The Old Carriage - Small Garden Studio - Design - Architecture

You may well remember my last blog post about the design of my proposed studio space. Well, I've spent the last 4 days rethinking (for the hundredth time) my approach and decided to scale down my plans even further. (And let's be honest, it was pretty small to begin with!). Before I show the 3D visuals, I'd like to give a bit of backstory, if I may... or you can just skip to the renders, I won't mind!

NOTE: Render shown without a background or veranda/canopy for clarity. Many more renders below.


I've long been interested in design (as you can tell from this website) but particularly in small scale structures. I have designed many such buildings, and I have found that my designs get smaller and smaller every time. I've come to realise, and I hope this doesn't make me sound like an "eco-crazy" (as I call them), that we simply don't need huge rooms, homes and office spaces. A small space can just as easily be light and airy, comfortable, and inspiring as any large room. And of course, it costs much less to build, too!

I've really been inspired by small space buildings that people have made, mainly the increasingly popular trend of "Tiny Houses". And as house prices continue to rise whilst incomes stay level, the housing market for young single people like me is nothing but a dream. I can see why people have started to turn to Tiny Houses as a way to avoid hefty mortgages and debt! I'm tempted by the idea myself, it has to be said.

Anyway, I digress. Let's talk about the new design shall we!

The Design

After having seen my dad's small trailer being loaded up the other day, I decided to challenge myself and design a little studio space that could fit on a trailer small enough to be towed with relative ease. The idea being that if I needed/wanted to move my studio space, I could without having to completely rebuild it all. The 3D visuals below do show the added veranda and decking which of course would need to be deconstructed in the event of a move, but I'm working on ways to make that a simple process.

The inspiration came in the form of an old grounded Victorian railway carriage. Specifically one with duckets (those window extensions on the sides) that the guard of the train would've used to check the line ahead. Side note: As many of you know, another one of my hobbies is railway modelling, and my current project will have such a carriage on it as well (albeit in 1:76 scale!). This is where the idea of designing a railway themed cabin came from.

The interior is very simple. Most surfaces are white painted wood with key elements and work surfaces in oak (or at least oak veneer). Using the above aerial image and travelling clockwise we have;

The music production desk - 1.9m long, 0.4m wide with a drawer either end of the MIDI keyboard. The keyboard itself is on a separate desk which can be pulled out (I haven't yet decided how). A pen holder and dual computer monitor arm complete a simple but useful workstation. Oh, almost forgot, there is a lean-to extension (look at the external renders to see it) behind the monitors that holds the PC in order to minimise white noise in the cabin and also provide easier access to air to cool it. 

The first ducket - I'll probably fit a little bit of padding here and turn this into a window seat - the view from here should be nice looking out into the fields.

The sofa - Nothing too special here, just a sofa. I'll probably have one with storage space under the seat for extra large cushions or if there is space, turn it into a sofa bed. Could be too tight though unless I can make it a narrow bed going between the production desk and the log burner... we'll see.

The second ducket - I haven't drawn it in, but I planned to add a little desk lamp here or maybe just put some ornaments on - the view in it's proposed location wouldn't be too special!

The log burner - For those cold winter nights! These things can chuck out a surprising amount of heat - certainly plenty to keep this small space heated to a comfortable level, even in the cold winter.

The "Bar" - I imagined this as my creative design area - a large magnetic whiteboard with document holders and shelves below for storage. It also has the kettle on it - vital for cups of tea whenever the log burner is not in use!

The doors (no, not the band) - Full length glass plane doors to allow maximum light in. (The standard 0.8m width). If you look carefully these doors are slightly off centre to give the main production desk more space.

I have however taken a few liberties and diverged from a traditional pre-grouping carriage design;

  • I have added a clerestory roof to let in maximum amounts of light - the original would've either had a birdcage roof, or just omitted any such roof-lights at all.
  • The duckets have windows on every side unlike the original which would've only had the "forward" and "back" facing windows.
  • All windows (excluding those on the duckets & clerestory) on one side have been blanked to reduce glare on the computer monitors, and also provide a space for a big whiteboard and wall mounted document storage which will make designing stuff easier in the future!
  • The walls have been beefed up, including the duckets and roof construction to allow more space for thermal/sound insulating materials between the stud walls compared to the original.
  • The doors are located on the end of the "carriage" as opposed to both sides, they also have full-length glass panels. (Again, for maximum light).

So that's it! A lengthy blog post, but I hope you found it interesting or perhaps even inspiring nonetheless. I should probably note that this will replace my previous studio design (the octagonal one). As nice as the design was, it was a little too big, and would never be able to be moved once built. I feel this design provides a much better solution despite being a lot smaller.

 If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them - I'll try and get back to you ASAP.

'Till next time!


Jamie Warne

I'm a 23 year old with a big love of music and photography. I'm fairly new to both fields, and love to self teach the skills that I will require!