Multifunctional Garden Rooms in 2021
04 February 2021

Multifunctional Garden Rooms in 2021

Having a beautifully designed garden room is a fabulous way to create more liveable space at home. With the arrival of new technology and smart design concepts, the garden office has taken on a multifunctional form.

The garden room is fast becoming a sought-after sanctuary, a space that can be almost anything you want it to be.

Most people who purchase a garden room have certain aspirations for how they want to live. They see the additional outdoor space as an opportunity to enhance their life.  Designed with a sense of place and purpose, the multifunctional garden room can have a hugely positive impact on the entire family.

A fantastic versatile space, it cleverly balances indoor and outdoor living. As expert designers and manufacturers of multifunctional garden rooms, SMART® has created some amazing outdoor spacesover the years. We have seen clients transform otherwise unused areas of their garden into sumptuous spaces that work as a gym, entertaining area, and office.


A Garden Room That Can Do It All

The idea of a mixed-use outdoor room – one that you can use for more than just one purpose – is growing in popularity, especially in densely populated areas where property is a premium.

When couples and families wish to move, it’s almost always to do with having more liveable, practical space. The temptation is to think exclusively about the available indoor space, but what about the available outdoor space?

If you’re looking for an ambient area to entertain guests, somewhere for your teenagers to hang out, and a place where you can work, an outdoor room is a good choice. The key word here is ‘and’.  Unlike a traditional extension, a garden room can be truly versatile. It doesn’t have to be just your outside office, gym, or lounging area. It can quite easily be all three. As a purposefully designed outdoor room, the chances are, it’ll take on a completely different meaning for each member of your family.

Just as our lives do not stand still, neither do our needs and wants. So, rather than make any assumptions, we asked our outdoor room design team to share with us the top five uses for SMART garden rooms during 2020, and there are some clear frontrunners:


  1. Dual office/living space

For obvious reasons, 2020 was the year that transformed the way we all live and work, possibly forever. Most office workers spent a hefty proportion of their time working from home, and while it hasn’t been without its challenges, lots of people have enjoyed the flexibility. Unsurprisingly, many of our 2020 garden room designs double up as office space and outdoor retreats.

Outdoor retreat - comfy seating area inside garden office

Garden rooms can be beautiful outdoor retreats

  1. The Outdoor Family Room

Families have spent a lot more time together than usual. In doing so, they’ve discovered new ways to connect and amuse themselves at home but have been ‘yearning’ for an outdoor room. It has been an exciting time for Suffolk based SMART’s design team, who have been busy creating multifunctional garden rooms for all generations to use.

One family wanted their Belle Garden Room to work for both as a music teaching studio and a social space.


Belle Office Exterior

Garden rooms can have dual purposes, like this one from our Belle Range.

  1. Man Caves and She Sheds

Having a space to call our own has grown in the last 12 months – in part, this has been due to the pandemic. Many of us have found new hobbies and activities that warrant our own space. Finding the internal space and peace for a ‘man cave’ or ‘she shed’ isn’t exactly easy though. The clue’s in the name, which suggests something far more secluded from the prying eyes and ears of the rest of the family. As an outdoor space, the garden room has quickly become the ultimate personal pad.

Man cave exterior garden room

Garden rooms make wonderful ‘man caves’ or ‘she sheds’

  1. Leisure and entertaining

Ok, so entertaining hasn’t been on the top of the list for 2020, but it’s certainly something that many of our clients are now planning for.

As we enter 2021, we’ve seen a swathe of new enquiries from clients looking to create the ideal entertaining environment. They’re understandably eager to reconnect with friends and family in a space that works for them.

Our most popular garden room for entertaining is the Affinity Range. Affinity, by its very name, means an attraction or a connection. Its sleek, sensual, and stylish design lends itself to a truly versatile entertaining/living space.

Most clients opt for a canopy, complete with a decking platform and LED downlighting to make the most out of alfresco entertaining.


Exterior of Affinity Range Office

The canopy offers a sleek decking platform and LED lighting.

  1. Home-schooling

You could say this is a relatively new entry for us. In the past, we have created some beautiful educational spaces. So, when we received a flurry of enquiries from families looking to create the perfect home-schooling hub, we could draw on our education design experience.

home schooling interior

Our offices make lovely educational spaces.

As part of our complimentary design consultation, we’ll ask you a range of questions largely focused on the proposed use of your ideal outdoor space. This includes your children’s age, the likely activities you’ll want to do as a family, and how you see yourselves using your garden room in the future.

Seasonal Room Changes

One of the things we also encourage you to consider is how you might use your garden room throughout all the seasons.

For example, it may be that you will use the garden room as a place to entertain family and friends in the summer months. But what about the colder winter months?

We get asked this a lot. Those who love to entertain very rarely want to be restricted by the season. Likewise, if your outdoor room is your gym, you will want to be sure it is suitable to exercise all year round. Therefore, all our Suffolk built SMART Garden Rooms have been designed to be used all year round.

Our garden rooms and garden offices are insulated with industry-leading insulation and double-glazed doors and windows. The insulation is placed into all elements of the outdoor room; the floor, the walls and the ceiling to ensure excellent thermal retention.


Dividing Your Room Up

For larger garden rooms, we offer a partition wall system as an upgrade option. This means that you can cleverly separate your garden room space. This is a fantastic option if your intended functions don’t quite work together. A garden cinema, for example, might well be a bit of a distraction on a Zoom call. Or perhaps you work in the beauty industry where privacy from the family is a must?

partitioned wall in garden room

Including a partition helps separate your space for different uses.

The partition does not need to be straight down the middle of a garden room space either. Depending on the space and design, you could separate a section at the back of your garden room or partition off a corner. This is perfect if you have some equipment you would like to store.

You can either add internal doors or external doors, making the partitioned area slightly included or completely separate. The choice is yours.

Of course, partitioned walls are not the only way to make a multifunctional garden room work. You may choose to ‘zone’ your garden room space through your design choices. The placement of windows, decking and furniture all play an important role.

For example, you may wish to include soft furnishings to create a breakout area within your garden office or carefully position a bookcase between two spaces.

Even for smaller garden rooms, this can work. If you’re not sure where to start, Pinterest is a great place. You can even create your own design mood board for inspiration.

One client (featured below) wanted a sewing room that doubles up as a social space. The use of a small L-shape sofa creates a clearly-defined space for friends and family to join.

garden room outside looking in

Your garden retreat can be super cosy.

Order Your Brochure Now

We can design a multifunctional garden room that will meet all your needs.

Being in Suffolk, we are more than happy to travel for a free no-obligation consultation. Designing garden rooms for London residents as well as those living in rural Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, we know exactly how to create inspiring outdoor spaces.

During your consultation, we will involve you in the entire design process, which is a great experience as you get to design your very own outdoor space.

As a starting point though, we recommend exploring our seven ranges, available in 64 sizes and 13 different colours, starting at just £7,944 (with finance options available). Please feel free to download a copy of our brochure, which is packed full of wonderful imagery, ideas and full specifications to get you started.