The owner of this Little House is Dilly Orme, a creative director and interior stylist who takes great inspiration from natural daylight. Located in Hampton Hill in the south London borough of Richmond, the Ormes’ Little House is a Victorian terrace surrounded by leafy suburbs. Dilly had a vision to transform what was a bleak shed at the bottom of the garden into a little 25 square foot house complete with a living space, entertaining area and clever storage. This meant that she could work and entertain, as well as offer a place for her daughters to sleep when they visit and a potential living space for her parents.

Light as a fuel for creativity

For Dilly, the light sets the mood in the mornings, inspiring her to settle down and work. She explained that light helps her to bring projects to life and adds another dimension, allowing her to tap into her creativity.

“The open plan space has really been extended further by the VELUX windows. In the afternoon, it gets more intense over the desk and that can be a lovely, dappled light.” Dilly explained.

From workspace to entertaining place

As the name of her garden room suggests, Dilly didn’t have a huge amount of room to work with, so this space needed to be as versatile as possible.

The bright, open-plan design helped in this regard, accentuated by the large VELUX roof windows. They allowed the sun to shine through in the morning and continue to let more light in throughout the day, breaking down the barriers between the garden and their beautiful indoor space.

“The idea is that the space is for me to primarily work from home but it’s also a social space where the girls or myself can entertain friends in the evenings.”

“When I’m working in this space, the light is phenomenal. I can see swatches, paint colours, everything, really nice and clearly. I come in in the mornings - obviously a really lovely light place - and it welcomes me in as I settle down to work.”

A Little House with big views

“In the evening, because of the size of the windows, you can really experience whatever’s going on outside. If there’s a lovely sunset it will be reflected inside. Then we can create an atmosphere with candlelight and outdoor lights, which makes a really lovely space for entertaining in the evening.”

“Originally, we were going to have slightly smaller windows but as the process went on, we thought, let’s go for as big as we can.”

A practical and pleasant place to be

Since the Little House has a multitude of uses, adapting the exposure to sunlight and airflow was important to Dilly. She wanted this hidden gem at the bottom of the garden to be an uninterrupted space.

“We can open the windows and control the blinds using the app, allowing us to work out exactly how much light we want at a particular time. So, it’s always a really pleasant, comfortable place to be.”

“The blackout blinds, for example, mean that if we’ve got a guest staying, they don’t get woken up too early in the morning. And then the external blinds are heat protectors, so this room never feels too hot or stuffy.”

“The overall vision for this garden room was that it would feel like a little house. I wanted it to have the practicalities that we could use it all year round.” Dilly concluded.

Now Dilly has the best of both worlds, her Little House inspires her in the early mornings, and at night, she can unwind with her friends and family in her home away from home.