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Announcing Our New Guide to Garden Shed Design

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Announcing Our New Guide to Garden Shed Design

October 8, 2018

A garden shed should be a sanctuary. Your safe space. At its most modest, a shed is the little building in the backyard, preferably covered with vines, where you can slip off on your own to hang your hat on a hook, re-pot an overgrown scented geranium, and organize all your sharp-edged tools.

Or your shed may be grander. If your garden space allows, a shed may be expansive enough to serve as a studio: all you need is a desk, a stool, and a task light. There might be a rack on the wall for bike storage. Your shed could have electrical outlets, a tool bench, running water, heat.

We all need a garden shed for storage space, work space, or a hideaway—and wouldn’t it be nice if it also had a window to crank open to feel a breeze? Whether it’s the Perfect Potting Shed you’re after or a Stylish Lean-To for Tool Storage, or a sublime, architect-designed space that can double as guest quarters, you may wonder: What is the best design for my garden?

Use our brand-new guide to Garden Sheds for inspiration. We’ve got tips on everything from construction ideas—from poured-in-place concrete to stone, corrugated metal, or pressure-treated wood—to DIY Wooden Shed Kits to complement your landscape.

Here’s a glimpse of design ideas you’ll find in our guide to Garden Sheds:

Recycled Sheds

Recycled materials such as corrugated metal siding can be transformed into charming garden sheds. See more at Outbuilding of the Week: A Salvaged Shed in a Napa Garden. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Above: Recycled materials such as corrugated metal siding can be transformed into charming garden sheds. See more at Outbuilding of the Week: A Salvaged Shed in a Napa Garden. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

From corrugated metal salvaged from a chicken coop to reclaimed redwood planks, garden sheds can be designed simply and stylishly to fit any budget.

Read about how husband and wife team Chris and Elizabeth Boyette &#8
Above: Read about how husband and wife team Chris and Elizabeth Boyette “saw potential in a rundown and historic Southern building: a tiny railroad shed,” Annie writes in Outbuilding of the Week: A Tiny Railroad Shed Transformed into a Design Studio in North Carolina. Photograph by Brett & Jessica Photography.

Architect-Designed Sheds

 bove: A potting shed in northwestern Italy that once stored only firewood is now outfitted with a sink, shelving, and a sunny window. For the rehab story, see Outbuilding of the Week: A Woodshed Transformed, by StudioErrante in Italy. Photograph by StudioErrante Architetture.
bove: A potting shed in northwestern Italy that once stored only firewood is now outfitted with a sink, shelving, and a sunny window. For the rehab story, see Outbuilding of the Week: A Woodshed Transformed, by StudioErrante in Italy. Photograph by StudioErrante Architetture.

An architect will start the design process by asking you how you plan to use your shed (the second question will be “Where do you want to site it?”), writes Janet. Read more about step-by-step garden shed design in Hardscaping 101: Garden Sheds.

In Norway, Oslo-based architects Rever & Drage designed a clever trio of see-through sheds (for storing tools, sheltering from the rain, and camping at water&#8
Above: In Norway, Oslo-based architects Rever & Drage designed a clever trio of see-through sheds (for storing tools, sheltering from the rain, and camping at water’s edge). See more at Outbuilding of the Week: A See-Through Shed on a Picturesque Shoreline in Norway. Photograph by Tom Auger courtesy of Rever & Drage.

DIY Kit Sheds

Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson has a tiny DIY kit shed in her garden in Mill Valley, California. Photograph by Michelle Slatalla.
Above: Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson has a tiny DIY kit shed in her garden in Mill Valley, California. Photograph by Michelle Slatalla.

See more choices in 10 Easy Pieces: DIY Wooden Shed Kits.

Clever Shed Storage

File cabinets and other office storage accessories are just as useful in a garden shed. Who doesn&#8
Above: File cabinets and other office storage accessories are just as useful in a garden shed. Who doesn’t need some extra drawers to store seed packets, garden labels, and bits of twine?

See more in DIY: File Cabinet Becomes Tool Stash.

A wall of pegboard is flexible storage; just move the hooks to make room for new tools to hang. See more in Before & After: A Garden Makeover in Michigan for Editor Michelle Adams. Photograph by Marta Xochilt Perez.
Above: A wall of pegboard is flexible storage; just move the hooks to make room for new tools to hang. See more in Before & After: A Garden Makeover in Michigan for Editor Michelle Adams. Photograph by Marta Xochilt Perez.

Tool Sheds

My own garden shed is miniature, a mere  inches deep. It&#8
Above: My own garden shed is miniature, a mere 18 inches deep. It’s plenty of space for tool storage (and I even have a potting bench built in.) See more at Steal This Look: My Mini Garden Shed in a Garage.

Writers’ Sheds

In London’s north central Hackney, UK-based architecture firm Office Sian worked with a limited budget and the size constraints of a small backyard to design an elegant freestanding shed that functions as both a work space and a library, with retractable doors and a clear view of the garden. Photograph courtesy of Office Sian.
Above: In London’s north central Hackney, UK-based architecture firm Office Sian worked with a limited budget and the size constraints of a small backyard to design an elegant freestanding shed that functions as both a work space and a library, with retractable doors and a clear view of the garden. Photograph courtesy of Office Sian.

See more of this project in A Writing Shed in the Garden.

Florists’ Sheds

Shropshire, UK-based florist Tammy Hall has a small studio in a former shepherd’s hut “rescued from a field at the top of the farm where it had been for years and years,” she says. “It now sits at the top of my field and is my quiet thinking space.” Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer.
Above: Shropshire, UK-based florist Tammy Hall has a small studio in a former shepherd’s hut “rescued from a field at the top of the farm where it had been for years and years,” she says. “It now sits at the top of my field and is my quiet thinking space.” Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer.

See more of this project in Wild Bunch: In the Studio with Floral Designer Tammy Hall in Shropshire.

Sleeping Sheds

In the Netherlands, Amsterdam-based architect Serge Schoemaker put every inch to use, designing a modern shed to serve as office, accommodation for overnight guests, and bicycle storage. Read on at Outbuilding of the Week: A 3-Square-Foot Backyard Guest House (and Storage Shed) to see the floor plan. Photograph by Raoul Kramer courtesy of Serge Schoemaker.
Above: In the Netherlands, Amsterdam-based architect Serge Schoemaker put every inch to use, designing a modern shed to serve as office, accommodation for overnight guests, and bicycle storage. Read on at Outbuilding of the Week: A 323-Square-Foot Backyard Guest House (and Storage Shed) to see the floor plan. Photograph by Raoul Kramer courtesy of Serge Schoemaker.

Do you have more design questions about retaining walls? Start with our primer, Hardscaping 101: Garden Sheds.

See more inspiration and ideas (and materials) in our new guide to Sheds & Storage: A Field Guide to Design. Read more about hardscape design elements in our curated guides to Hardscape 101, including DrivewaysFences & Gates, and Decks & Patios.

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