Have you got an unloved garden building that could be put to better use? So called she sheds are gaining in popularity and it’s easy to see why – it’s that extra room that you can make your own, plus if you work from home it can even become a workspace or studio. And with many of us spending more time at home than ever before, having a space you can escape to for some much needed peace and quiet could be even more valuable over the coming months.
The latest she shed ideas are also the perfect opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and be inventive with your decorating choices. Got a paint colour you'd love to use inside your home but the rest of your family hate the look of it? The interior of your shed is the perfect spot to give it a try. And how about that beautiful antique desk from your aunt that looks out of place in your house but would look perfect in your new outdoor room? The opportunities for a creative space that's really personal to you are endless.
Don’t neglect the exterior either. Paint the outside of your she shed and surround it with colourful pots of beautiful plants so it becomes an integral part of your garden, making it your small patch of sunshine whatever the weather! Feeling inspired? We've put together five ways to create a perfect she shed for the winter months, so keep reading for your top garden retreat inspo.
1. 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 you having a woodburning 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 a more budget-friendly fire pit outside your she shed and you can cosy up inside while you enjoy a view (and the warmth) of the flickering flames outdoors.
2. Dress your windows
There’s absolutely no reason why you can't treat your shed like it’s a room in your house and give it a cosy and chic look with some stylish window treatments. If you're one of the many who have invested in a sewing machine during lockdown to learn a new skill, this is the perfect chance to put your sewing 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.
3. 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), 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 and 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.
4. 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.’ That's your next lockdown project sorted then...
- Head over to our feature on how to use salvage for garden upcycling ideas for more budget-savvy makeover inspiration
5. 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.