automatically conjure up images of dull wooden sheds or unappealing box-rooms tacked onto the back of properties. With space at a premium and many people wanting to renovate and expand their home rather than move, developing outbuildings is becoming increasingly popular. However, there is no reason why these areas cannot seamlessly integrate with the look of a property and add an attractive new feature to be enjoyed.

There are many types of outbuildings, ranging from a garden shed or office, to a kitchen extension or the addition of a conservatory. These rooms add the vital space that many people crave and can be adapted to the use of the individual homeowner, whether they need a new office, a play room for their children or a quiet place to relax in. With careful planning and time spent on getting the architecture right, these home improvements can become stunning features that could even add value to a property.

One of the most important aspects to think about when adding an outbuilding is landscaping. It is vital that any addition to a home fits seamlessly with what is already there, whether the outbuilding is an annexe or a completely separate garden room. With annexes and extensions it is easier to incorporate rooms into the house and by using the same type of brickwork or plaster, outbuildings can flow from a main building as if they had always been there. With separate garden rooms, landscaping can be a little more challenging, but there are many ways to create a feature.

Constructing a path running to the outbuilding will help link the room to the main home, whilst decorating it in a similar fashion will help draw the entire scheme together. Sheds and outbuildings do not have to be boring and windows, porches, soft furnishings and lighting can all be used to create a new room that becomes a living space rather than a dull and cluttered storage facility. Outbuildings are often places that have also been maximised for natural light, with skylights and large windows, helping to merge the boundaries between inside and out. It is a good idea to use reflective and light furniture, such as a glass dining table, in such rooms. Dense materials and dark wood will suck in the natural light, whereas lighter pieces and mirrors will help to create an even bigger illusion of space.

With outbuildings considered one of the best solutions to solving the requirement for extra space, it is vital that they are furnished to maximise use. This is important when decorating a space and whilst glass, mirrors and soft furnishings might be ideal for adult areas, they will be dangerous for playrooms. In this example, lightly coloured, child-safe furniture can be used instead, with the room’s palette also being of pale hues to encourage a feeling of airiness rather than oppressiveness.

When designing an outbuilding it is important to think of it as an addition to the home, rather than a separate space. For those who carry out the work correctly, an outbuilding will become a fantastic feature for a revitalised home.

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