How to Decorate Your Garden Room for Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to think about decorating. Christmas decorations bring light and joy to the home during the cold, dark winter months. Your garden room is an extension of your home, so why not get creative and decorate this too? Here we share our top tips for decorating your garden room this Christmas.

Put up a Christmas tree

Putting up a tree inside your garden room will instantly give it a festive look and feel. Choose a tree that fits comfortably in the size of your room. If your garden room is large, you may be able to fit a good-sized tree in there – somewhere between 5ft and 8ft. Smaller garden buildings will need a smaller tree. If you have a very compact space, simply add a mini tree on top of a desk or table. This will look just as Christmassy in a smaller space. Decorate your tree with baubles, tinsel and fairy lights just as you would in the main house.

Light up your garden room

Christmas lights can make a garden room look like Santa’s grotto. Consider adding solar string lights to the exterior, so it lights up at night – these can help light up your building without adding to your electricity bill. Decorate the inside with fairy lights. Battery-powered fairy lights are a great option for the garden, which are often less frequently used than rooms in the main house. Drape these around the tree and any shelves, mirrors or artwork you have on the walls. Garden rooms with a bar look great with fairy lights around the bar area.

Candles are another great way to light up your garden room. Advent candles on a mantlepiece give a classic Christmas feel. Remember to stay safe – never leave candles unattended and turn off any lights when the garden room is not in use.

Bring Christmas colours into your space

Adding Christmas colours is an easy way to make your garden room look festive this year. Go for deep reds and greens as well as sparkles, silvers and golds. Add these with soft furnishings such as cushions and blankets. This will make your garden room look and feel so cosy! Another way to easily bring Christmas colours into your garden room is by wrapping tinsel around curtain rails, bar stools or furniture legs.

Bring festive scents into your garden room

Give your garden room its own festive scent to create a truly cosy, Christmassy feel and evoke memories of Christmas past. Natural scents like cinnamon or fresh pine are perfect for a garden building. Or perhaps light scented candles, incense or festive wax melts. If you have electricity in your garden room, you could opt for a festive plug-in room fragrance. Again, remember not to leave candles unattended in a garden room.

Deck the halls

To finish off your festive garden room, add some hanging decorations and Christmas themed ornaments. Pretty much any Christmas decoration that looks good in the house will be suitable for your garden room also. Perhaps consider creating a garden theme by hanging a holly wreath and placing Christmas animal ornaments and statues in and around your garden room. Or, if you have children, perhaps go all out and turn your garden room into Santa’s grotto or an elves workshop.

If you don’t want to spend extra on new decorations, consider making some homemade decorations such as snowflakes. This is a great activity for the kids and will look just as festive as shop-bought decorations.


Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to get creative and decorate your garden room for Christmas this year. Regardless of what you use your garden room for, there are many ways you can bring the festive spirit into it using colour, lights, scents and decorations.

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Six Top Tips to be more sustainable at home

Sustainability is a hot word that has become a major part of our society. Homeowners are seeking new ways in which to become more sustainable, which allows them not only to be more “green” but also potentially less dependent upon external influence. It can be easy to think that becoming more sustainable is difficult, expensive or time-consuming. However, this is not the case. You can be easily insert more sustainability into your life – check out our six top tips.


Tip #1: Lighten your Lighting


One of the significant factors in sustainability is the amount of energy that is consumed and outputted by your home. Lighting plays a big role in this, accounting for more than 15 per cent of a household’s typical electricity bill. One of the best ways to reduce this energy usage is by switching to LED lightbulbs, specifically those which guarantee a long lifespan for the bulb.

LEDs use up to 90 per cent less energy than their incandescent counterparts, and they last up to 25 times longer. This means not only do they help the planet; they help your wallet as well. You can even choose from a variety of colours to suit the ambience of your room.


Tip #2: Tighten those Taps


According to WaterRegsUK, the most complained about plumbing problem in the UK is a leaky tap. Do you know that most homes have a leaky faucet, shower, or other water source leak? A leak of one dropper second can increase your water bill by six per cent, and it equates to about 460 million litres of water wastage a year!

If you spot a leak and you’re feeling confident in your DIY skills, a lot of basic leaky issues can be fixed quite easily.  If you can’t get the leak to stop yourself, get in touch with a professional to help.


Tip #3: Drown The Draughts


Draughts and gaps around doors and windows should be the next thing to check. It goes without saying that draughts will let out the precious heat you’ve paid to create, resulting in higher energy bills and greater energy consumption. Energy Saving Trust offer some great ways to reduce the draughts (and potentially save around £25 a year!

Tip #4: Grow Your Own


Growing your own food bring a variety of benefits. You’ll use less fuel getting to and from a store. You’ll no doubt delight in seeing the buds of a pepper or a tomato on the vine. You’ll also increase the amount of clean air around your house. If you are fortunate to have a garden, it doesn’t have to be massive; why not partition some off to grow some produce. Even if you don’t have a garden, there are many fantastic options like this Microgreen Grower to grow your own fruit and veg indoors.

If gardening is not your bag, why not at least plant a tree or flowers? You can still plant a tree or flowers in the yard. You don’t have to harvest to lessen your impact on the world and build up your home’s sustainability.


Tip #5 Reserve Rainwater


Collecting rainwater is an excellent way to increase your home’s sustainability. It is usually relatively easy to attach a butt to your existing gutter system. This collected water can then be used for watering plants, cleaning cars, or any other activity apart from consumption. By lowering the amount of water you consume, you lower your water and energy consumption at the same time. Both of these reduce your carbon footprint and increase your personal sustainability.


Tip #6 Bask in the Sun


A great many appliances, lights and other electronics in the home can be powered by solar energy captured using solar panels. Whilst the initial cost implications of this are, of course, higher, the long term pays off in lower energy bills, and a smaller carbon footprint makes it worth it. Nowadays, even your garden room can be powered by solar panels on the roof. Some energy companies offer assistance in the form of grants for solar panels.


It’s easy to see from these six simple tips that becoming more sustainable is more accessible and more achievable than you may have initially thought. If you are looking to install a garden room with solar panels, check out our listings here.

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What Not To Store In Your Shed

The idea of not using your shed or outdoor buildings as a place to store items may seem an alien concept. We’ve identified that we don’t want certain items stored in the house, so what better place to put them than in the outdoor storage space we cherish.

The truth is, not everything belongs in a shed. Uninsulated and lacking in climate control, moisture and wide temperature variations can affect certain items you may have stored in your shed, cabin or garage.

We are not suggesting that you stop using your outdoor storage space, but there are ways to utilise this space effectively and help prevent things like rust or corrosion or significant incidents such as fires.

A Strict No

Do not keep anything combustible in outdoor storage. This includes items such as propane tanks, batteries and even spray paints. These items can explode at temperatures of 48°C. Now you might be thinking, where I live never gets that hot, and you may be correct; however, heat trapped in an enclosed space like a shed will rise far more quickly than the outside temperature. Yes, you could use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature; but, we would recommend following the motto “When in doubt, leave it out.”

Heat Horrors

Heat can also affect non-combustibles. Even a slight rise in temperature can ruin paint and cleaning products, and you don’t want to be forking out money to buy an item more than once. Check the labels for their maximum heat exposure advice and ensure the space you’ll be using won’t go higher than the recommendation.

Freeze Frights

With winter fast approaching and Jack Frost running rampant, it’s important to remember that low temperatures can be problematic. Cold temperatures cause batteries to lose their charge, so storing batteries for power tools and other items in the shed might mean that when spring comes, and it’s time to use these items, the batteries won’t work anymore. Paint that has been frozen and thawed will probably change consistency and could be rendered unusable. Also, keep in mind that water expands when frozen; so any liquid stored in glass containers might explode when the liquid freezes.

Moisture Menaces

Even if tools are directly exposed to water or rain, humidity in the air of a shed can cause condensation. This condensation causes rust or corrosion issues. Items such as saws or shears may become dull. Regular oiling will help prevent problems, but we recommend keeping these items inside if you live in a particularly humid or damp climate.

Pesky Pests

If you want to store items such as pet food, plant seeds or bulk food items outside, they must be kept in sturdy plastic or metal containers. These items attract pests and rodents who will not only devour the products but also move into your shed quite happily.


The best rule of thumb to follow is to keep indoor items indoors. Indoor furniture and electronics are not constructed to go outdoors and therefore will be much more susceptible to damage. Unless absolutely necessary, we recommend using outdoor storage for outdoor appliances, lawn furniture, and garden equipment.

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How Can Employers Support Staff In The Event of Plan B

Businesses experienced over a year of furloughs, grants, business closures, re-openings and then further lockdowns before finally coming out of hibernation this summer. Many provisions have been left in place to help support the UK through reopening and ensuring that rising numbers of Covid positive patients are kept to a minimum. In response to a recommendation for continued monitoring of the situation, the UK Government announced its COVID-19 autumn and winter 2021 plan many employers will have been left asking what the plan meant for them and their staff. Here we take a look at what those Plans entail and cover some frequently asked questions about Plan B.


What’s the Plan?


Or, should we say Plans? The UK Government published Covid-19 Response: Autumn And Winter Plan. This summarised the lockdown restrictions and rules that were removed and outlined the provisions that would remain in place to manage and support the ongoing pandemic.


This takes the form of two plans. The plans (Plan A and Plan B) apply in England. Other country in the UK including Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland will create their own plans or rules to follow this autumn and winter.


Plan A


The plan we are currently following is Plan A and England will follow this until further notice is given. The basic standards of Plan A are:


  1. Building defences through pharmaceutical interventions including vaccines and antivirals.
  2. Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission: Test, Trace and Isolate.
  3. Supporting the NHS and social care.
  4. Advising people on how to protect themselves and others with guidance.
  5. Pursuing an international approach to help to vaccinate the world and manage risks at the border.


Guidance for working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) was updated last month to support employers in reducing workplace risks.

While most employees have now been encouraged to return to the workplace businesses are encouraged to:

  • Not ask nor allow employees to attend the workplace if they are required to self-isolate
  • Ask employees who feel unwell to stay at home.
  • Ensure there is adequate supply of fresh are into indoor spaces by opening windows and/or doors.
  • Provide hand sanitiser and supplies to clean surfaces which are regularly touched.
  • Consider using, as appropriate, the NHS QR code poster for customers to check in and the NHS COVID-19 app

Masks are no longer a legal requirement; however, employers should conduct a risk assessment and can ask their employees to wear masks to reduce the risk of transmission.

Should pressure upon the NHS and emergency services increase such that this pressure becomes unsustainable the Government may choose to implement Plan B. Prior notice would be given prior to a switch to Plan B and the UK Government has said that if mandatory vaccine certification comes into force they will five at least one week’s notice.

Plan B entails the following:

  • Working from home where reasonable and possible
  • Legal requirement to wear face masks in certain settings (these will be outlined should Plan B be implemented)
  • Asking the public to be more cautious
  • Mandatory vaccine passports for nightclubs, indoor settings with more than 500 attendees, festivals and other outdoor setting with greater than 4000 people and any setting for more than 10000 people.


Whether as an employer all of your staff have returned to the workplace or some or all are still following working from home or hybrid working – you will need to decide what the plan is going forward. This is especially important given there is a least a risk of England adopting Plan B this Autumn or Winter. The SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) have advised that working from home is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of transmission. So what happens if Plan B is implemented and your staff return to work from home?


Can an employer reduce employee’s pay because they work from home full or part time?

The quick answer is no! The only way an employer can reduce an employee’s pay is with agreement from the member of staff. If your staff are still performing the same tasks, it’s unlikely they will jump at the idea of less pay; especially if colleagues who are hybrid working, or office based keep the same pay. Whilst it may be easy to think that an employee’s ancillary costs such as transport or clothing expenses are reduced by working from home; it should not be overlooked that the cost of their utility bills are likely to increase.

How does an employer support staff working from home?

The UK Government advice clearly sees the necessity for hybrid working; especially should it become necessary to implement Plan B. It’s a good idea to review any risk assessments and consider what the best actions will be should the UK need to return to home working. Any staff with disabilities or special needs will need considerations for their working spaces to be made to ensure they are working safely.

Employers should have discussions with their staff to fully understand their needs and the best way to ensure business continuity. Employers should also ensure they have a thorough home working policy which covers things such as (this is not an exhaustive list) :

  • Supervision
  • Equipment
  • Insurance
  • Security
  • Healthy and safety
  • GDPR and data protection
  • Disciplinary proceedings


What happens if an employee feels reluctant to return to the workplace?

Understandably, some staff, especially those more vulnerable or those affected by Covid-19 may feel trepidatious about returning to the workplace. It is crucial that employers have frank and honest conversations with their employees both regarding a return to base and the employee’s concerns surrounding this. Consider an employee’s request and reasons for not wanting to return to work. Where reasonable or possible, consider allowing the staff member to work from home even some days a week to help alleviate their concerns. Repercussions for dismissing a employee for failing to attend the workplace following their belief of imminent danger could be considered an unfair dismissal and employees do not need two year’s service to bring forth a claim.


What about insuring employees working from home?

Working from home could render existing insurance policies as invalid or inadequate. Contact insurers and discuss hybrid or home working needs so that the correct policies are in place to cover things such as personal injury, damage or theft of equipment, cyber-related breaches and the use of vehicles from a remote working location.


What if an employee wants to work from another country?

If employees are based overseas then, employers will need to consider taxation rules both here in England and in the host country. Generally speaking, UK employers will need to deduct PAYE and NI contributions while employees are based overseas. Many countries have special COVID-19 tax exemptions but employees will need to check each country’s rules individually.


We realise there will be many questions for employers regarding keeping their businesses afloat, managing staff working from home and supporting casual staff in the event of business closure. You can get more information from the UK Government Guidance and HR support companies.


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