Sunday, 12 August 2012

Interior Decor

Well I'm nearing the end of the shed build. As I type this I'm waiting for the glue on the skirting board to set, and will likely be spending the next few days boxing up the mountain of paperwork and computer stuff on my desk, in preparation to move in!

In this post I'm going to detail what I've been doing over the last week. This includes painting the walls, painting the door/window (aka the wood work) and laying the floor.

Lets get started:

Interior Painting

I really didn't know what colour I wanted to paint the room. All I knew is that it had to be reasonably light, as there is only light coming in one one wall, which the sun doesn't shine on until late in the afternoon. 

With this in mind, I had planned to go with an off-white on three walls, and then a light green on one wall to add a bit of colour into the room. 

Well that didn't exactly happen. I went into homebase to see what paint was available and to try and get an idea of what I should go for. While I was there we accidentally found a 'clearance' shelf, with misc paints on it. 5 minutes later I'd picked out a coffee/mushroom type light colour for the three walls, and a darker chocolate colour for the feature wall, in addition to a "Liquor-off-white" colour for the ceiling. 

The total cost? £0.00. Yep, thats right. Free. 
  • The cost of the the light-coffee (big tin) colour was originally £32.99, but was reduced to £15. 
  • The cost of the chocolate tin (a smaller tin) was originally £14.99, but was reduced to £8.
  • The cost of the liquor-off-white (big tin) colour was originally £14.99 but was reduced to £8.
So thats £62.97 worth of paint, that once reduced was £31. However upon pulling the nectar card out we were informed that we could pay for it on the points we had, so did that instead, resulting in it being (effectively) free!

The paint went on beautifully and worked really well. I was a bit worried about the darker chocolate colour and that it may make the room seem too dark, but thankfully it doesn't.

Wood-work Painting

For the door/window/windowsill I had planned on staining the wood to a dark-brown colour, so bought a tin of Homebase wood stain, called something like "ash oak". On the tin, it was very dark, however once painted onto the windowsill, it came out a very ugly bright orange! Despite having three coats, it just looked terrible, so in the end I had to change the plan and go for white. This meant the wood had to first be primed before it could be painted. Here's where that nice bargain I got at homebase on the interior paint gets off-set. For the primer, undercoat and eggshell white paint it cost £60. A complete rip off, but I had little other options. 

Thankfully as it turned out, I didn't need the undercoat as the primer was a 2-in-1, so I can get £20 back on that. I still fell £40 is still a heck of a lot of money to paint such a small area white, but maybe I'm just being a tight git!

The whitework didn't come out brilliant, with a few streaky marks on the door, but it will suffice. I certainly wasn't going to go about doing it all over again, as by this point I'd already waisted 4 days in the process.


For the flooring, I opted for laminate. I did look into both carpet and solid (bamboo) wood, however for the low-cost and efficiency, laminate seemed like the best option. I'd have loved a solid bamboo floor, however I know it'd get scratched to bits and would need replacing in half the amount of time. 

The laminate I chose was a Wickes branded one called 'Butter Oak'. It's a mid-range flooring that uses a lock-together system, so doesn't require any glue. 

I used a silver-faced underlay, which acts as a vapor barrier in addition to levelling any minor imperfections. I'd have liked to use the green fibreboard, however from the information I've read, on thinner laminate flooring such as mine, it would have created a very bouncy floor. 

The silver underlay went down very easily, and has an adhesive strip on it to fix each length together. This creates a complete vapor seal (much like using aluminium tape on celotex does). 

Once the underlay was done, the flooring went down and was surprisingly quick and easy to do, with minimal cutting needed. In total it probably only took a couple of hours to do!
Laying the floor

Skirting Board

I added a pre-finished white skirting board around the edge of the room. I paid the extra for the pre-finished ones as not only is the paintwork way better than I could do (it looks like its sprayed on), but it would have saved me a good 2 days waiting for the primer and paint to dry.

The skirting boards were fixed to the wall using small soffet nails (which have a white head, making them blend in) and some instant grab adhesive. 

Room complete!

At this stage the room is now complete and ready to be used! There are still a number of fairly minor things to do on the outside (such as a guttering and another coat of exterior paint before winter), but these can all be done over the next couple of months. So long as they get done before the end of summer, it'll be fine. 

This certainly is not the end of the blog posts. I'll be posting a price roundup soon in addition to a tips and common problems that happened, as well as more photos of when I move in, how security is done, heating, lighting, etc as well as some posts after I've been in there over winter and such.

Floor and skirting board finished!
Another view from the door.


  1. Hi - I'm very interested in your experiences over the winter (which carries on to this day ;0) ) as well as your pricing list, as I'm hoping to price up a 2.5m by 4.5m version of your build.

  2. Hi Majik,

    Winter's been pretty good. The mornings tend to be a little chilly, however I've got an electric radiator which I just turn on about 15 minutes before going in. This is usually enough to keep it warm. The longest I've ever had to have the heat on was about an hour one morning when it was something like -8 outside.

    The 50mm insulation on the walls/floor and 100mm on the ceiling has certainly helped. I know I'm loosing some heat around the door, and will be doing a bit of work when the weather improves, to add a panel to the wooden door to improve it's insulation.

    Pricing wise the total (not including furnishings) was around £2800. This includes the cost of the base, shed, materials, insulation, etc. Everything was done by myself so there were no labor costs to worry about.

    Having been in here for 7 months, I love it and still highly recommend it!

    Good luck with your build - please do feel free to post again with any queries :)

  3. Excellent build I've looked at your site loads of times over the last few months while thinking about building a garden office. I am now going to go ahead with the same Shire Dean Cabin although 10 feet wide and 12 deep. Have you got any pictures once you are actually in the garden office with your desk in there?

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  5. Nice blog....
    Kindly suggest that how to design a interior of office with good glass and walls - Transwall

  6. (This may appear twice, apologies if so!)

    Hey man,

    Obviously this is a fairly old blog (by internet standards where things move beyond the speed of light of course). I had a question about your build if I may?

    It was my (limited) understanding that these prefab log cabin type buildings are built to allow a certain amount of movement in between the "logs". Assuming that to be true - you battened your plasterboard to the logs effectively - how are they holding up? Has there been any movement and, if so, has that resulted in any cracking of the plaster?



  7. You know what, I should have looked at the pictures more before posting. It appears your studwork doesn't actually touch the outside walls - is that correct?

    Cheers (and apologies),


  8. I'm doing an office shed and your blog has been really good to read. It looks really good. I wonder if it still does the job as I'm about 8 years late reading about it?