Where once a shed, or ‘man cave’, was considered something of a status symbol for modern gentlemen, the rise of she shed has all but taken over – and it is about time, too. Exactly what a she shed should be depends entirely on how you’d like to use this extra room. But, whether you need a place to indulge in a cherished hobby, to relax and unwind, or simply to escape the domesticity of everyday life, shed ideas can include solutions for your every need. According to Crane Garden Buildings (opens in new tab): ‘The she shed has one specific purpose – to make you happy.’ And we couldn’t agree more. 

Beautiful she shed ideas

If a private retreat in your backyard sounds like a dream come true, then take inspiration from our favorite she shed ideas and design advice to create the ultimate haven.

1. Add a shepherd’s hut

If you’re looking to create extra living space in a country garden then why not consider an artisan shepherd’s hut? Historically the huts served as mobile accommodation for shepherds minding their flocks in the fields, but today they can serve all manner of functions, from guest accommodation to a writer’s retreat.  While the exteriors may take inspiration from the humble dwellings, today the huts are fully insulated and can be fitted with an array of modern comforts including wood burning stoves, kitchens and bathrooms as part of full turnkey service. 

2. Choose a traditional summerhouse for a cottage garden

Exuding nostalgic country charm, a wooden ship-lap summerhouse makes the perfect retreat nestled in the corner of a cottage garden. Often boasting wooden shingle roofs, and with the ability to be painted in any color of your choice, this style of gardening building can blend beautifully with its natural surroundings. If you love the traditional style but want all the home comforts of modern garden buildings, then there’s no need to worry as there are plenty of new designs that combine vintage style and practicality. Taking inspiration from the writing hut of the 20th-century novelist Virginia Woolf, this Bloomsbury design ‘has all the rustic charm of Virginia’s writing lodge with the added benefit of full insulation and optional double glazing,’ says Jason Preece at Malvern Garden Buildings. Flooded with light from glazed doors and four windows, it is the perfect spot to get creative.

3. Add an outdoor living room

A summerhouse is the perfect way to create an outdoor living room where you can enjoy your garden whatever the weather. To make it a home away from home make sure it is well insulated and install electricity so that you light the space and enjoy it after dark.  When it comes to outdoor living rooms ‘comfortable furniture is key to making sure it’s a place you’ll want to spend time in, and somewhere you can easily spend the whole day,’ says Sue Jones co-founder and creative director at Oka (opens in new tab), so be sure to kit out your summerhouse with a sumptuous sofa and with plenty of cushions. 

4. Complement nature with an oak frame building 

Oak is a brilliant material for a garden building as it is strong, durable, impervious to weather, sustainable and requires little maintenance. Boasting a beautiful natural grain which will weather to a silvery finish, oak also blends beautifully into natural surroundings making it a great choice for structures in country gardens.  If you love to entertain why not consider an oak frame outdoor kitchen and garden bar? Beautifully constructed by Oakwrights, this garden building makes the most of its lakeside position. 

5. Make the most of your greenhouse

A greenhouse is a must-have for many keen gardeners as it allows ultimate control over growing conditions and is a great way to prolong the growing season. However, greenhouses needn’t just be for growing as Tom Barry, CEO of Hartley Botanic explains. ‘From our conversations with customers, the vast majority are using their greenhouses for horticultural reasons, as you would expect – for growing edibles, raising seedlings etc. However, many customers, who are still serious gardeners, are using their greenhouses in a more multifaceted way. We do see customers introducing ‘relaxation’, ‘dining’ and ‘lifestyle’ elements into their greenhouse.’ ‘Most commonly, we are seeing a trend for greenhouses to be used for alfresco dining and as a space for morning and evening relaxation and this grew particularly when families and friends were first able to get together outside post lockdown,’ he adds.

6. Indulge in a simple pleasure – the potting shed

Seen from the outside, a garden shed appears nothing more than a tool store, an outbuilding with that what-you-see-is-what-you-get look of a repository for all the paraphernalia involved in maintaining a garden.  But open the doors, and a cornucopia of other stuff is revealed. The wonderful thing about a she shed is that it can be anything you want. Here, a picture perfect potting shed incorporating rustic storage ideas for sheds is the ideal place to prep and organize your garden for spring and beyond.

7. Carve out a space for crafting

How many projects have been started and then stopped due to lack of room and nowhere to keep things mid-making? In a limited space it is hard to get motivated to return to a sewing idea, but we think a she shed will change that and inspire the perfect workstation for you to get creating again.  Here, an organized space provides a peaceful haven for creativity. Bliss.

8. Create a calm and cozy sanctuary

Cut off from domesticity, the four walls of a humble she shed will provide space to think, potter or immerse oneself in a task in blissful isolation. Celebrate the golden rays of late summer with garden room ideas that conjure up orchard hues, lazy living and the woozy heat of an afternoon in the garden. To set the scene, dress your she shed with printed fabrics, sanded-down wood and wicker pieces, dressed-up with cushions and throws.

9. Work in a she shed – in peace and quiet

Evoke the natural beauty of the surrounding garden ideas with a scheme that is light, bright – and decorated to enhance creativity.  In this study area, a palette of white, soft greens and grays, natural textures and an artful use of flowers and foliage combine beautifully for a summer scheme that blends indoors and out. 

10. Set up an outdoor shower

Embrace relaxed camp-stye living by thinking beyond what might go inside your she shed to what lives just outside. On warm days, few things are more blissful than a cooling shower set into sanded deck. This clever deck idea has a concrete base and is designed so that it can be plugged directly into the garden hose.

11. Paint the exterior of your she shed

Revive an old she shed with a lick of paint. Of course, you can paint your shed any color that takes your fancy, but there is just something oh so divine about this midnight blue bolthole that perfectly complements the sleek gray patio surrounding it.  A shade that’s always been popular in the world of interiors, denim blue is set to be spring’s color du jour. ‘This particular palette has the quality of being both soothing and invigorating at the same time,’ says Crown Paint (opens in new tab). A perfect choice for those wanting to be at one with nature.

12. Give your she shed ideas a coastal update

Are you dreaming of a place to watch the sea and sky? Fall for the ebb and flow of this shoreline look in your she shed ideas, with coastal colors, easy-living furnishings, and driftwood details.  Recreate a beachside escape with a simple outdoor seating area. Portable patio furniture ideas, like a folding bench, can be picked up as you follow the heat of the sun, and once the moonlight sets in, you can retreat to the warmth of your she shed.  Here, tidal patterns, washed linen and beachcomber finds inspire effortless coastal style.

14. Curate an artist’s corner

If you need more space and you need it fast, a she shed could be the answer. They work particularly well as offices or studios, and are often more cost-effective than travelling to and renting a space.  Take inspiration from these greenhouse ideas to create a light-filled corner for an artist’s studio. Even the short walk down the garden can feel like going to work, plus she sheds can be closed up at the end of the day.

14. Set up a space for storage in your she shed

She shed storage isn’t just practical – it can add style to your space, too. If you are not after anything too pristine, then consider visiting your local salvage yard for a vintage, reclaimed unit. This rustic feature above adds an antique touch with its weathered appearance, and complements the surrounding steel hues beautifully. What’s more, it can be used for pots and tools.

What should I do with a she shed?

There are a multitude of things you can do with a she shed. The world (or shed) is your oyster, as they say.  We recommend filling your she shed with all the things that bring you joy. After all, this is a space that is all your own. So whether you want to seek solitude, enhance your creativity, or simple put your feet up at the end of a long day, then a she shed will serve you well.

Can a she shed have a bathroom?

Yes, a she shed can have a bathroom, but only if properly insulated.  ‘Our she sheds are now available fully insulated and double glazed, ideal if you are working from home, or simply crave your own space,’ says The Posh Company (opens in new tab). Whether you require a fully-functional bathroom – or want to bring your outdoor kitchen ideas in – there is so much choice on offer to suit every desire. 

How do you heat a she shed?

It is easier than you think to heat a she shed. If your she shed is connected to your mains power supply, you can introduce a portable, electric heater to keep you cozy whilst you relax. And if the summer months make your she shed a little humid, you can get portable air conditioners too, which will quickly cool things down. Opting for sheds with windows is a simple way to welcome a summer breeze on hot days. Check for cracks, and perhaps add a draught excluder beneath the door for the chillier seasons.