Garden office, Hertfordshire

A gorgeous Scandi inspired home office design is completed with Landscapes Water Meadow wood floors

This gorgeous home office belongs to Sarah-Jane Cousens and her husband Matt. The couple had spent eight months renovating their Hertfordshire home and with that complete decided it was time to attack the outside space.

Sarah-Jane explains, “Our renovation journey began in back in June 2016 when we moved out of our house and into an onsite static caravan in preparation to transform our rather dated, cold and unstylish house into a 21st-century family home which would be warm, comfortable, technologically driven and interiorly transformed to our own taste.

“We tackled everything, pretty much ripping everything out of the existing home. Windows came out, walls came down and new foundations were dug out to make way for a large rear extension. It really was a huge building site so moving into the onsite caravan was a necessity. It meant all the work could happen at pace too so while it was a challenging time the main build was over eight months later.”

With the house almost complete and just the final fixtures and fittings taking shape the couple also transformed the large meandering garden and created a large seating area leading out from the spacious open plan kitchen and living space they had created.

Relaxing here one evening the couple decided they had the space to create a home office in the grounds. “There was a space that previously had a run-down old tool shed. This area had a lovely woodland backdrop and we felt it would be the perfect setting for a home office, somewhere peaceful away from the main family home to work.

“Given its location I wanted to achieve a minimalist and functional work space that was light, bright and in-touch with nature – all the core elements of Scandinavian design – maintaining a natural feel and live plants which would bring the outdoor setting into the office space.”

Sarah-Jane started researching cabin designs and decided to purchase the Barbados 3 summerhouse by Lasita from Cabins Unlimited, a log cabin and summerhouse distributor based in Norwich. “The team there were fantastic, so helpful, and they came and installed the eco-friendly base and erected the cabin in under a day which was amazing.

“My builders then insulated and boarded the walls and both the inside and exterior were ready for painting.”

Sarah-Jane wanted to ensure the paint colours she chose would be fitting for the Scandi look she wanted. A style with a typically monochrome palette she decided on crisp white walls inside to create a clean and calm backdrop, then contrast this on the exterior with black barn paint. “Both my husband and the builders questioned my darker choice for the outside but in the end we all agreed it was a great move. The cabin now almost disappears into its surroundings, becoming part of the woodland – perfect for my Scandi theme.”

Inside the cabin the ceilings and beams were left exposed maintaining the natural look of the Scandinavian softwood and Sarah-Jane was keen to find wood floors that would blend with this and bring more natural wood surface design into the space.

“I’d seen so many beautiful home designs on instagram featuring V4 Wood Flooring products so I headed over to the website to view their collections. Given my desire to keep things natural and bring the outside in I was immediately drawn to the Landscapes collection with wood floors inspired by the tones and textures found in our organic landscape. I was keen to find something that would complement the exposed wood in the cabin and Water Meadow was just perfect, full of lovely light oak tones and textures.”

Landscapes comprises beautifully hand-crafted larger sized oak boards which give impressive scale to any size space. Produced with European Oak, each planks surface is hand treated to deliver unique wood floor colours inspired by the natural tones found in our organic landscape, and at an impressive 2200mm long and 240mm wide the extra large nature of the planks really emphasise a feeling of space and flow. The Water Meadow surface is full of light oak tones which reflect light and give a naturally calming floor finish. The builders installed under-floor heating in the cabin before laying the new wood floors.

With the cabin almost complete it was time to add furniture and dressings to complete the Scandi design.

Simple yet striking black wall lights add a darker element into the design which connects with the exterior, sourced from a Belgium company called Lucide, purchased from Wayfair. The shelving, filing units, side table, peg boards and a few of the accessories are all from Ikea, and the clear desk from John Lewis was the perfect choice to avoid it dominating the space. Seating was added with an Eames desk chair from John Lewis and sofa bed from Wayfair.

Little touches completing the beautiful design include display books sourced from a local Oxfam book shop, artwork and frames from Desenio and of course some green plants to help the space blend harmoniously with the outside garden.

“We’re thrilled with the finished design, it took five months in the end from start to finish, but it was great to spend time researching and finding products and finishes that would live up to the Scandi feel  I wanted. The space really does blend naturally into the garden and it’s just heaven being able to retreat here to get work done.

“The wood floors are fantastic too. They feel soft and warm underfoot and connect perfectly with the exposed ceiling and beams inside the cabin.”

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