How to create a backyard home office space

Working from home.

Sounds great, right?

Until you’re on an important call and the vacuum starts up.

Or you need to pack up your laptop, screen, keyboard and stationary because another household member needs to use the dining table.

Surely, there has to be more a more productive way to work from home!

With more of us working from home than ever before, Australia has seen a dramatic increase in backyard home office spaces. Also known as a garden room, cabana or home studio, you can utilise your backyard space saving thousands of dollars on renovation and extension costs.

Why a home office in the backyard?

  • It’s separate from the rest of the home
  • It’s easier to maintain work/life balance
  • You can escape from distractions, interruptions and background noise.
  • Enjoy increased focus & productivity
  • A quiet, private room for your Zoom meetings & conferences.
  • It’s often cheaper than an extension
  • It is almost always cheaper than a home renovation

Here’s how to create a home office to make working from home more effective and enjoyable.

First things first – paint the outside

Whether you’re starting with a brand new structure or making over an old one, a fresh coat of paint on the outside is the best place to start.

Not only will it look great, it’ll be protected from the harsh Aussie weather.

Dulux Weathershield is a great exterior paint option if you’re not sure where to start and choosing a similar colour to your home will create a consistent look on your property. Here’s a handy paint calculator to help you work out how much you’ll need.

melwood home office and outside office shed
This garden office has been painted to match the home perfectly, which adds value to the property. (5.4m x 3.2m Melwood Workshed)

Connect Services (electrical, data cabling etc.)

Once your structure is painted outside, it’s time to get your tradies along and connect up the services you need.

You’ll need an electrician to wire up your lights, aircon and a couple of powerpoints.

It’s a good idea to get data cabling too if you can or at least a wifi extender so you have fast internet.

You could even add plumbing to your home office, however, we recommend checking with your local plumber if this is possible.

melwood home office mod cabana no.18 inside the shed office
Once your structure is painted outside, it’s time to get your tradies along and connect up the services you need. This is inside a 5.4m x 3.2m Mod design – a design popular for the natural light it lets in.

Wall linings

Once the services are in, it’s time to line your walls!

You can add extra insulation at this step as well. This will keep your backyard home office more comfortable while reducing heating and cooling costs.

There are many options for lining the walls of your new office but the two most popular ones are traditional plaster and wall panels.

Traditional plaster will require a plasterer (unless you’re very handy!) and creates a fair bit of mess but means you’ll have a sleek finish just like the inside of your home.

For a quicker option, wall panels (such as these) are easy to DIY and provide a smooth wall lining that can be painted just like plaster.

melwood home office easycraft wall panel
These wall panels (available from Bunnings) are a great way to line the walls of your home office. (7.2m x 2.6m Melwood Verandah design)

Paint the inside of the outdoor office structure

The colour your paint the inside of your new home office can have a great effect on how you feel when you’re working – and how much work you end up doing!

We have a lot of customers paint their office all-white for a crisp and clean look, that also doubles as a professional background for Zoom meetings!

However, you should also choose a colour that’s going to make you feel calm, productive or focused. This article covers the best paint colours for your office.

melwood home office. Workspace inside the outdoor office shed
All-white makes for a nice crisp home office and creates a professional background for your Zoom meetings. These customers also kept the original floor that their Melwood came with – a very cost-effective option. (3.6m x 3.2m Melwood Mod design).

Add functional furniture and decorate your home office

Last but not least, it’s time to add furniture to your new backyard home office.

Home offices are typically somewhere we spend a lot of time, so it’s a good idea to invest in a good-quality, comfortable chair and a functional desk.

Sit/stand desks are not just for the elite anymore. You can pick one up at IKEA for a reasonable price. This IKEA sit/stand desk is a good place to start. Your back and health will thank you!

melwood garden room home office workshed3254
This Melwood home office has been lined with wall panels, and the timber floor that comes with the Melwood, to be later stained – a quick, easy and cost-effective DIY. (5.4m x 3.2m Melwood Workshed).
home office melwood cabana
Jamie has transformed her Melwood into the perfect home office/studio with decorations, rugs & furniture. (6.3m x 3.2m Melwood).

Melwood structure planning is subject to council approval

Get all your Home Office Questions Answered

Putting in a home office is fast and easy when you start with a Melwood.
We realise you might have a few questions about how to get the right home office for your property.

Download design price guide