She shed ideas – 10 ways to turn a humble shed into a relaxing garden retreat

For many people, the garden shed is an extension of their home where the rules don’t apply – or where they can simply while away the hours. Discover the appeal of escaping (almost) outdoors

She shed ideas
(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton)

What exactly is a She-shed, you ask? A simple garden shed might conjure up visions of being creaky, cold and hung with cobwebs, but – with the right materials – a She-shed can be a powerhouse of creativity, and a source of great inspiration and innovation. 

Where once a shed or Man-cave was considered something of a status symbol for the 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, a she shed can be an exceptional solution for your every need.

According to Crane Garden Buildings: ‘The She-shed has one specific purpose – to make you happy. And we couldn't agree more. So if a private retreat in your backyard sounds like a dream come true, then keep reading. And once you're feeling inspired, check out our favorite shed ideas for more design advice.

1. Indulge in a simple pleasure – the potting shed

She shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

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 is the ideal place to prep and organize your garden for spring and beyond.

2. Carve out a space for crafting

She shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Adrian Briscoe)

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.

3. Create a calm and cozy sanctuary

She-shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Max Attenborough)

Cut of from domesticity, the four walls of a humble She-shed will provide space to think, to potter or to immerse oneself in a task in blissful isolation.

Celebrate the golden rays of late summer with a scheme that conjures 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 and rubbed-down wood and wicker pieces, dressed-up with cushions and throws.

4. Work in a She-shed – in peace and quiet

She shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

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

5. Set up an outdoor shower

She-shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

Embrace relaxed camp-stye living by thinking beyond what might go inside your She-shed, but also what lives just outside.

On warm days, few things are more blissful than a cooling shower. This design has a concrete base and can be plugged directly into the garden house.

6. Paint the exterior of your She-shed

She-shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes)

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 blue-grey bolthole. 

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. A perfect choice for those wanting to be at one with nature.

7. Give your She-shed a coastal update

She shed ideas coastal

(Image credit: Future / Dan Duchars)

Are you dreaming of a place to watch the sea and sky? Fall for the ebb and flow of this shoreline look, with coastal colors, easy-living furnishings, and driftwood details. 

Recreate a beachside escape with a simple outdoor seating area. A folding bench can be picked up as your 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 summer style.

8. Invest in a handsome hut 

She shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

A place to escape, a place to reflect, a place to watch the world go by. Alternatively, a place to get down to work, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A shepherd’s hut is a tasteful and individualistic way to maximize your outdoor space and there are plenty of luxurious options to choose from.

What's more, as it’s on wheels, a shepherd’s hut is great if you move house, as it can go with you. Fully insulated, it can also be fitted with a kitchen or even a shower. 

9. Curate an artist's corner

She shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Tim Young)

If you need more space and you need it fast, a She-shed room 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. Even the short walk down the garden can feel like 'going to work', plus they can be closed up at the end of the day.

10. Set up a space for storage in your She-shed

She shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Helen Cathcart)

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 (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. Whether you require a fully-functional bathroom – or a kitchen – 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.