top of page

Converting your Outbuildings

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Converting your Outbuildings :

From yoga studios to home retreats

Are you seeking inspiration for designing, building or converting an outhouse? At Katriona Alice designs we have lots of great ideas to pimp up your outhouse. Whether you’ve got an empty shed; outbuilding; outhouse; ancillary building, there are plenty of great options when it comes to giving the space a new lease of life. It’s time to start thinking outside of the box to make the most of that space.

Ancillary building sketches

Planning Permission : Do you need it?

Before you make any decisions, know your local planning rules – in many cases your local council will allow small modifications to outhouse without planning permission. But if you’re thinking bigger, or you’re planning on building from scratch, always double check first - it’s not worth upsetting the council or your neighbours! At Katriona Alice designs, we pride ourselves on due diligence, and always take the necessary steps to ensure everything is approved and ready to go before we start the work.


Source : Instagram

What do you want to use

your ancillary building for?

The first thing to work out: what do you want to use your ancillary building for? Is it for living, entertaining or storage? Or are you looking to convert the space into a home office or studio as a retreat from your house without having to leave the actual property? The home retreat is one of our favourite solutions: you feel like you’ve got some distance but if you forget something you haven’t got to go far to get it!

You’ve decided on a use. Now you want it to make it feel like your space. A fun solution is creating an unassuming space on the outside which has a plethora of hidden treats within. We would certainly advocate a form follows function approach to your design as well. Storage should also be considered, maximise the functionality of your project with plenty of built in storage and personalised solutions to get the most out of those square metres.


Which Materials?

We love the idea of creating a fluid connection between the garden and the ancillary building. At the top of our list right now is beautiful sustainable and natural wood materials as well as bee-friendly green roofs. These work in both traditional and contemporary buildings and can often be sourced locally. The key to getting this right is to use a vernacular style building and draw inspiration from what you already have; it offers a more authentic design and experience.

Do you want the space to feel like a living part of the garden? Think about glass walls, environmentally friendly materials and maybe a green roof. You could also consider skylights overhead to create a natural light-filled space. Would you like a unified functional look? Then think about modular design and modern malleable materials. Do you want to draw attention to something inside? Choose simple materials and clean interiors.


Ready to get started?

The options are endless and at Katriona Alice Designs, we specialise in providing a bespoke service with exceptional design solutions. We take pride in getting to know each of our clients individually and tailoring the design to our clients’ needs. So, if you’re looking to convert your outhouse into an enchanted tree house, a prosecco den, a yoga studio or a simple home retreat – get in touch, we’d love to help



bottom of page