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UK Housing News

The future of summerhouses: how to turn your building multifunctional

All commentary supplied is by Sarah Rumbles, lifestyle expert at Crane Garden Buildings, the UK leader in the production of high-quality garden buildings…

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“The narrative of garden building trends is evolving, with homeowners seeking not only an escape at the bottom of the garden but an additional room, an investment in the home's valuation, and a space that transitions as lives evolve. 


While multi-functional garden buildings gain traction, though, this doesn’t mean that the traditional summer house is a dying trend. The opposite is true, with summer houses remaining the most sought-after garden building in the UK.


“Over the last four years, garden buildings have become more than just an escape at the bottom of the garden. Homeowners want a place to work, a place to relax, a place to socialise, and a place they can utilise for storage - all within one building, which is increasingly being seen as a cost-effective solution to a typical extension to create a space that is relevant all year round.  


“Consumers also want to invest in a space that can serve and change purposes over its lifetime. They want something that can be a teenage den-style space right now but are looking at what it could be in the future when their children move on. 


“Achieving that is the biggest trend in the luxury garden-building market right now and tailored partitions are increasingly becoming the answer to that.


“Partitions are an elegant way of creating different spaces within the same building - again, a fairly cost-effective solution to segregate and create a multi-purpose space.


“As an example, homeowners are looking to create a building that is an office at the front with big glazed windows and beautiful open space with a desk, but behind that is a storage area where the lawnmower can be stored.

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“It is worth noting several other ways that are contributing to this, in line with this consumer shift:


  • Smart Technology Integration: The integration of smart technology is becoming more prevalent across all aspects of our lives, including traditional summer houses. Home automation systems, climate control, and energy-efficient solutions are being incorporated to enhance the overall functionality and comfort of these spaces.

  • Multi-Functional Furniture: To maximise space utilisation, traditional summer houses are adopting multi-functional furniture. Pieces that can serve dual purposes, such as a sofa transforming into a bed or a table converting into a storage unit, contribute to the adaptability of these spaces for various activities and seasons.

  • Customisation and Personalisation: Recognising the need for individualisation, traditional summer houses are increasingly being designed with customisation in mind. Homeowners can personalise colours, finishes, and architectural details to align with their unique preferences, ensuring that the structure seamlessly integrates with the overall aesthetics of the garden and the home.

  • Year-Round Landscaping: The evolution of traditional summer houses extends to the surrounding landscaping. Homeowners are incorporating evergreen plants, outdoor heating solutions, and weather-resistant furnishings to create a garden environment that remains appealing and functional throughout the year.

  • Storage Solutions: To cater to diverse needs, modern summer houses are equipped with ample storage solutions. Whether it's a designated area for garden tools or a concealed storage space for seasonal decorations, efficient storage ensures the space remains clutter-free and adaptable to different uses.

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“These modifications extend the usability of summer houses beyond seasonal limitations, providing comfort even during the colder months.” 

Images by Crane Garden Buildings

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