Reading Time: 3 minutes

The teenager’s drumming. The husband’s love of AC/DC. The wife’s sewing habit. Every family has someone who has a habit that’s noisy, takes a lot of space, or both. It’s often difficult to reconcile the needs of everyone in the family when someone’s idea of a good time includes something that might disturb other people around the house.

I’ve talked about man caves (and women caves) before, but the solution doesn’t have to be a full room of the house. If you have the space, how about using an outbuilding? Garages, prefabricated sheds and carriage houses can provide privacy while saving the rest of the family from noise or spread out hobby items. Here are some examples of great outbuilding designs.

Outbuildings for socializing

It can be hard for introverts and extroverts to live together in the same space. One enjoys alone time and quiet, and the other likes to be around people. An outbuilding is the perfect way to move the party outside so the introvert can avoid frustration.

This garage was cleverly turned into a pool hall with tasteful, modern design. It’s neither too feminine or masculine, so that people of either gender can enjoy the space. The all-over white makes the garage look luminous and open.

This outbuilding decor is also the kind that serves socializing, albeit in a more quiet manner. The lounging chairs are perfect for sitting and chatting the night away. The outbuilding is equipped with a bathroom and a kitchenette. I would totally hold a summer wine tasting here!

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Outbuildings for working

If the weather in your area permits it, an outbuilding is also the perfect place to set up a home office. Outbuildings are great because there is a physical separation between home and work space; it’s also useful to be away from the bustle of daily life and to keep distractions at bay.

This tiny shed filled with books and with lots of light works great as an office space for a writer or a student who stays at home. I love how it opens up the possibility of outdoor lunches and the greenery all around.

This outbuilding office is definitely more spacious, but still keeps its utilitarian purpose in mind. I like the addition of a television on the wall to save space, and the couch for relaxing or having clients over. The plant is a warm, welcoming touch.

And how about this ultra-modern living/work space cabin? The window-roof provides needed sunlight and the lightweight plastic furniture is easy to stash and store away.

And just for kicks, here is the exterior of a contemporary office outbuilding. I love how the building is elevated off the ground for a view of whatever goes on on the other side of that fence. The blue door is also quite attractive!

Outbuildings are a great creative outlet for architects and designers. Who can resist visiting this bright green patio outbuilding?

Outbuildings for design

Outbuildings don’t always need to have an actual purpose. They can also just be pretty and add to a garden’s landscape.

Imagine the daily ritual of taking your coffee and newspaper and relaxing in this sunny outbuilding every morning.

This little pavilion in the back of the garden provides shade from the sun, protection from the rain and a gorgeous corner to sit and meditate on our connection with nature.

The open-style design of this outbuilding makes it the perfect place to sit and enjoy the nature below.

It’s hard not to like this cute kid’s cottage decorated with a lot of flair and originality. It even has its own mailbox!

Outbuildings for you

If you had space for an outbuilding, what would you use it for? If you’ve renovated an outbuilding into a utilitarian or relaxing space, what were your design choices?

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.