As the old saying goes, nature abhors a vacuum, and the same is true in houses. I’m certain that even mansion owners finding themselves craving additional space once in a while – and one of the best solutions is an outdoor building, such as a shed.
But it’s not just space-cravers who are opting for sheds these days – they’re one of the must-have items for home owners in 2017, for a number of reasons.
No longer just consigned to housing your lawnmower and rusty old bikes, the garden shed has had a renaissance of sorts in the past few years.
If you watch shows like ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ you’ll even know that they have a “shed of the year” competition, some of the winners of which will take your breath away. So maybe the shed could be the home accessory you’re looking for? If you’re still not convinced, here’s a few ideas.
I thought I’d get the classic one out of the way early on – this one used to be referred to as a “Man cave”, but there’s absolutely no reason why the fellas should be hogging this one. Why not turn your shed into a private get-away from the house? Whether you use it to house your nerdy collections, your unpopular hobby (model train sets anybody?!) or even just use it as a relaxation space, a shed is the obvious answer here. If my garden were big enough I suspect my wife would suggest we move my Lego collection to the shed. Thankfully it’s not!
Wiring up your shed for electricity is pretty simple, so there’s no excuse for not having gadgets and gizmos in there. Obviously you’ll probably want to insulate it a bit better than an average shed – just to ensure your gadgets don’t get damp. But that needn’t be too laborious. Once you’re weather proof, why not buy a cheap flat-screen TV in the sales and create a little games room. Add in a dart board for extra fun when you’ve got some friends round.
If you like to entertain friends and family in the garden, why not use a small shed as a unique bar or drinks storage area? Kit it out with a drinks fridge or two, some shelves and stools for al-fresco fun and you’ve got yourself a novel wine bar in your own back garden. Just make sure you don’t sell any alcohol on the premise – you’ll need a license for that!
Playroom for the Kids
If your house is anything like mine, there will be regular battles about the mess the children have made in your tidy home. Rather than trying to constrain the toys to the bedroom, why not hand over the keys to the shed to the kids and give them their own out-door playroom? As a happy bonus, if you place the shed far enough away from the house, you won’t be able to hear them shouting at each other when the games end badly!
Garden Spa or Sauna?
Even if you can’t afford to kit your house out with professional spa equipment, it’s pretty easy to turn a decent shed into a sauna or spa. Imagine the looks you’ll get from the neighbours when they see you enjoying an outdoor steam in the middle of winter? If you get a REALLY big shed you might even be able to shove a small jacuzzi in there – Costco do home Jacuzzis for from as little as £4k. And yes, I only know that because I look longingly at them every time we go there!
If the spa life isn’t your thing, maybe you might want to utilise that shed space for some home gym equipment? Once you’ve got a few different things in there – maybe an exercise bike, some weights and a running machine – you’ve virtually got yourself a mini gym. And you don’t have to stare at all those buff gym-lovers who make you feel fat when you hand over your membership card! Bonus: you won’t end up using your exercise bike as a clothes airer, like you inevitably do when you’ve got it stashed in the spare bedroom!
Work from Home Office
As I mentioned at the start of this post, one of the most common reasons for needing some extra space is because you’d like a home office to work from. So rather than turning the spare room into a makeshift desk space, why not buy a slightly larger shed and turn THAT into the office? You can insulate it to make it comfortable in all weathers, and the very fact of having it outside of the house can make it instantly feel more like an office than a spare room.
An art studio
My brother in law is an artist and musician, and one of the main reasons they moved home recently was because the house came with an outdoor building large enough that he could turn it into a studio. He has a sound-proof area for his band to practise in, and a light space by the window where he can paint and store all his art equipment. It’s one of the best uses for a shed that I’ve seen in a while, and it seemed pretty easy to achieve!
So there you have it – some simple inspiration to make the most of your humble garden shed. I bet you never realised there were so many alternative uses for it, did you!
Henry Elliss is a digital marketer by day and a pun-loving, dad-blogging, photo-taking, Lego-making, beard-wearing, child-caring father of two and husband of one by day, night, weekend and every other moment. For more family adventures, reviews and parenting hints and tips, visit Henry’s Fatherhood blog at http://www.henrysblog.co.uk/.