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Creating the perfect backyard shed - Metro US

Creating the perfect backyard shed

A shed is a shed is a shed, right? Wrong. A shed can be whatever you want it to be.

In a home, you’ve got to worry about making changes that suit you but may not raise the value of your home. But a shed — well, you can use your creativity and have some fun.

That being said, there are some ideas to keep in mind.

A backyard shed normally blends into the backyard. I think it is loveliest when it is wood or stone, and bedecked with plants, such as vines or climbing plants on a trellis, window boxes, hanging baskets, or planters. A window or two adds charm.

Or, it can be finished to match your home, perhaps using the same type of siding or trim that you’ve got on your home.

A metal shed, although less aesthetically pleasing, can be painted dark green or a colour that blends into a garden. Painting a mural (say, a sun and moon) is another possibility, as is the notion of attaching stone veneer or thinly-sliced wood to metal shed walls.

If you need to store things in the shed, it’s worth going through your shed items and turfing what you don’t need. After you do this, you may find you have usable space after all.

If you want to hang out in the space for any length of time, it’s definitely worth your while to insulate and use sun-blocking curtains or shades to keep it cool in summer. If you’ve got power, fans also help. During colder weather, a small heating electric fireplace or a gel-burning fireplace is a lovely and useful addition.

Creature comforts are important too. Comfortable seating with side tables, curtains, a rug, art on wall, perhaps a small fridge, or a game table, a few books or magazines in a bookcase, a source of music or even a small television, makes the space a great place to lounge.

If you’ve got power, it’s easy to put up lights. If not, provide battery-powered lighting for tasks, and candles for mood lighting (but remember not to leave candles unattended).

As for theme, a lot depends on the shed’s purpose. A shed can be a gardening shed, or it can be easily be transformed into a serene place to practise yoga, or an artist’s retreat, a place to practise music, a woodworking shop, or a playhouse for kids. Heck, it could even be made into a chicken coop, depending on your municipality’s chicken-keeping bylaws.

– Sylvia Putz is a journalist with an interest in decor and design. She’s written for TV show Arresting Design; sputz@arrestingdesign.com.

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