With lockdown ending but social restrictions still keeping many of us at home, we bring you our top 10 inspirational ideas for oak garden structures. The long lockdown and unusually bright, hot summer allowed homeowners with oak garden buildings to use them to their fullest extent. Even in winter though, these can be put to many uses beyond their obvious traditional purposes. With tiered restrictions in place until at least Easter, why not improve them still further? 2020 has shown us all the importance of keeping active and occupied in a comfortable home environment. With this in mind, we will look at ten ways to get the most from your oak framed garden buildings.
1. Bring the Outdoors Indoors
One of the main benefits of an oak sunroom extension or similarly glazed room is the natural views it commands. Unfortunately, during Autumn and Winter, few flowers are in bloom and most green plants have died off until spring. However, glazed extensions are the perfect place to grow plants indoors, it was their intended purpose in the first place. Flowers add a splash of colour against a bleak backdrop and climbers can be cultivated along frames and beams. Even tropical plants can thrive in a well insulated and heated room with abundant sunlight all year round. Being surrounded by plants has a calming, therapeutic effect, especially during the dark winter days.
2. Build a Home Spa
If you can’t visit a spa to relax and pamper yourself, build your own at home. Fitting a sauna or steam room is a relatively straightforward project, or even add a hot tub and decking outside. Even in the British winter, this allows you to stay warm and relaxed in the bracing fresh air. Create a quiet space for yoga and meditation to clear your mind with gentle exercise and reflection. Add oil burners, candles, gentle music or any other touches you wish to put you at total ease. Best of all, you don’t have to share it with anyone else unless you choose to.
3. Incorporate Stained Glass
In a room with an abundance of glazing, incorporating stained glass panels can be a bold design statement. Fitted at either end of a glazed wall, they make an eyecatching decorative frame around the existing views. Stark Winter sunlight will be softened as it filters through, creating a warm, soothing feel to the room. In oak orangeries, stained glass can turn the lantern window into an impressive decorative feature.
4. Make Your Own Pub
From December 2nd, pubs solely selling alcohol can only open in tier 1 areas and then only with strict controls in place. As up to 6 people can meet outdoors as long as they are socially distanced, this could be a more relaxed way to socialise. As long as your garden building is not enclosed, why not install a bar for your friends to enjoy? Put up a dartboard for socially distanced games and provide outdoor heating for added comfort. Obviously you cannot sell alcohol on unlicensed premises, but as long as everyone maintains a safe distance no laws are being broken.
5. Add Some Rustic Touches
To differentiate a garden room from the rest of your living space, add some traditional touches. Antique or vintage furniture suits the traditional look of oak framed buildings and can create a homely, comforting effect. Add a wood burning stove or log burner and rustic look soft furnishings for a cosy, country cottage feel. Whitewashed walls, bare stone or exposed brick can all add to the effect for a peaceful retreat from the modern world.
6. Create a Studio or Hobby Room
Being confined to your home for extended periods can lead to feelings of boredom and isolation. Hobbies and creative pastimes are helpful ways to keep the mind active and promote good mental health. A timber frame orangery or oak framed conservatory gives a bright, well lit space for painting or creative hobbies where good lighting is vital. Free standing oak buildings give a peaceful retreat for writing, reading and more contemplative pursuits. With sound proofing, they can be a perfect music studio to practice, produce your own music or perform online with others.
7. Make a Home Office
Due to the current pandemic, more people are working from home than ever before. Turn your timber frame garden room or oak extension into an impressive oak framed home office. This gives you a quiet, dedicated workspace with the room and peace to maximise productivity. As many home workers find it hard to focus on work with the distraction of family, this is a perfect solution. Online meetings can be conducted in privacy without family or pets accidentally interrupting. A great view from your work area and peaceful breaks in the fresh air of your own garden are an added bonus.
8. Go Traditional and Blend In
The traditional appearance of oak framed garden buildings is a large part of their appeal. This can be complemented with the use of reclaimed building materials. For example, combining a new oak framed conservatory kit with aged timber, repurposed masonry and slates gives a nicely pre – aged look. This allows it to blend in with the wood and foliage of established gardens and woodland. For new garden structures constructed on the grounds of older oak buildings, this gives a pleasing symmetry and consistency.
9. Establish Your Own Gym
While many gyms around the country are reopening, some people are understandably reluctant to use them. Close proximity of other users and shared changing facilities present a risk that many find off putting. If you already have a selection of exercise equipment and the self-discipline to use it regularly, repurpose your garden building. The equipment can be kept in use permanently rather than stored away between uses. The owner can exercise at their own pace in privacy and installing a shower and changing facilities is relatively easy. If space permits, this could be combined with the home spa discussed earlier for the full gym experience at home.
10. Stage a Play!
Christmas is a time when people congregate to stage plays, sing in choirs and put on many public performances. Unfortunately, due to social distancing rules this is difficult if not impossible this year. If you have an oak garden gazebo, oak pergola or carport, you already have a stage for your own performance. Rally your family and put on your own show and share it with friends and family online. Youtube, Zoom and Tiktok have all provided outlets for creativity this year when normal performances were impossible. If your children love to perform, this could be a perfect project for the Christmas holidays. It also gives a chance to connect with friends and loved ones they cannot see in person this year.
At Hardwoods Group, we have a wide range of oak framed garden buildings to suit all needs. If you have something different in mind or a unique project to enhance your home, contact us. We offer a bespoke frame design and manufacture service to make it a reality. Whatever your requirements, we can help.
Using An Oak Framed Garden Building As A Home Office
Types Of Oak Garden Buildings And Their Uses
10 Amazing Oak Structures