Garden shed ideas – projects and designs for your own dedicated outdoor room

A simple outhouse can be so much more...
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  • The hope of a long hot summer has got us ready and raring to dust off our spade and shears and get creative outside. But before we tackle the plants and flowers, the garden shed is first on our list for a revamp for summer 2021.

    Even the simplest of outhouses can serve as so much more than just a dumping ground for tools, toys and bikes. Paint it up and dress it right and it can become a home office, a playroom, a cosy snug for relaxing or a gardener’s dream potting shed.

    Another great thing about decorating a shed is that it’s a small, self-contained project that can be completed in a couple of weekends. So if your plans for a perfect home still seem like a pipe dream, turn your attention to a little bit of heaven in your back yard.

    Spark your imagination with our garden shed ideas, for garden ideas of all sizes.

    Garden shed ideas

    1. Lay down creature comforts

    garden shed with rug flooring

    Image credit: Cuprinol

    Instantly make your shed feel like a comforting space, whatever you use it for, with the addition of a carpeted flooring. A simple, sizeable rug should cover the majority of the floor plan – providing near total coverage, while keeping costs low. Adding a comfortable floor gives the space a whole new identity, rather than it merely being a cold outbuilding it helps to welcome a sense of warmth – creating a space you are more inclined to want spend more time pottering in.

    2. Turn your shed into a chic sanctuary

    garden shed ideas for a sanctuary room

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Forget the ‘Man caves’ – we’re going potty for the ‘She shed’. Find another place to store your tools – or pop them in a classy hamper or trunk that doubles as a coffee table. Then transform the space into your own little haven, away from the kids and the dog and the blare of the TV.

    If you’re ambitious, you could even have a sofa in there – though it might be best then to start with a new shed and build it up around the couch! Wallpapering overlapping or shiplap boards isn’t really an option, but you could cover an MDF board with fabric for an individual splash of pattern.

    3. Surprise with a pop of colour inside


    Image credit: Cuprinol

    This can be our little secret! The next time you’re staining your shed against the elements, why not have a bit of fun and introduce a pop of colour inside? It will always bring a smile to your face, no matter what you use your shed for!

    Use the idea to create an alternative space to work from home, using vibrant colours to stimulate the senses. An ideal work space for hot summer months, maybe move back inside for the cold winter months.

    Related: Where to buy paint online – and all the best paint deals on well-known brands

    4. Build a shed on stilts as a garden centrepiece


    Image credit: Cuprinol

    Raising a shed up on stilts is a way to (literally) elevate its status in a garden – and paint it a bright colour so that it won’t be lost in the undergrowth. Simple additions – such as blinds for the windows – will ensure people view it more as a garden room than a dumping ground. Blinds also provide a little extra security if there’s anything of value in there.

    5. Experiment with a new decorating style

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Love a trend, but not quite ready to kit out your whole house in a global fusion/geometrics/velvet luxe look?! Then use your shed as a testing ground. Here, the owners have experimented with a relaxed and chic feel that reflects their love of travelling. Multiple seating options make it a great place to shelter from a summer shower or after dark.

    See more of this shed: Before and after: gorgeous garden makeover with fab she shed!

    6. Squeeze in a slender mini shed


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Make the most of even the smallest of outdoor spaces with a slim shed design. These days, any garden can have a shed thanks to the myriad options, great and small. Kit out a mini shed like this with floor-to-ceiling shelving to make as much space as possible for tools, pots and whatever else you need to make your garden grow.

    Read more: Small garden ideas to make the most of a tiny outdoor space

    7. Use your shed as an extra bedroom


    Image credit: TI Media

    This chic bunk offers a secluded, snug and secure feel for the best night’s sleep for all ages – and the pull-out storage below means your shed can still offer a place to slow garden essentials.

    A shed can easily serve as a simple place to snooze for an afternoon – but if you’re considering it as an option as a fully fledged guest room, you will need to think about running power out so it’s possible to keep it warm. 

    8. Make your shed work hard as a home office


    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    With the number of people working from home at an all-time high, office space has become an essential for many households. Finding somewhere quiet to focus on emails, reports and the like isn’t easy, however, and that’s where your shed can help!

    Building a study area at the bottom of the garden has lots of benefits – two being you’re away from the distractions of the rest of the house, and can physically separate your work and home life.

    Again, you may need to consider running power to your shed if you don’t have a laptop.

    Related: Small home office ideas – stir creativity no matter how small your space

    9. Put a sink in

    shed with sink

    Image credit: Caroline Arber

    Move an outdoor water supply to run inside the shed, to power a sink. Ideal for making the space feel more like an extension of the indoors, consider it an outdoor utility room of sorts. From filling the watering can to washing old pots ready for repurposing, an outdoor sink is invaluable for any keen gardener.

    10. Make an all-weather playroom

    shed playhouse

    image credit: Dan Duchars

    Make child’s play weather-proof by turning a shed into an outdoor playroom. Come rain or shine during the summer months the kids can play outdoors and benefit from the fresh air and enjoy a change of scene from the four walls of indoors.

    11. Go large for a summerhouse feel

    summer house shed

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Summerhouses are the ideal solution for creating a room within the garden but they can be very expensive. A great budget solution is to simply opt for the largest shed you can afford and decorate the space to feel more like a summerhouse, rather than a practical potting or storage shed. A lick of paint both indoors and out will go a long way to transform a shed, as will adding home furnishing and even lighting.

    13. Add a window box

    garden shed with window box

    Image credit: Spike Powell

    Enhance the view from your shed with the simple addition of a window box. Filled with brightly coloured foliage to enhance the views as you look out, as well as dressing the exterior too.

    14. Fashion a garden studio


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Go big AND go home with a large shed that can serve as multiple rooms. Perhaps a playroom for the kids and den for the grown ups, or a craft room for you and a workshop for them. To make the structure more solid, tile the roof.

    A side room for storage of tools and the lawnmower means you can take a more stylish approach to decoration elsewhere.

    15. Double up on sheds for different purposes


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Alternatively, if there’s no space for one large shed, install two smaller ones. use one for practical storage and the other as a living area.

    16. Pretty up a potting shed


    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    For purists, a shed is nothing more than a place to store tools and pot plants out of the rain. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty! Peg up pictures of your favourite blooms to inspire you, add a chair with cushions so you can take a break, and opt for a concrete or tiled floor that’s easier to sweep clear of compost.

    17. Build a potting shed out of bricks

    Garden shed ideas with bricks

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    A substantial brick shed will stand its ground against the elements and offers extra security against wannabe thieves. It looks rather beautiful, too.

    18. Paint a shed serene green

    garden shed ideas for painting green

    Image credit: Sussie Bell

    If you can’t afford to replace your garden shed, simply give it a splash of paint to make it feel like new. With so many specialist outdoor paints, available at all good DIY retailers, it’s never been easier to do.

    A popular interior colour used outside can breathe new life into your garden. A serene green adds a gentle injection of on-trend colour that compliments the abundance of foliage that surrounds many a garden shed.

    19. Repurpose a shepherd’s hut


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Shepherd’s huts have exploded in popularity in the last decade, so the likelihood of finding an old one is increasingly slender. But you can’t deny they make an exceptional garden feature, and you may decide it’s well worth spending thousands on a new one.

    Happy decorating!

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