Summerwood Lifestyle Posts

So What Is This Thing Called A Bunkie

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-Summerwood-3

If you enjoy escaping the demands of life by heading into nature, you will love the beauty and utility of a Bunkie. The innovative Bunkie is a small, yet fully functional cottage or cabin that you can place nearly anywhere. As a completely customizable building, this structure will transform your nature retreat into a place you always look forward to visiting. The Bunkie offers an immense number of unique features that turn a simple cottage space into a relaxing, comfortable home away from home.

What is a bunkie?

The term bunkie originates from the word “bunkhouses” which were built by rural farmers and ranchers to help house seasonal employees. A bunkie is a bunk house that is now typically used now for helping with the overflow of guests and family members that are visiting and need a place to sleep at the cottage or cabin. And as the name suggests, it typically houses bunk beds. However it can also be used as the perfect place for extra space at the cottage or in your backyard.

Bunkies are the perfect addition to a cottage, especially for ones that are looking to add more sleeping room for guests. In addition to providing extra space for overnight guests, our bunkies can also be used for a variety of different purposes. While the bunkie is ideally designed for use in the summer months, we have also had various requests for four-season bunkies. With an increase in individuals working from home, it is also the perfect home office that can be added to your backyard to give you some peace and quiet from the many distractions within your home.

Key Bunkie Features

The style elements and layout features that come with your Bunkie depend on the build style you select. The majority of the following key features are included in the basic layout for this iconic structure.

Personalized Exterior

Each cabin design is made from western red cedar, which often ranges from rich yellow to deep red tones. You can further personalize the look of exterior surface by applying stain or paint. Stain accentuates the natural tones and grain of the wood, while paint completely alters the color and finish. You can also add alternate design features, such as a tall porch or planter boxes, to complete your personalized exterior layout.

Customizable Interior

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-SummerwoodYou can design and furnish the interior space any way you like. You can fit bunk beds or simply go with a pull-out sofa to maximize your floor space. You may add shelves, racks and drawers all throughout the space for additional convenient storage options. You can select curtains or blinds to go over the windows or leave them bare to allow more natural light into the dwelling. The space is fully customizable to give you ample decoration options.

Loft Space

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-loft-Summerwood-3The 10×10 Glen Echo Bunkie features 100 square feet downstairs with an approximately 130 square feet loft upstairs. Due to the floor space and height increasing dormers, the loft can accommodate a large queen size bed with room to walk around. Additional shelving can go in the loft as well for storing blankets, clothes and other personal items. You can also use a fold-away ladder to access the loft space to keep the walkways through the main floor clear.

French Doors

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-Summerwood-192793-2French doors on your Bunkie allow you to remain in close proximity to nature throughout your entire trip as they open up the building. The fresh air will help keep the space feeling fresh and airy. The French doors also provide the building with a sophisticated look and feel. If you prefer, you also have the ability to replace the French doors with a single door and two screened windows.

Screened Windows

Across the rest of the Bunkie walls, you will find slide-open screened windows that let in natural light. When closed, the windows are highly insulated to keep the outdoor weather from causing unwanted temperature fluctuations inside the cabin. The screens allow you to let in fresh air without allowing mosquitos and other insects into your dwelling.

Where to place the bunkie?

Usually the bunkies do not have electricity and it is important to consider light and airflow before you start any construction on it. If you are planning to add a bunkie to your cottage or backyard, make sure to stand where you want to place it. Have a look around the site and see how the air moves around it, look around where it is going to go, as well as help to decide where you should put the windows and the doors.

You should also have a look at our 3 Smart Considerations To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your Shed Location to help with selecting the perfect location for you new bunkie. After weighing all of the above factors, you likely will have an ideal place in mind for your new bunkie.

Selecting and Building Your Bunkie

When you are ready to obtain a Bunkie to perfect your nature retreat spot, contact us at Summerwood to discuss your options. You can choose from nearly one dozen fully customizable cottage or cabin styles. Each of the style options can be delivered as a pre-assembled or pre-cut kit.

If you prefer, you can use the provided labor quote to obtain an estimate from your contractor for professional assembly at your desired location. Either way, as a building with a small footprint, many municipalities do not require that you secure a permit before erecting this structure at your chosen location. Building permits are typically only required for buildings over 100 square feet, which is far larger than a typical Bunkie layout. 

Summerwood produces high quality structures designed to increase the aesthetics, utility and value of your properties. When you are ready to proceed with this project, you can view and design your Bunkie at the Summerwood website or call 1-866-519-4634 to discuss your order. You can also inquire about the available pre-fab sheds, playhouses, pool houses and garages to complete your outdoor project needs.

Custom Design Center Call to Action

Backyard Gym In A Shed: Get Your Fit On

If you are continuously rescheduling your daily community gym or yoga studio trips and then failing to find time the next day, you are likely in need of a big change. Instead of shuffling around your full schedule, how about simply changing the location of your workouts? If this seems like a great idea, you are in luck. You can actually create a backyard gym-in-a-shed to always have a rejuvenating workout session waiting right outside your door. This innovative, flexible, and easy to access fitness structure provides all of the benefits of a home gym without taking up precious real estate inside your home. It is also a perfect place for relaxation and free of distraction.

pair of sport shoes hang on a nail on a brown wooden wall

pair of sport shoes hang on a nail on a brown wooden wall

 

Enjoy the instant accessibility and convenience of the gym from your backyard

The time you spend getting ready to go to the gym, and battling traffic to get there, would be much better spent working out in the comfort of your very own fitness space. With a backyard gym-in-a-shed, you can take a quick one-minute walk out back to instantly access your workout room. Instead of striving to visit the gym twice a week, you can actually make it to your home gym just about every day. You can fit your exercise routine into your daily routine, without trying to manage your schedule to get to the gym. If you still do not have the time for workouts, consider pairing up activities with your exercise sessions. For example, you can make sure you do not miss your favorite shows while you work out by placing a TV near your treadmill. Alternatively, spend your time making phone calls or talking with family while you power through an evening session on your elliptical.

 

Backyard gyms allow total privacy

Feeling intimidated and self-conscious often discourages many people from heading to the gym for an exercise session. Furthermore, it just takes one wrong move or compromising incident and you may feel too embarrassed to ever return. Your backyard gym gives you total privacy as you try out new exercises or use the machines as you see fit. You do not have to worry about feeling embarrassed as you perform your favorite moves or push your prior limits. You will never fret about how you look when you are working out in your own private space.

 

Complete freedom to create your own gym atmosphere

goodgymphoto

To enjoy your own tunes at the gym, you must charge your MP3 player, load up your playlist ahead of time and battle your headphones throughout your exercise session. If you have ever run out of battery mid-workout, you already well know the pain of drudging through a workout to the radio piped in overhead. Luckily, you can avoid that whole mess in your very own gym-in-a-shed. You can equip your shed with a powerful stereo system to listen to motivational songs and belt out the lyrics at full volume. Arrange the speakers around your fitness equipment to enjoy a personalized surround sound environment.

 

You can choose to make your gym entirely customizable

At the community gym, you might feel pressure to conform to a certain fitness role and stick with it until the end of time. Unfortunately, that is just not realistic in the long run. As you search for your niche, you may go from cardio extraordinaire to weightlifting superhero, and back again, in just a matter of years. Switching around does not just allow you to find your favorite exercises and routines – It also helps you build the perfect balance of strength and endurance. By having your own gym space, you can customize it with the fitness equipment and tools you need for each of the exercise programs you try out. You can split the room down the middle to utilize one side for your power rack and the other for your treadmill and elliptical. You may even want to keep the extra equipment well organized in a separate shed for immediate access when you switch back to your prior routines. Make sure that you are keeping your gym organized, even if you are keeping all the equipment in one shed.

 

The landscape around your backyard gym

It doesn’t make sense to add a gym to your backyard and then neglect your backyard and its landscaping. Before you start building your workout shed, be sure to do some work on your backyard landscape and clear the area around where you plan on setting up your backyard gym. Make sure that you are also keeping the area maintained, so that you can enjoy the views of your backyard and you are not trudging through thick weeds to get into your gym.

 

Add some light to your gym
backyard gym and exercise equipment

Most home gyms are set up in the basement, garage, or some other light-deprived, white-walled room around the house. Wouldn’t it be nice to set up a gym in the backyard that you’re excited to exercise inside of and not one that you dread stepping into? Building a backyard gym is a great way to alleviate all of those problems as it offers fresh air, natural light and some (more) scenic views.

 

Building your backyard gym-in-a-shed

To start constructing your very own dedicated backyard gym-in-a-shed, obtain a spacious outdoor structure from Summerwood. You can customize the shed’s size and layout using the Custom Design Center right on the site. Once you create your perfect build, simply order and construct the prefabricated building on your lot. With your shed in place, you will have the space you need to create the perfect home gym environment for your needs. Quickly equip the backyard gym with your favorite fitness equipment and get going on your brand new fitness routine.

Going to Work from Home in 2020? Avoid the Pitfalls by Creating a Dedicated Space

7 Sheperd35999 (1)

In our recent post ‘New Year, New Project’ we spoke about making life changes in 2020. One of these changes might be to achieve a better work/life balance. Working from home can be a dream come true, so why not let Summerwood make it a reality?

Cutting out the daily commute can free up 10+ hours a week, so it’s not surprising that many people consider working from home as a blessing. In fact, working from home is a trend that is here to stay according to labour market research. The New York Times reported last year that 43% of employed Americans spent time working remotely, while CNN reports a 115% increase in telecommuting workers in the decade between 2005 and 2015.

Ambitions to work from home could be one or two days a week, or full time if you have the flexibility or have started your own business from home. Regardless, a home office can be the perfect solution to achieving that greater work/life balance you desire. But how do you do it right?

A shared space where you’re contained within the same four walls, days or weeks on end, can cause cabin fever, where maybe your dining table doubles as your office desk or your couch is the most comfortable office chair. It can mean having to clear away your laptop and work documents so dinner can be served, or family trailing in and out to chat while you’re on the phone. Maybe you can’t fully relax, because rather than the age-old problem of taking work home with you, work literally surrounds you 24/7.

Are we painting an idyllic picture? Probably not, because we know you need a dedicated working space, away from the distractions and interruptions, but also a place where you can close the door and say that it’s the end of the work day.

home-office-902342_1280

A separate backyard prefabricated build may be the answer. Here at Summerwood, we’ve noticed a growing demand for backyard offices and studios, and worked with hundreds of customers to help make their dream a viable reality. We support you in your goals to work from home – to be productive, be comfortable, and be happy while you work.

Working meters from your home has all the advantages you imagined; no more early rises to beat the morning traffic, no more humdrum commutes, and no more comprises to convert your work station back into a dining room. Instead, you have your own devoted office, a place in which you know you are there to work, away from the main house, and personalized to your liking. You can add features to keep the space organized, like module shelves, or livable spaces to gather your thoughts and be creative, like a lounge chair or reading nook. Many of our customers also add a stylish dormer window to create a little more natural light. And best of all, your family gives you space so you can work effectively and efficiently without being disturbed.

Spend time browsing through our home office studio styles and our photo galleries of customer favorites. We have a number of designs that other Summerwood customers have designed, or you can use our Custom Design Center to make the perfect office space for you. Don’t forget: all of our builds, including home studios, include easy-to-follow instructions, diagrams, and assembly videos to help you through the process and we’re always here to answer any of your questions.

Sonoma-Pool-House-MI-USA-215863

5 Reasons Why Man Caves Should Be On Top of Your Christmas List

Movember has come to a close, and even though the month might be past us, it’s a great reminder to celebrate the positive impacts that the month has every year on men’s health. In keeping with this, we have taken a closer look at the importance of a man cave and the benefits these masculine spaces offer.

 

Elvis had Graceland, Tony Soprano had his Bada Bing room, and Al Bundy had his garage – men carving out their own places is nothing new in popular culture. Even before TV, men have found peace in a number of male-oriented spots, whether in a pub, workshop or den. Places away from the stresses and demands of everyday life aren’t a distant dream; they’re just going by a new name– the man cave.

 

The benefits that come with a dedicated, males-only space make a great case for why a ‘mantuary’ is the perfect Christmas present to yourself or the special man in your life—here’s why.

 

mancave
 

1. Decompress and de-stress

 

Stress relief is the basic reason that every man needs a man cave. There’s no arguing that sometimes you need to escape the everyday grind of life, but vacations aren’t always an option. After the demands and challenges of a long day or workweek, we all seek a place to unwind, where we can surround ourselves with creature comforts to relax. Can you think of a better way to do this than in a space of your own making?

 

2. Rediscover how to “fire-gaze”, reflect and refuel

 

This point really does pay homage to the ‘cave’ in man cave.

 

The act of gathering around a fire dates to prehistoric times. At the end of a long day’s hunt, man would sit and rest in front of the fire, watching the flames. He needed time to recharge his energy for the next day’s hunt. Today, the natural instinct of a man after a long period of work or intense activity, is still to ‘fire-gaze’, or to ‘zone-out’ in another way, like simply watching Netflix or reading a newspaper.

 

Both physical space and headspace are needed for us to decompress and prepare ourselves to jump back into the grind. A man cave offers a space free of demands, where a man has the freedom to completely turn off from the world and prepare for the next hunt, sales meeting, or family dinner.

 

3. Embrace individuality, creativity and masculine expression

 

Female-led decorating and interior design is common in many homes, sometimes leaving male-tastes unfilled. This can be disheartening to men, as their favourite sports paraphernalia, video games, or large-screen television from bachelor days are relegated to the attic or not-so-accidently sold at last week’s garage sale.

 

A man cave is the perfect spot for a man to carve out his own domain, allowing for more masculine items, that may not be suited to the main house, items like a pool table, exercise equipment, game station, reclining chairs, or a bar.

 

Men can style their man cave’s interior to fit the vibe they want, whether this is minimalist and spartan, a traditional pub scene, or an inspired workshop for dreaming, planning and building. Decorating the man cave to reflect personal taste and individuality can be satisfying. While each man cave can be as different as the men who inhabit them, there are no right or wrong ways to decorate. If the space is filled with things that make him happy, how could it be wrong?

 
workshop-mancave
 

4. Explore your interests

 

As we go through life, and face more demands on our time, we can lose touch with earlier life passions – where hobbies fall by the wayside or we forget to explore new interests.

 

Whatever your interests might be, having a space to maintain a lifelong passion or discover a new pursuit and spending time on our hobbies helps our mental health and mood balance. From constructing model planes and miniature railway sets, to fixing motorbikes or household items, many men find working on logical or practical projects is both mentally stimulating and therapeutic.

 

As well as having this mental health benefit for men, a dedicated outdoor building as a hobby or workspace carries the added benefit of keeping the home and garage clutter free!

 

5. Personal space for better relationships

 

Less tense, more inspired— this is how most men feel after an hour spent in their man cave. A man who feels recharged is able to be his very best self, allowing him to bring more to his everyday, including his relationships, especially with friends and family.

 

Personal spaces are important in maintaining overall happiness and a sense of self—and have proved themselves as helpful outlets for those with significant others. What’s more, in some cases they’ve inspired partners to seek out a space of their own, like She Sheds.

 
2 urban-studio-shed-brooklyn-new-york-195949-1
 

Let Summerwood help

 

The benefits of a man cave are numerous, and far-reaching, but the process of setting up your own is easy. The assembly process for Summerwood buildings is safe, simple and fun, as our pre-cut and pre-assembled kits allow you to do-it-yourself, or to hire a contractor for extra help, while our Custom Design Center lets you personalize a building to fit your home, landscape, and lifestyle.

 

We cover the whole spectrum of design choices, and ship our products throughout North America and beyond. For inspiration, browse our cabins and studios or search here among over 1,000 finished project photos submitted by delighted Summerwood customers.

 

Whether you need a little or a lot of help, contacting our experienced design specialist team here can help you get the ball rolling on the man cave of your dreams, and build the foundation for a great year ahead.

 

5 Activities To Never Try In Your Outdoor Building

45815-81137207-IMG_20160925_173939

After constructing your new outdoor building, you may find yourself searching for reasons to spend time there. As you organize the space and plan fun activities to enjoy during your visit, make sure you know your limits – and the limits of your structure. Although the vast number of pastime options may feel limitless at first blush, there are a few activities you should never try in your outdoor building, so long as you wish to avoid suffering the swift repercussions. To remain safe and sound, and consequence free, remember to avoid the temptation to try the five following activities in your outdoor structure.

Roast Marshmallows

Although roasting marshmallows in the comfy confines of your outdoor structure sounds incredibly decadent, it is also quite a dangerous proposition. Unless you have a fireplace, leave the flames and smoke outdoors where they belong by creating a fire pit and seating area a safe distance away from your buildings. If you absolutely must gaze upon the crackling logs while relaxing in your outdoor building, install a TV screen and tune into one of the many simulated fires to get your fix.

canmore-cabin-combermere-ontario-166515-3

Paint with the Windows Closed

An outdoor building can give you the peace and quiet you need to churn out beautifully painted masterpieces one after another. If, in your frenzy to get painting, you forget to pop open your doors and windows, the fumes could build up and knock you through a loop. Avoid the fumes, and their dizzying effects, by either painting elsewhere or installing centrifugal fans to actively circulate the air as you create your works of art. Opening the windows and doors probably couldn’t hurt either.

Feed the Wildlife

Feeding the wildlife from the doorway of your outdoor building will only serve to draw them to that structure in great numbers. Since life is, sadly, not a Disney movie, the wildlife will likely end up causing more harm than good. To keep their potential for destruction to a minimum, avoid setting out snacks or treats for birds, squirrels or any other wildlife anywhere near your inviting outdoor building structures.

sonoma-garden-shed-mississauga-ontario-194280-2

Grow Mystery Shrubs

Although an outdoor building makes an excellent sprout station and garden depot, you must actively identify your plants to keep your garden, and you, safe and sound. After all, you just never know when the mystery shrub from the corner shop will grow far too large and demand the finest of foods in song. Keep your garden tame by growing your favorite fruit, vegetables and flowers under a combination of natural and artificial light.

Throw a Pool Party

Outdoor buildings seem fit for a bash, but planning a pool party might be taking that sentiment a bit too far. The splashing and laughing – and fun filled chaos – will do little for the health and wellbeing of your newfound favorite outdoor structure. A spa session, on the other hand, might be just what the doctor ordered.

no_id_-e30c37be-IMG_3208_1_

Smartly Utilizing Your Outdoor Buildings

With a little thought about your favorite activities, you can easily transform your outdoor buildings into true extensions of your living space. You can use your imagination to turn each space into an office, computer lab or even an art studio. As your interests change, do not shy away from updating the space yet again to support your latest endeavors. With extra outbuildings at your fingertips, you will always have the space you need for your hobbies and projects.

 

A Playhouse Designed By The Kids

Imagine being a kid and trying to convey to your parents exactly what you want from a playhouse. Everything’s adult-sized and you’re rarely allowed your own space. That’s why kids love Summerwood playhouses so much. We encourage including your kids in the design of their playhouses. The little touches they add make them proud to call it their play-home. Besides, getting the kids involved means extra help during the building process, right!?

custom colorful playhouse summerwood

Playhouses are an easy backyard addition. Due to their size and purpose, you probably won’t need a building permit. But, there are a few important things to consider before purchasing your playhouse: does your backyard have the available space for a playhouse? How can you ensure safely for the little ones? Is a playhouse the best option for your family, or would a small shed prove to be more useful?

Playhouse Styles & Placement

Summerwood offers three standard playhouse models to choose from, The Bear Claw, The Peach Pickers Porch, and The Petite Pentagon. These can be left as is, or customized to your, and your child’s content. When considering where in your backyard it would be best to place your playhouse, consider whether a rectangular, or 5-sided shape would best suit your space (read more about our space-saving 5-sided buildings for grown ups: “The Catalina: Our 5 Sided Corner Building”).

The mini-porch space is the highlight of our Peach Pickers Porch model.

The mini-porch space is the highlight of our Peach Pickers Porch model.

Playhouse Safety

Like all Summerwood structures, our playhouses are built according to the highest standards and building code regulations. Playhouses can also include Plexiglas windows, or no glass at all to ensure that the children are free to cast spells and slay magical dragons without concern. Keep in mind as well that you may want to be able to supervise from afar while the children are at play, so when considering where to build your playhouse, ensure that you have a good vantage point.

summerwood playhouse custom

Long-Term Considerations

Although the children may love and appreciate everything miniature, it may not be the right option for your family in the long term. Summerwood structures are built to last, so it’s important to consider whether or not a playhouse fits your present and future lifestyle. If your storage needs are met, and you believe a playhouse will be thoroughly enjoyed for years to come, it could be the perfect backyard addition. However, a small shed may also be able to serve as a playhouse for the time being, and later function as a storage solution. A playhouse is constructed with the children in mind, so although it may be the perfect size at the present time, your family may outgrow it in due time. The design experts at Summerwood are happy to help you make a selection that will serve your family for years to come.

A Five-Sided Corner Catalina, adapted to function as a playhouse until they're all grown up.

A Five-Sided Corner Catalina, adapted to function as a playhouse until they’re all grown up.

Kids are more likely to take care of their playhouse if they're involved in the process.

Kids are more likely to take care of their playhouse if they’re involved in the process.

If you’re just starting to consider the addition of a custom backyard playhouse, don’t forget to take the opportunity to treat the kids like your personal design consultants. Have them join you at our Custom Design Center. It’s an intuitive “drag n’ drop” tool that they’ll love fiddling with.

Sharon of Brampton, Ontario did just that. “We talked it over with the kids, and then we talked to Summerwood. They were very helpful and knew the product inside out. We showed the kids the design online. They ‘approved’ it.”

Contact Us:
Check out our website: www.summerwood.com
Email us: design@summerwood.com
Call us toll-free: 1 866 519-4634

Don’t forget to play…