With no guarantees on the weather, making the most of your garden during the summer can sometimes mean thinking outside the box. Blazing heat to pouring rain, we Brits experience it all and everything else in between. From small additions that will make your existing garden shed more habitable to huge projects that might require calling in lots of favours from friends and family, we’ve compiled a list of our top 9 ideas for personalising your garden shed (as well as pergolas, BBQ shelters and playhouses.)
1. The ‘Man Cave’
Photo Credit: Reader Sheds
Traditionally the domain of the men within a house, the classic garden shed has evolved drastically over the last 10 years. The humble garden shed is no longer just a place to tinker, store your tools and listen to the radio. With a little power and light the possibilities really are endless; we’ve seen sheds with TVs, DJ booths and games consoles as well as pool tables and dartboards. The luxurious ‘Oak Lodge’ pictured above is fully insulated and comes complete with a 42” TV, internet access and a surround sound system as well as heating so it can be enjoyed all year round.
2. The ‘She Shed’
Photo Credit: The Telegraph
Dubbed the female answer to the man cave, she sheds became popular as women reclaimed old, disused garden sheds. Cleaning out an unloved garden building and adding some colour with paint and soft furnishings can make a warm inviting space and provide an oasis of calm for unwinding in. We particularly like the shabby chic stylings of this she shed and think it would also make a great place to entertain guests.
3. The ‘Hobby Hole’
Photo Credit: Ken Jones
Using a garden shed as an extra room for arts, crafts and hobbies is a great idea, especially if you’re limited on space inside your house. We’ve seen a huge range of ideas, from sewing sheds to writing nooks to recording studios. Lawn enthusiast and competent DIYer, Ken Jones, built the fully insulated art studio above from scratch, taking the double doors from his house when they were removed to make space for a conservatory.
4. The ‘Home’ Office
Photo Credit: The Telegraph
This home office from Georgia Wilkinson was featured on Channel Four’s Shed of the Year in 2015. Not only did it provide her with the space she needed to set up her own business when she moved back in with her parents, she said that one of the best things about it was that “if you are just walking down to the bottom of your garden to work in your shed, you can shut the door and leave it behind in the evening”. One of the great benefits of using a shed as a home office is that the planning requirements are usually less than you would need to satisfy for an extension or loft conversion. You can find more on UK planning regulations here.
5. The Small Space
Photo Credit: The Metro
Alan Cook, pictured above, proves to all of us that size isn't everything. In just 3m, he has managed to include a gym, a games console, a fridge, a satellite HD TV as well as broadband and a telephone line. This is the perfect hideaway for those who appreciate their own company.
6. The Traditional Shed
Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens
If you need to use your garden shed to store tools and gardening equipment, there are a few things you can do to make it more inviting and easier to use. The shed shown above has had all of the walls covered with strip board making it easy to hang everything up. This makes it easy to see exactly where everything is as well as ensuring the space is maximised to its full potential.
7. The Outdoor Kitchen
Photo Credit: Pinterest
The British would never let a little drizzle put a dampener on anything, with this garden shelter you can extend that to BBQs! As well as protecting the BBQ and buns from getting wet, this shack is also perfect for providing a little shade for the chef. For those of you with smaller gardens or less time, this wooden garden BBQ shelter comes with everything you need to put it together and is adequately sized for most family BBQs.
8. The Shady Spot
Photo Credit: Thirty Handmade Days
Al fresco dining is lovely when the sun is shining, but it can sometimes get a little too hot if you’re out at lunchtime. Weaving some lengths of canvas between the boards on top of a pergola like Mique from Thirty Handmade Days has done above is a great way to create some shelter. The addition of outside lighting creates a warm atmosphere that’s perfect for entertaining.
9. Something For The Kids
Photo Credit: A Place Imagined
Whether you buy inexpensive window boxes from a garden centre, make your own out of timber or upcycle something you already have at home, helping your children plant and nurture flowers will help reignite their interest in an old playhouse. As well as making them feel more grown up by providing a more ‘homey’ feel to their little house, you can use it as an educational tool to help inspire them in the garden.
Have you created something similar to the sheds and structures we’ve featured? Do you have ideas for what you’d like to see us cover next? Send your pictures and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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