By Amelia Smith
With the help of our favourite she shed ideas, you can turn your humble shed into a haven. Think of them as the woman's version of a man-cave – a secret and stylish hideaway just for you. Tucked amongst the foliage and blooms of your garden, they're the perfect place to retreat for a bit of peace and quiet.
Exactly what a she shed should be depends entirely on how you'd like to use it. But, whether you need a space for your favourite creative hobby, a relaxing place to unwind at the end of the day, or a room to get your head down and work in peace, a she shed can be a brilliant and relatively inexpensive solution.
So if a private retreat at the bottom of the garden sounds like a dream come true and you're eager to transform your humble wooden shed into a delightful den, then keep reading. And once you're feeling inspired, check out our guide to the best sheds.
1. Create a gardener's happy hideaway
Love nothing more than pottering with your plants? Whether you're potting, repotting or watering, a she shed where you can tend to your flowers and foliage come rain or shine could be a game changer. All you need is a table big enough for your pots, a chair for comfort, and some hooks for practicality, and you're sorted!
There is no crisper palette than blue and white, and this shed combines them to perfection. The patterned window blinds are a great finishing touch for a more homely feel.
2. Use pretty details for a picture-perfect retreat
If you love our cottage garden ideas then it's easy to extend the look to your she shed. Give it instant charm by painting it in a soft white or pastel colour, then adorn with pretty details – think terracotta pots, patterned bunting, one of the best bistro sets, and a vintage-style lantern.
Not only does it make a tranquil seating area, but it can also be used as a greenhouse of sorts. In the example above, tender tomatoes are protected from late frosts, ready to be planted out come summer.
3. Go light and bright
You can transform the dingiest of sheds with a coat of white paint. Why not paint the floor, too? Your space will feel bigger and brighter in no time.
Add one of our best outdoor rugs, a few nifty storage solutions and maybe a brightly coloured chair as a focal piece to finish.
4. Choose a design with a veranda
Choose a she shed with a veranda and you'll get to use it all year round. It's the perfect spot for sunbathing in a deckchair in summer, but perhaps even better as a place to snuggle up under blankets in a cosy chair during winter – with a hot chocolate in your hand of course.
It's also a handy extra spot that you can use for your spring bulbs, creating a small, sheltered area that protects them from the wind. Head over to our guide to planting bulbs to get started.
5. Create the perfect tea-party setting
Use strings of bunting to decorate your shed, for a charming look inspired by summer fairs and country cottages. Whether you opt for ditsy florals, soft pastels, or bold patterns in rich colours, it's a quick and inexpensive update to make.
Use inside and out, depending on the season. It makes a lovely backdrop for an afternoon tea when the sunshine returns.
6. Add window boxes for fairytale charm
We love a window box. So much, in fact, that we've created an entire guide full of our favourite window box ideas. They're quite simply a fabulous way of livening up a space. So why not attach one or two to your she shed?
It will add instant charm and is a great excuse to get creative with your favourite florals. This image above looks like it came straight out of a fairytale, especially with the addition of shutters.
7. Create an artistic space
Whether you're a budding painter, writer or print maker, give your hobby the attention it deserves with a dedicated hobby room in the garden. Painting the inside of the shed as well as the outside goes a long way in making your she shed feel like less of a shed, and more like a room.
The soft colours seen here make for a calming environment – perfect to get those creative juices flowing.
8. Embrace the dark side
Don't be afraid of a lick of dark paint when it comes to painting your she shed. Dark colours have a cosy and cocooning feel that make you want to grab a blanket and hunker down with a nice cuppa and a good magazine.
We love how the window frames and ceiling here have been left in their natural wood tones, emphasising the effect of a cosy lodge. You wouldn't know it from the image, but this she shed decor matches the main house's decorating scheme perfectly, making it feel like an extension of the home.
Love the modern vibe? Check out our modern garden ideas for more inspiration.
9. Work from home? Work from your she shed instead
Working from home will always be a pleasure in a separate space like this. This she shed, created by print and pattern designer and entrepreneur Rachael Taylor, is big enough to store work materials and fit in a large desk.
The bright coral front doors make for a vibrant and welcoming entrance, setting you up perfectly for a good day at the office. We love how the plant pots are painted in the same colours as the interior, blurring the boundary between inside and out.
Love the thought of having a workspace in the garden? Head over to our garden office ideas.
10. Use recycled materials for a budget-friendly space
This fabulous shed was made almost entirely from recycled materials by Julie Twydell, who won the budget category in the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020. Named the 'Pallet Hobbit House', Julie made it for under £250!
So if you are crafty and love a bit of DIY, then why not try building your she shed? 'Nothing is really straight, correct or perfect and that's what I love about it,' says Julie. 'I like its rustic charm. I can read in there, have a glass of wine, watch TV with the cinema screen, or do craft and building projects – it's great.' And why not fill it with some pallet furniture ideas, too?
That's your next lockdown project sorted then...
11. Create a gin bar for a girls' night out
If outdoor bar ideas are your thing, then how about creating a gin bar in your garden? It might sound like a dream, but it's easier to achieve than you might think.
Here, a wooden bar has been installed, bottle holders attached to the wall, blackboard paint used for a menu, and all that's left to do is position the all-important gin itself and invite the girls round.
12. Transform with seating
If you're really looking for something fancy, why not transform your shed with a stylish counter, complete with stools?
It's the perfect focal point for outdoor entertaining – add one of the best BBQs and your summer gatherings will certainly get a boost! For quieter times, move the stools inside and enjoy a cuppa whilst admiring the view.
We love the blue-grey paintwork and addition of hanging plants too, which finish this shed beautifully.
13. Keep organised with slimline storage
Whatever your she shed's purpose, ensure you've got everything you need raring to go with some handy and stylish storage. A clever tip is to use picture ledges to display decorative items, such as the tiles shown here.
As they're fairly narrow, they'll take up less of your shed's precious space, whilst allowing you to channel your personality with inspiring pieces. A small chest of drawers is perfect for larger items, too. We've got plenty more garden storage ideas in our guide.
14. Create a second living room
This lovely she shed by @life_of_isatu has everything you could want in a living room, with the added bonus that there's no squabbling over the remote, or squabbling over anything for that matter, as this one's just for you.
Position one of our favourite garden mirrors facing out of your shed to reflect the garden and make your room feel bigger.
15. Find your inner zen with a tranquil den
Japanese-inspired interiors promote relaxation and order, so if your she shed is destined to be your place of calm, then this idea is for you. Low seating, such as a low-level sofa or even an oversized floor cushion, will typically make your room feel larger, and your ceiling higher.
Simple lines and natural textures will help to conjure a feeling of tranquility and peace, whilst exposed wood cladding on internal walls adds to the overall effect.
A she shed like this will make a lovely addition to our small Japanese garden ideas.
16. Extend your she shed decor outside
Maximise your she shed's potential for social gatherings (cocktails in the garden anyone?) by positioning your shed next to your patio.
Using the same decorating scheme indoors and out, such as the soft pinks and grey shown here, will help to unify the two spaces.
To continue the party after dark, go for several strings of the best festoon lights, and invest in a chiminea or fire pit for added warmth once the sun has gone down.
17. Cosy up with a stove
One of the best investments for a winter she shed is a log burner. The likelihood is that your she shed is made of timber, but that doesn't necessarily rule out having a wood-burning stove installed.
Get an expert to advise on what output of stove you require to heat your space, all the necessary fixtures and fittings like a flue system, and where it's best to place it. Then all you need to worry about is where to store your logs!
Alternatively, go for one of our budget-friendly best fire pits outside your she shed. Then, you can cosy up inside while you enjoy a view (and the warmth) of the flickering flames outdoors.
18. Consider the architecture of your she shed
If you're investing in a new shed rather than updating an existing one, you're in the lucky position of being able to choose your shed's architecture. The shape, materials and finishings of your she shed can make a huge difference to how it feels from both the outside and inside.
If you're after more of a country cottage look, a she shed with scalloped detailing and a shingle roof will do the job, as shown by this pretty design. Why not go one step further and surround with the best cottage garden plants for a picture-perfect look?
19. Dress your windows
There's absolutely no reason why you can't treat your shed like it's a room in your house. After all, outdoor living space ideas are totally on-trend right now. So, add a cosy and chic look with some stylish window treatments.
If you've invested in a sewing machine during lockdown, then this is the perfect chance to put your new skills to good use. Source some of your favourite fabric and make some simple blinds or curtains. Not only will they look fab, but they'll keep out the draughts and create a snug atmosphere inside.
You could even make some matching cushions for your seating, which can then be used as outdoor cushions during the summer months.
20. Choose colourful flooring for an uplifting vibe
Your flooring can go a long way to transforming the entire feel of your she shed. This colourful design, created by owner Rachael Taylor, is perfect for creating an energising workspace. If you're after something calmer, display your exposed wooden boards, but throw down some soft rugs for comfort.
If you love a patterned floor tile (and who doesn't?) you can easily replicate the look on wooden floors by using a simple stencil and some coloured floor paint.
21. Go for added comfort with cushions and throws
You can never have too many cushions! Choose a particular palette, such as soft pinks, greys and whites as shown here, and go all out.
We're talking layers of cushions, and maybe even some for the floor, too. So whether you're snuggling up to read, lying down for a nap or working at your desk, comfort takes priority.
Finish the look with some pretty festoon light ideas and you've got yourself an irresistible haven.
22. Fill with potted plants
Whether you use your she shed for writing, painting, reading, or simply relaxing, extra greenery nearby will always boost the ambience.
So, why not create a botanical haven with a selection of your favourite potted plants? Try primroses, pansies, heathers, or Cyclamens, for starters. In the spring, opt for scented bulbs such as hyacinth and varieties of Narcissus for an instant pick-me-up.
Check out our advice on how to force bulbs indoors, for winter colour and fragrance.
23. Go ultra modern with vibrant windows
A she shed is the perfect place to experiment with bold decor. Not only do these neon-bright windows make a real statement inside and out, but they'll also create a warm glow as the sun seeps through.
Faux grass used inside as an alternative floor covering creates a fun, chilled out vibe. Plus it's hardwearing and won't show up any dirt you might traipse in from the garden. It's easy-care nature is why it's also one of our favourite family garden ideas.
24. Add atmosphere with decorative lighting
It's always a good idea to consider extending your electricity supply from your house to your she shed, to ensure you have good lighting (make sure you speak to a qualified electrician first). But even with permanent lighting solutions in place, it's still lovely to create cosy pockets of flickering candlelight to enjoy as the sun goes down.
Lanterns are particularly useful as you can easily move them around. Have some inside and others on the porch to create a friendly glow. Vary the heights for added interest, and for complete ease of use go for LED battery-operated candles as you won't have to worry about leaving burning candles unattended.
Battery-operated fairy lights are a fabulous idea too – drape them inside and along the front of your she shed for the ultimate way to illuminate your space. Head over to our garden lighting ideas for more inspiration.
What should I put in my she shed?
She sheds are to be used however you see fit, so fill it with things that bring you joy! Try a comfy chair, a small table to rest a coffee cup, and a blanket or two for a welcoming reading nook. Meanwhile, pots for brushes, an easel, and some handy shelves are great starting points for an artist’s studio.
If your she shed has no access to power, try battery-operated fairy lights inside and the best solar lights around the door for ultimate cosiness. And, add colourful textiles such as bunting, patterned curtains, rugs and cushions too, to make it really snug. You could hang pictures on the wall, too.
How much does a she shed cost?
A she shed needn’t be expensive, although there are plenty of options to suit different budgets.
For the smallest wooden sheds (around 6 x 4ft), expect to spend around £250 at places like Waltons and Homebase, or $380 at Lowe's. For a bit more space, prices will likely fall between the £300 to £500 mark, or $500 and up. For even bigger sheds, and features such as hinged windows, prices will reach closer to £1,000, or $2,000.
However, if you fancy treating yourself (you deserve it!), there are plenty of deluxe versions available that are more expensive. Think galvanised roofs, built-in verandas, and other architectural details.
Remember to factor in the costs of paint and all your cosy decor, too (a 2.5L tin of paint can be around £10 to £20, or $15 for 1 quart).
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