Summer House Ideas: Types, Design and Uses

Summerhouses have traditionally been called ‘summer’ garden rooms for relaxation. But times have changed, and so have their functions, designs, and types. Here, we’ve rounded up a list of summer house ideas, types, and designs available and their creative uses.

Different Types of Garden Summer Houses

Types of Summer Houses

There are different types of summer houses suited to every backyard design and layout, from small to large summer houses that give you loads of comfortable, versatile space.

1. Contemporary

BillyOh Bella Tongue and Groove Pent Summerhouse
BillyOh Bella Tongue and Groove Pent Summerhouse

Most contemporary summer houses are a modern twist on traditional log cabins. They’re all about sleek lines and a minimalistic look that fits into modern garden settings.

2. Traditional

BillyOh Holly Tongue and Groove Apex Summerhouse
BillyOh Holly Tongue and Groove Apex Summerhouse

And there goes the traditional type that brings back that classic charm. These summer houses feature architectural elements such as pitched roofs and decorative windows. They resemble quaint countryside cottages and are mostly built from wood.

3. Corner

BillyOh Picton Corner Summerhouse
BillyOh Picton Corner Summerhouse

Corner summer houses are designed to fit snugly into the corners of outdoor spaces. Their triangular or trapezoidal shape makes up for their space-saving qualities. They offer a solution for adding extra storage or creating a quiet nook in your garden.

4. Log cabin summer houses

BillyOh Carmen Log Cabin Summerhouse
BillyOh Carmen Log Cabin Summerhouse

The design mixes a summer house and a log cabin, hence the name. It provides a more luxurious style and robust construction. If you’re torn between the two, why not get the best of both worlds in one structure?

5. Summer house sheds

BillyOh Penton Corner Summerhouse with Side Store
BillyOh Penton Corner Summerhouse with Side Store

This type is the ultimate combo of relaxation and storage. Some even come with a side store for added functionality. An ideal solution if you want to own two buildings with different functions.

Summer House Designs & Personalisations

6. Added porch

BillyOh Ivy Tongue and Groove Apex Summerhouse
BillyOh Ivy Tongue and Groove Apex Summerhouse

In this design, a wide decking expands the space further, perfect for entertainment. Don’t forget a spot for outdoor dining – it’s a must-have for those warm summer evenings.

7. Wooden gazebo inspired

Thatched gazebo-style summer house
Image Credit: Geograph UK

This is a summer house idea that offers an open and airy feel. Resembling a gazebo, this relaxing retreat will look great in a modern garden or poolside. Privacy screens can be used for extra protection when needed.

8. Creative curves

Curved summer house design with shingles
Image Credit: Pxhere

Who says your summer house has to be boxy? There’s a futuristic yet organic look to this curvy garden room! If you have the time and space to recreate this look, we know the result will be worth it.

9. With a living roof

Summer house with living roof
Image Credit: Flickr, denisbin

The sprouting living roof adds a touch of industrial and eco-friendly style to the design. Plant it with wildflowers and create a haven for wildlife right in your backyard. It’s a stylish and sustainable way to blend your structure with nature.

10. Oriental touch

Japanese garden room nearby a lake
Image Credit: Pxhere

This summer house style gives you a completely different environment. The Asian-inspired structure focuses on delicate design, both interior and exterior.

A notable oriental with a modern touch, the design is mostly used for tea houses. A worth considering if you wish to have a private one in your Chinese garden idea.

11. A-frame structure

A structure garden room
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A-frames are iconic architectural styles for housing and garden rooms. Many experts recommend them as a creative, bespoke summer house design idea. The interior concept is often open, with the living room, dining room, and kitchen all in one space.

12. Vine-covered wall

Vine-covered building
Image Credit: Flickr, Charles W. Bailey Jr.

What better backdrop to banish winter than a summer house with creeping greenery? A garden building covered with vines gives the wall a lush, old-Italian rustic look. Try flowering vines for decorative effects, like climbing roses, Wisteria and trumpet vines.

13. Pergola extension

DIY pergola made of branch with sheer curtains
Image Credit: Pxhere

Pergolas and summer houses are two popular additions to any garden setting. This combination can create a new space for you to use. Plus, pergolas offer shade and a structure for climbers to enhance your outdoor oasis.

14. Scandinavian “hygge” haven

This idea is rooted in the Scandinavian concept of cosiness and contentment. It focuses on simplicity, natural materials, and warm lighting. When decorating the interior, opt for light-coloured timber furnishings. Go for plush textiles like fur or knitted blankets and lots of candles. Keep the colour palette neutral and soft to achieve a hygge-inspired space.

15. Floating and decked

A floating and decked summer house is a great way to enjoy your lakefront property. The design features lots of natural wood surfaces and a simplified home design. Enjoy the tranquillity of your surroundings with this simple yet stylish setup.

Potential Unique Uses of Summer Houses

16. Open entertainment area

Porch entertaining area with woven rattan furniture
Image Credit: Pxhere

If you have limited garden space, add a small summer house at the rear or side. Make it open to the rest of the seating area for a sociable scheme. Keep it simple with a bench that can double as a daybed and a patio heater for cooler evenings.

17. Room for afternoon tea

Afternoon tea table setup
Image Credit: Flickr, Maia C

A summer house can be transformed into a charming tea room in your garden. It can make the experience more elegant, especially for full afternoon tea. Set the scene with delicate teacups, a selection of teas, and maybe some freshly baked treats.

18. Outdoor studio

A garden studio is a perfect place to isolate a hobby. Not to mention being surrounded by nature to inspire! If one of your goals this year is to flourish in your pursuits, a summer house can provide you with a dedicated space.

19. Reading retreat

Bedroom's reading nook with bookshelf, seating area, and a glass window with forest view
Image Credit: Flickr, Peter Alfred Hess

Escape into your own little world with a cosy reading retreat. Fill your summer house with books for the ultimate relaxation spot. It’s a peaceful oasis where you can immerse yourself in your favourite stories and unwind.

20. Al fresco dining spot

Thinking of having an extension of your living space for enjoying meals in the open air? Look no further than an al fresco dining spot in your summerhouse! Perfect for family gatherings and entertaining friends.

Select weather-resistant furniture and a sturdy dining set. Install proper outdoor lighting for evening gatherings. Add a touch of charm with outdoor-friendly decor, like lanterns and cushions.


A summer house is designed with one thing in mind: relaxation and enjoyment. It’s a practical and charming garden room tailored to your outdoor leisure needs. What’s not to love? And despite the name, the right summer house is versatile enough to be enjoyed all year round.

We hope this list of inspirations sparks your creativity for a new backyard project. Continue your exploration with these summer house interior ideas! For questions, contact us at 01909 768840.