6 Fun Sheds That Are Redefining the Way We Use Our Extra Space
Sheds have emerged from their dank and padlocked past to become a versatile space-extender that keeps you close to home – but not too close.
So-called shedsters can start projects with just about any structure — a camper, playhouse, garage, or even a chicken coop. Many use second-hand materials and keep costs low. But there are also pre-fab kits for the less adventurous (or perhaps more frazzled).
Art studio? Ladies night lair? Reading room? Writer’s retreat? A little paint, some organization, and the right furnishings can transform an eye-sore to an eye-catcher. Need inspiration? Here are 6 shed-tacular ideas.
1) “Green” Shed
In England there’s an annual competition for creative sheds. 2014’s winner was Joel Bird’s Allotment Roof Shed 14. Allotments are used for community gardens and, like this one, can come with tool sheds. Bird used recycled materials to transform his North London allotment into a country retreat with an art and music studio and his bike repair workshop. It’s sustainable, using solar power and recycled rainwater. “What makes my shed most special is probably the roof. I was tight for space so rather than put a shed on an allotment, I put an allotment on my shed!” says Bird.
2) “She Sheds”
Move aside, man caves, and make way for the “she shed.” These lairs are created for the ladies, and are used for relaxing, entertaining, dabbling in a hobby, or just catching an uninterrupted nap. “Every woman deserves a shed of her own — somewhere to retreat for some solitude, to create or grow, to write or paint, or just to enjoy the view,” writes The Lighter Side of Real Estate, a real estate and lifestyle blog. Those curious can find a few #shesheds all over Instagram and Pinterest.
Shedquarters are “the hot new trend home-based business owners are drooling over,” according to The Lighter Side of Real Estate. Professional home organizer Vanessa Hayes of San Antonio, Texas, and husband Dan, a technology, marketing, and media consultant, use their shed as a shared office. “The major change for me is the burst of creativity I get when I get back to our office,” says Vanessa in an interview with Apartment Therapy. “I can really focus on writing blog posts and planning out videos. There used to be many distractions when I worked in our home.”
4) The Bar Shed
It took two days for Corporal Paul Goodfellow of the Royal Air Force to convert the shed behind his married quarters into “The Geordie Racer,” complete with all the “essential ingredients for a good pub: a well-stocked bar, a collection of hundreds of beer mats and a wall-mounted iPad showing Sky Sports,” he tells Acuate Real Estate. The interior was all donated or built from recycled materials found on the airfield, says Goodfellow.
5) The Writer’s Hut
Sheds have long been a preferred writing room for writers seeking concentration and solitude. Mark Twain described his writing hut, which currently resides at Elmira College in upstate New York, as “a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs.” Henry David Thoreau was also a minimalist, borrowing land from friend Ralph Waldo Emerson and building himself a 10′x 15′ shack furnished with a bed, a table, a desk, and three chairs.
6) The Tiniest Shed Imaginable
Even the tiniest of structures offers big potential. David Campbell of Tolland, Connecticut, shared this walk-through shed with This Old House Magazine. The shed features doors on front and back, so you can walk in to prepare for outside work, and conversely clean up before returning to the house. The floor is made from square spindles spaced so that dirt falls through. “Friends have asked me to build another one, but this one is too special to replicate,” says Campbell.