We all need a place - a private hideaway - where we can get away from our busy lives and enjoy elusive quiet time or hobbies.
The solution can be as simple as a spare room, a garden shed or, if you’re fortunate, a beach hut. But increasingly people are thinking outside of the box room and investing in a range of imaginative sanctuaries.
These days your retreat could be a romantic gypsy caravan or a storybook-style treehouse through to a state-of-the-art outdoor room clad in timber, a glass and steel entertaining pod or, more quirkily, a Tolkien-style Hobbit Hole.
“It’s all about being able to separate ourselves from everyday life and all its routines,” says Jane Field-Lewis, author of My Cool Shed: An Inspirational Guide To Stylish Hideaways And Workspaces. There’s a huge satisfaction in having your own personal space, in a separate building from your home, styled and decorated as you wish, which gives you the opportunity to work or relax in your own way.”
She’s travelled the world looking at the ways people fulfil their dreams of expression and escape, whether it’s a renovated air raid shelter, a Californian beach hut, a fishing shack or even a sea shipping container.
Let your imagination take flight and explore the possibilities of a space of your own.
Shed sense - Garden sheds, once somewhere to stash a lawnmower or the preserve of pipe-smoking men, have been reborn. These humble buildings are increasingly being given makeovers, especially as our desire to move is thwarted by hard economic times.
They can be cheaply and easily spruced up with a lick of paint, some curtains and cushions, and will work as a hobby room, retreat for teenagers or somewhere to simply think, read or write.
A garden room is often the answer for those who need more space for an office or gym, or somewhere for guests or a granny annex.
“These were once the preserve of the wealthy, but are now a mainstream solution to gaining more space and enjoying flexible living areas,” says Roger Hedges, co-founder of Garden Spaces, specialists in garden rooms and buildings.
A glass room is perfect if you’re concerned that an extension or outdoor room will dominate a garden.Follow the sun in a John Lewis Farmer’s Cottage Rotating Sphere Seater, which starts from £6,995.
Caravan to Hobbit Hole - There are magical ways to create extra space outdoors, if you’re happy to ignore the conventional and embrace your inner child. What could be more romantic than a gypsy caravan with its associations with a nomadic lifestyle, free from the workaday world?