Garden renovation: multipurpose garden room

By Ruth Bell 26-04-2024
Garden renovation: multipurpose garden room

Interior designer Sibil Archer has redefined what a garden room can be with an inviting interior and complementary landscaping

Interview: Róisín Carabine | Photography: Barbara Egan


Image of garden space designed by Sibil Archer

The owner: Interior designer and home staging expert Sibil Archer lives here with her husband Ciaran and two children Sebastian and Ellie.

The plot: A large north facing 25mx10m garden to the rear of a bungalow in Churchtown, Dublin 14; it’s what attracted Sibil to buy here.

Image of garden space designed by Sibil Archer

What did the garden look like before?

It was completely overgrown and not somewhere that you’d sit in and enjoy.

What was the plan for the new design?

Once extending the house proved too prohibitively expensive, we decided to build a multipurpose garden room that functioned as a home office during the day for my husband, with a living room area (and extra bathroom) the whole family could enjoy.

Image of garden space designed by Sibil Archer

Tell us about the work that was done?

After an initial site expectation, it was decided to locate the outdoor room along an underused side of the garden, where we’d previously stored our bins, and orientate it west to take advantage of the morning and afternoon sun. It’s also elevated for better views of the surrounding trees and old Bottle Tower building nearby. We went for the Cube design and customised it with an overhang. The room was built, plumbed, wired and plastered on site in just two weeks with minimal mess and disruption.

Biggest challenge?

Our neighbours have a beautiful garden and we worried the structure would impose on their space but John Sherry at Garden Rooms suggested cladding the rear in cedar wood to make it less visually imposing – and it works.

Image of garden space designed by Sibil Archer

What was your best design decision?

Orientating the windows away from the house to enhance that sense of physical separation and immersion in the landscape.

Lessons learned from this project?

It pays to do your research! Garden Rooms are experts and the whole process was a smooth one from start to finish.

Image of garden space designed by Sibil Archer

Get the look

Customisable ‘Cube’ garden room from €29,000, Garden Rooms, Dublin; Interior design by Sibil Archer; Garden landscaping, bespoke bench & pergola, Beechwood Landscapes; Scott green velvet three-seater sofa, EZ Living Interiors; Rug, Oriana B


Feeling inspired? Check out our features on how to... create a garden sanctuary and create a feel-good outdoor space

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