From a relaxing lady shed with plants and rattan furniture to a cosy cabin with a study desk, read our guide to creating and decorating a summer house that will be inviting all year-round.
There’s more to sheds than bike and mower storage. From craft shack and yoga pod, to home office and painting studio, there are myriad ways to release the hidden potential for a summer house at the bottom of your garden.
Here’s how to reclaim that garden man-cave and turn it into a poisitively delightful she-shed.
Get ship-shape in the shed
Image: Robert Dyas
The first rule of she-shed is clearing out that clutter. Take everything out so you can have a really good look at what you want to keep and what you want to sell or recycle.
Brush out your shed to get it as dust-free as possible inside. Wipe down all surfaces.
Decide what you will do in your she-shed
Image: John Lewis
Before your decorate and fit out your shed, be sure what you want to use it for. Perhaps you want to use it traditionally for sewing seeds, potting up, storing bulbs and seeds and gardening paraphernalia.
But what about using the space for a hobby, such as painting or sewing if the light levels are good. If your shed is big enough you could use it for yoga or pilates, or what about a lounging area where you can kick back with a cocktail or curl up with a good book?
Prepare the ground
Test your shed’s structure for soundness and take care of any damp or woodworm. Apply any filler and preservative before you get to the fun stuff.
If your shed is small and bijou, you might want to go for a whitewashed interior to make the place as bright and useable as possible.
Decorate and fit out your she-shed
For a summerhouse-style shed consider a classic garden-friendly paint shade such as Breakfast Room Green or Lulworth Blue. Think about adding shutters or other decorative features for a folk-art cottage feel or transform your shed with a fairytale playhouse look.
Add wall-hung storage, a desk or table and seating. Hang curtains for a pretty touch and shop about at car-boot sales for quirky accessories that tie in with your hobby.
Blend your shed into your garden
Fit hanging baskets and window boxes to the exterior. Fill terracotta pots with spring bulbs and place them at the threshold.
Plant up a bed nearby and fill it with favourite evergreens and flowering shrubs. Train honeysuckle and jasmine, rose or clematis on to the shed walls and roof to fill the air with delicious scent.
Make your she-shed spot special
Consider laying flagstones next to your shed to create a useful patio area for seating or plant pots, or use them to make a winding path to the door.
Fit a canopy or awning for the summer so that you that you can retreat to the cool of the shade.>/p>
Build new if you don't have a shed
Image: Raj Tent Club
Not everyone has a shed to reclaim, so why not buy new? There are lots of easy-to-assemble kits to choose from and most require nothing more than a solid and level base to set them on.
Be inspired by the latest trend for garden pod designs and steal ideas for fitting out your own version.