In need of some shed inspiration? Well, you're in luck, because Cuprinol has just revealed the finalists in this year's shed of the year competition – and there's plenty of ideas to steal.
Every year the wood treatments specialist whittles down hundreds of entries to a shortlist of the most creative projects in the UK. This year, with lockdown giving more people time at home, imaginations have run wild – and the results are spectacular.
Cuprinol has shortlisted a huge 27 entries for its categories, which include summerhouses and budget projects. It's introduced two new lockdown-specific categories for those who have transformed or built sheds in the last few months – one of the finalists for this category created a workshop to supply visors to frontline NHS staff. There's also an 'unexpected' category, whose entrants include a garden museum dedicated to miscellaneous oddities.
Want to see for yourself? Scroll down to see our pick of the best shed ideas, then check out garden ideas gallery for more garden inspiration. And if you want to have a say in choosing the Cuprinol shed of the year, head on over and cast your vote.
1. A beach-inspired shed for holiday escapism
This cheery-looking beach-inspired hideaway has a touching backstory: the entrant wanted to provide her father, who suffers with dementia, with soothing surroundings. We love the classic blue and white-striped exterior, the decked sunbathing area – a great alternative to busy beaches – and plenty of seaside touches, including boats, buckets and gulls.
2. A creative home office with clever storage touches
A shed is the perfect place for an office hideaway, especially if you're working from home amongst kids in the summer holidays. We love this design, which teams classic furniture like this vintage desk with pretty decorative touches and some serious storage. Our favourite part? The pegboard, which can be used to display pictures, hang stationery or keep crafty items within easy reach.
3. A woodland hideaway at the end of the garden
Who doesn't want a secret cabin in the woods? Since lockdown we've been dreaming of a tranquil space all to ourselves, and this quaint retreat is just the thing. We love the log cabin effect of the panelling and can imagine spending an afternoon on the swing seat, cup of tea in hand. There's even a green roof to create a habitat for insects and wildlife, giving the project an eco-friendly angle too.
4. A bar for rainy days and (eventually) pub quizzes
With the UK gearing up to welcome friends and family back into their homes, this quirky bar is the perfect place for catch-up drinks and competitive pub quizzes – you know, to replace those Zoom ones. The space was created using as many recycled materials as possible, including old floorboards and wooden shutters; the bar is made from an old dresser and the ceiling is decorated with a parachute from 1945. We love the reclaimed spirit of the place.
5. A modern decked design for indoor-outdoor living
Integrating decking into your shed is a great way to create extra living space in your garden without creating another paved area. By extending out from theirs, this entrant has created a garden escape that can be used all year round, whether by relaxing on the decking with a beer on a sunny day or cuddling up with a cosy blanket and a Netflix series come winter.
After a stint writing for true life titles, Ellen made her venture into the world of interiors magazines in 2017 on Real Homes magazine where she is now deputy editor. She's a fan of clever tips and tricks for renters, and has a special interest in sustainability in the home. While she's waiting for a garden to call her own, Ellen keeps herself busy with her collection of houseplants – 28 at the time of writing, but ever-growing. She also enjoys helping out at her grandad's allotment and has made friends with the local cat along the way.
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