Now that the summer holidays are here I’m putting VIP to good use by giving him odd jobs around the house; I mean, what else is he going to do with six weeks off work?!
One of those jobs is to clear out the shed, which for the last year or so has been used as a dumping ground. Every time I go in there to get something I have to clamber over stuff risking life and limb.
There’s no way I could send the kids in there to look for a football or Frisbee; I’d be worried about the state they'd come out – or if they even came out at all!
But what I’ve really longed for is a warm, dry place to do a bit of upcycing and crafting; somewhere where I can let the kids go mad with the paint and not worry if my Laura Ashley rug is going to get ruined.
So the brief to VIP was: Have a really good clear out of the shed; be ruthless when it comes to deciding what to keep – and leave enough space in a corner of the shed where me or the kids can sit comfortably and do some painting/crafting.
It turns out that I'm not alone in wanting to be a bit more creative when it comes to my shed space; it’s becoming increasingly popular for people to transform their sheds into hobby rooms or working offices rather than just a place to store gardening tools.
So I thought it would be a good idea to hook up with garden specialists, Oeco Garden Rooms, to share their handy tips on how to turn your garden shed into an effective space for the future.
Get it fixed
First up is to totally empty the shed of everything (pick a good weather day of course!). Once emptied, take a good old look at the shed; if it looks like it’s in need of repair, then this is what needs tending to first.
Jobs might include looking for nails sticking out and fixing leaky roofs, wood rot, broken windows and uneven floorboards. Don’t forget to check that the base is sound (and level) as well.
If you start off with a solid structure, all the other things you need to consider will run much more smoothly.
As we all know, most of the time the weather in the UK is rainy, windy or cold – or a combination of all three. But you can forget about being weather-dependent if you opt to install thermal insulation.
Doing so will ensure that you get to use your shed year-round, as insulation will keep it cool in the summer and warm in winter. It also makes it much more energy efficient, saving you money on heating the shed in the winter months. Boom!
Colour me good
After the shed has been repaired and is water tight and nicely insulated, you can consider painting it to give it a new lease of life.
You can either opt to paint the exterior a bright colour to make it stand out and create a focal point in the garden. Or, if you’d rather the shed blends in with its surroundings, opt for a darker colour.
Frenchic has recently launched a new alfresco range and they currently have some lovely colours.
When you’re considering which indoor colour to choose, start thinking about what the shed will be used for. Bear in mind that neutral or muted colours are ideal for creating a relaxed environment, while bright and bold colours can help with alertness and concentration levels.
There are plenty of other options to help you repurpose your shed space. For example, fitting PVC-U windows and doors will again help to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Alternatively, if it’s big enough – how about installing patio doors? They’ll allow for easy access as well as enabling natural light to flood the space – great if you’re using it as a work area.
PVC-U windows and doors are also manufactured to the highest level of security, giving you peace of mind that your possessions are protected if you keep expensive gear in the garden.
Another option is to add electricity to your shed as it means that you’ll expand your options on how the space can be used. Examples include using it to store a freezer, work on projects with power tools or create a cinema room – the possibilities are endless!
However, bear in mind that running electricity from your house to the shed is a job for the professionals (a fully trained electrician), so don’t attempt to give it a go yourself.
The finishing touches
You’ll want to consider some storage options in your shed – and there’s plenty of choice – from corner units and peg boards to hooks, shelves, drawers and hanging storage.
If you’re going for a homely feel to your shed, then think about adding family photographs (or canvases) to walls, along with plant pots/flowers and rugs.
And if you’re looking for a more neutral scheme, then art prints or wall decorations to brighten the space will add to the feel, along with the use of different textures to add interest.
Whatever you decide to use your shed for, make sure it feels like an actual room and an extension of your home; this will ensure that you are more likely to use it regularly.
With a bit of time and little money, you too can repurpose your garden shed to meet yours and your family’s needs. Best of all, the majority of the tasks can be done on a budget – and usually over a weekend.
If you could choose to repurpose your shed, what would you turn yours into?
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