Hints & Tips
The garden shed is a mainstay of British culture, providing men (and women) with a quiet haven from domestic life for centuries. But the outbuilding has taken on all sorts of new roles in recent years that are far removed from the traditional place of escape from spousal arguments.
Keep reading to find out more about how the unassuming garden shed has become so much more than its purpose would suggest.
The music man
The shed is an ideal place for spending time on a hobby, and making music is one such pastime that can be indulged in the outhouse. Perhaps there’s little room to rehearse in the house, or maybe other family members are glad of the peace and quiet – whatever the reason, musicians are finding the shed a convenient place to hone their skills. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame created early demo tracks for the band in his Islington shed.
Beer on tap
Another increasingly popular use for the common garden shed is as a micro brewery in the back garden. Brits looking for ways to cut their monthly costs are forgoing trips to the pub in favour of brewing their own beer in the shed, which is both cost-effective and rewarding.
Pets may be cute and cuddly, but their habits can be less appealing, which makes transforming the shed into a mini menagerie a no-brainer. The shed can provide protection from the weather as well as predators if you keep small animals like guinea pigs and rabbits, and it means you can avoid having your carpets dug up or your wallpaper stripped as a bonus.
Perfect play place
If you have children, you’ll already be aware of the daily chaos that ensues as soon as dawn breaks, so think about converting your shed into a playroom for the kids. Paint, posters and toys can liven up the space, rendering it a useful area that will help you keep your house neat and tidy.
Different by design
Whether you work in design or simply enjoying putting your ideas down on paper, the shed can function as a place for designing and creating all manner of things. Renowned author Roald Dahl wrote some of his best creations in his garden shed, while jet engine inventor Frank Whittle built and tested his creations in a shed in Leicestershire.
Guests in the garden
If you’ve got a relatively roomy shed in the garden, you might want to create a makeshift guesthouse to ensure friends or relatives will have somewhere welcoming to stay when they pay a visit. Invest in a futon and some battery-powered lights, while you could also install a portable heater in the shed to keep your guests warm in cooler weather.
The shed is a perfect place for stargazing, if you enjoy looking at the night sky. Stargazing from the back garden is a trend gaining such momentum that shed manufacturers have started to make specific outbuildings designed for this very purpose with roofs that slide off on castors or that can be flipped over. Of course, it’s possible to fit a skylight into the roof of the shed or position a telescope out of window as a cheaper alternative.
Another increasingly popular use for the garden shed is an office from which to run a business. According to figures from website Shedworking.co.uk, businesses run from garden buildings contribute more than £6 billion to the UK’s GDP each year. The founder of £2 million website SpareRoom.co.uk operates from his shed, while property guru Kirstie Allsopp runs her affairs and writes books in hers.
So there you have it – it looks like having unusual things in garden sheds is more common than you might expect.
What do you use your garden shed for? Is there an unusual item in your shed? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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