Check out this 450sq ft garden studio shared by a family of four

Check out this 450sq ft garden studio shared by a family of four

Feast your eyes on the fabulous home of Sofie Hepworth – and try to get your head round the fact this is a one-room, 450sq ft garden studio, which she shares with her husband, Rob, and their two young sons, Reggie and Teddy.

Inside, the beautifully curated space is anything but cramped as interiors stylist and digital creator Sofie has cleverly created colour coordinated zones to demark living, kitchen, dining and sleep areas. There’s even an office space for when she works from home – and a tropical shower room with an outdoor bath!

The Hepworths have been living in what Sofie affectionately calls the ‘Sheila Shed’ for a year while they gut and renovate their five-bedroom Victorian coach house in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

‘Instead of wasting cash on renting another property, we thought it would be a better investment to build this place 
in the garden so we can use it afterwards as guest accommodation or rent it out,’ says Sofie.

It will be six more months before their main home is complete. But how have they adapted to living in 
a tiny home?

‘It has had its challenges with two kids and I’m naturally quite chaotic and messy, like many creatives,’ laughs Sofie. ‘We live, essentially, in one large room that has to quickly adapt to become a living room, kitchen, dining room, office, playroom and bedrooms.

‘It was a really tall order, but we have achieved it by making all the furniture multi-functional and extendable. We even put wheels on the sofa so we can move it to transform the space depending on what “room” we need the main space to function as.’

When the kids are at school and Sofie is WFH, she pulls out the collapsible desks and the studio becomes an office space. ‘If we have people round, we have an extending dining table and adapt the area so the kitchen/dining area takes up most of the studio. I have extra chairs hanging flat against the wall from hooks,’ she says.

At the weekend the space is dedicated to the boys. ‘We push the sofa to the side and suddenly the studio becomes one big playroom.’ The key to success, Sofie believes, was to build tall – which enabled her to use every inch of space for savvy storage. And the results are remarkable – so much so that after blowing up TikTok with her quirky home tour reels, she has landed a book deal to share her tiny living ideas.

The Sheila Shed also has plenty of eco-credentials, making it sustainable and warm. Insulation and underfloor heating was a godsend over the bitter winter. However, the cold weather has not deterred the family using their stunning pink concrete outdoor bath – one of Sofie’s favourite features, which is accessed through the glass doors of the tropical pink shower room.

‘There is nothing like lying in a tub of hot water staring up at the stars with a glass of wine in your hand. When it’s freezing outside, it’s like being in a hot spring – in fact we use it more in the winter than we do in the summer.’

The kids sleep in bunk beds in a cosy pod, while Sofie and Rob have a space-saving Murphy bed, which they designed themselves – instead of folding down, the door to the bed swings open giving them a privacy wall and self-contained sleep space. ‘We even managed to squeeze in a king-size mattress, which is a huge plus!’

So what has Sofie learned from tiny living? ‘It has made us think about what we need. I have pared-down my wardrobe, the same applies to the kid’s toys. But as well as saving cash on the energy bills, we are more time-rich as we spend less hours cleaning and tidying; always a bonus!’

Sofie’s five tips for small living

Vertical height

Use all the vertical height available – we have so much storage because we used the space right up to the ceiling to create bookshelves, toy storage, clothes storage and plant holes! This space normally doesn’t get used but by doing this we have kept much more floor space. (You might need some mini-steps, though!)


Putting wheels on your sofa is a game changer! We bought some sofa wheels from Amazon and simply drilled them into our sofa legs. This allows us to move the sofa around, adapting the space as we need. Also, in the summer we can wheel it over to the deck outside.


Adapt high street modular systems to make semi-bespoke furniture, which is perfect for small-space living. We used B&Q’s range of wardrobe and desk internals/modular furniture and then built our own doors or clad them to create a bespoke built-in look. We did this for our media and toy storage unit, our desk and our wardrobe area.


One of the biggest mistakes I see is people trying to be too matchy-matchy. I use at least three shades of any colour that I pick in a room; the tonal effect makes the room more interesting and gives off a confident look of ‘I know what I am doing,’ even if you don’t. To match colours that work together, use a paint colour card – they’ve been created by experts who know how to pair based on colour science!


Think of your home as a whole — never decorate a room or a corner in isolation. Never jump on a trend, either. You need continuity, flow and style that is consistent to make it really powerful. Otherwise, it will feel disjointed and confusing. Pick up on one thing that ties all your rooms together. This could be yellow cushions – in my case it’s plants.

For more small living and colour inspiration, visit @threeboysandapinkbath

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