Operation She Shed | #1 My Flatpack Garden Office

she shed garden office

Pipe dream or soon-to-be reality? | Image Source

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I work from home. You’ll also know that I’ve been dreaming of of a garden office for the last three and a half years.

I used to have a dedicated workspace — a room that housed everything I needed — a GIGANTIC printer, my desk and computer, guillotines, folding machines, reams and reams of card stock and envelopes plus various other paraphernalia that I use, in my day to day working life.

But when I was pregnant, we decided to turn the room into a nursery for the twins. So we dismantled my office, piece by piece.

A lot of the non-essentials were boxed up to take residence in my husband’s office (25 miles away) and I began to work from a corner of our dining room. Once a lovely, tidy, homely space, it became the home for my big ugly printer.

My desk sat in the corner of the room and the dining table, more often than not, was covered in paper and work detritus.

From that point, I thought endlessly about having an office in a garden building. I wrote about it, talked about it, and pinned inspiration on my dream garden office Pinterest board.

Now, if you’ve ever looked into garden offices, you’ll know that they come with a hefty price tag. For a decent sized building — and I wanted one at least 10 ft by 12 ft — they can start at a minimum of £3.5K and spiral upwards in cost from there.

Good ones need insulating, lighting, heating.

We just didn’t have that kind of money to burn either so — after a lot of thought — we decided to go down the DIY route.

So in December of last year — after much discussion — my boy and I decided to bite the bullet and buy a large shed, with the intention of turning it into a garden office.

My garden building arrived in kit form in the first week of January.

My Flatpack Garden Office

My Flatpack Garden Office

My Flatpack Garden Office

My Flatpack Garden Office

My Flatpack Garden Office

My Flatpack Garden Office

A gazillion miles away from the lovely painted building I had in my mind. This was a vision of flat-pack and was going to be a bigger job than your average IKEA wardrobe.

We’d gone for a 10 ft by 16 ft, so —when it was actually built — it would be a similar sized room to the one I had before.

But that was exactly it.

‘When it was actually built.’

My boy and I had limited resources, limited time and limited skills. But, we had made a decision — probably a ridiculous one — that we were going to do this ourselves.

Now, my lovely boy is not a builder — or a carpenter — he wears a suit, Monday to Friday, and works in an office. But we have taken on 3 house renovations (almost single handedly), and he is amazingly talented at anything — and everything — he turns his hand to. And I can paint.

So  this is how my garden office started life.

A pile of wood in the back garden.

PS — I’m going to be sharing updates on my garden office build over the coming months. Please join me on my journey — I can’t wait to share what I’ve been doing, here on my blog! xx

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

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36 Comments

  1. 14th June 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Crikey, I never knew garden offices were that expensive! The DIY option looks quite a job, so I can only admire you and your boy for taking it on – looking forward to following the journey!

    • 14th June 2016 / 7:28 pm

      They are SO blooming expensive!!! Quite a well known garden office manufacturers boasts ‘Stunning Garden Offices – All inclusive from £9,995 inc. VAT‎’
      GULP. Even my car didn’t cost that much!!!!

  2. 14th June 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Ah it’s so exciting but must be frustrating too when it’s so near but so far! Can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done xx

    • 15th June 2016 / 11:41 am

      It’s definitely coming along Becky — soooo very nearly there. And you’re right — it’s SO frustrating!!!!! Arrrgh. I can’t wait to move my stuff in!!! :)

  3. Gemma
    15th June 2016 / 8:57 am

    This is such an exciting project! I can’t wait to see more of how it’s progressing. How fantastic would it be to have a garden room office!?!

    Gemma x
    The British Feather – A UK Lifestyle & Home Decor Blog

    • 15th June 2016 / 11:32 am

      It’s SO exciting Gemma but it’s been a long old drawn out process!! It’s taken us a long, LONG time to get it done!!

  4. 15th June 2016 / 2:39 pm

    I adore projects like this! I’m really excited about watching it take shape! I look forward to future updates. #homeetc

    • 15th June 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Aah thanks so much Jane!! There was so much to fit into just one post… I wanted to keep a proper record of everything we’ve done too. So looking forward to sharing it all! :)

      • 15th June 2016 / 8:12 pm

        It takes ages with some posts doesn’t it? I keep thinking my posts will be rattled off in an hour and the one I did today took me about 4-5 hours and that after I got all of my pictures lined up for it yesterday. Note to self: stop doing posts that have tonnes of pictures and links in them. PLease tell me I’m not the only one who takes ages writing their posts!!

        • 1st July 2016 / 12:35 pm

          NO!!! You are definitely NOT the only one!!!!! I spend absolutely AGES writing my posts. And even longer, taking, choosing and editing the pictures that I’m going to show IN the post!! Whoever says that blogging is ‘easy’ has obviously never done it!!!! ;) xx

          • 1st July 2016 / 2:39 pm

            I’m glad I’m not alone!!! I don’t seem to have had any straightforward, easy posts lately! They are all massive! And even when I don’t intend for them to be massive, they end up being massive!!!

          • 12th July 2016 / 8:04 pm

            HA!!!! Mine TOO!!!! I am now virtually high fiving you ;) SO glad I’m not the only one!! LOL!! :)

  5. 15th June 2016 / 3:03 pm

    This is so fantastic – everyone should have one! Can’t wait to see how it progresses. I bet it is frustrating as these projects always take longer than you hope don’t they? But it will be worth it! x

    • 15th June 2016 / 7:32 pm

      I’m totally with you — everyone definitely should have one!! :) There was so much to do — any normal person would have got a man in but it’s just not our style to do that!! You’re right though, it will all be worth it!! :)

  6. 15th June 2016 / 5:57 pm

    Oh you are such a tease with instalments. I hope that you get the she-shed you desire and hubby doesn’t take it over. #HomeEtc

    • 15th June 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Aah thanks so much Helena!! There was too much to fit into one post!! And NO CHANCE!! My boy will definitely not take it over!! He’s got a proper man-shed! ;)

  7. 15th June 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Oh, looking forward to seeing this project unfold Caro! More please!! Keira x

    • 1st July 2016 / 12:36 pm

      Thanks lovely!! I’m so nearly there with it!! Can’t believe it’s taken the best part of 6 months to complete!!! Gah!!!

  8. Naomi
    15th June 2016 / 9:45 pm

    I’m so excited to see it when it’s finally ready! I know what you mean about having a dedicated work space – it will make all the difference!

    • 1st July 2016 / 12:32 pm

      It really, really will!! I can’t wait until I’m in there! :)

  9. 15th June 2016 / 10:31 pm

    Oh I so can’t wait to see your updates on your she-shed! How exciting! #HomeEtc

    • 16th June 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Thanks JO!! I have SO many pictures and film clips — it’ll take me a year to sort them all out!!!!

  10. 16th June 2016 / 1:26 pm

    I too dream of a garden office – although I think mine would have to also be a potting shed of some sort, I really want one of those too. Looking forward to seeing what you do with that big pile of pieces! #HomeEtc

  11. 16th June 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Oh wow you guys are so brave – I wouldn’t know where to start with those piles of wood! It will so be worth it, you definitely need your home office. Good luck, and can’t wait to see how it goes! xx
    #HomeEtc

    • 16th June 2016 / 6:35 pm

      We’ve always been the same — I’m not sure if it’s brave or foolhardy to be honest!!! A lot of the time it’s down to cost — so we’ve always learnt to do things ourselves. It’s lovely to reach the end of a big project and know that we did it all ourselves though xx

  12. 16th June 2016 / 4:02 pm

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out, you’ve been waiting this for so long so I’m sure it’s going to be really beautiful!

    #HomeEtc

  13. 17th June 2016 / 6:45 am

    I’m so in love with this post, what a good idea. I work from home on my days off and used to work from home full time and always felt uninspired, i love being outdoors too so this would be the perfect solution. I can’t wait to see updates! #homeetc

    • 20th June 2016 / 3:59 pm

      Thanks Cydney! I’ve been so desperate to share what we’ve been doing but it’s taken FOREVER to get it in a state where I’m ready to start posting about it!! My printer and desk’s going in this evening!! :)

  14. 20th June 2016 / 6:30 pm

    I am so excited to see the end product Caro :-)

    • 1st July 2016 / 11:37 am

      ME TOO!!!! It’s still not 100% finished — I can’t wait until I get all my stuff on the walls and start to make it look pretty inside :)

  15. 21st June 2016 / 12:55 pm

    Can’t wait to see your she-shed when it’s finished! We actually have a large shed at the bottom of our garden, installed by the previous owner of our house. My husband has rigged it up with electricity, so there’s now a sofa and TV down there. It’s also the place my husband and daughter disappear off to…it’s their den. It would make a good workspace for me, but I hardly step foot in it because of the huge spiders that have made it their home *shudders* #HomeEtc

    • 1st July 2016 / 11:33 am

      Oh bless you!!!! I used to suffer with crippling arachnophobia before I got it sorted at London Zoo’s Friendly Spider Programme, so I totally understand that!! You should get it all boarded out inside so it’s a spider free zone! :)

  16. 21st June 2016 / 8:20 pm

    I am so excited for you to have your garden shed of dreams! I just know it is going to be absolutely gorgeous. A little haven…amongst the chaos xx

    • 24th June 2016 / 9:53 am

      Thanks SO much lovely!! I’m sitting in it now — still very, very chaotic but not long now before it’s all sorted!! Hurrah!! :)

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