The Garden Shed. On the one hand it’s somewhere to keep stuff – the natural habitat of garden tools, machinery, summer furnishings, the Barbecue and maybe a bicycle or two – on the other it’s an almost spiritual space. A place for relaxation, contemplation and meditation.
But when does a shed become a chalet? And is your outbuilding worthy of the name “shed” if you don’t store any garden tools in it? When you peek behind the woodstain and ship-lap there’s a lot more the modern shed than you might think. Here then, is our take on the the humble shed…
Let’s begin with Shed of the Year (or SOTY for short). The annual competition run by readersheds.co.uk and featured on channel 4 has a staggering 20,000 entries for 2015. It’s a platform for Brits to show off their garden storage, so should hardly be surprising. 2014’s winner was even more innovative – as it actually has a garden on it’s roof. Joel Bird’s allotment roof shed is about as integrated a garden storage as you can get. By putting the garden on the roof, Joel was able to build a shed that has plenty of room inside, without sacrificing the garden – so much so that it includes a music room and a workshop. It’s sustainable too, power is provided by a solar panel, heating by a wood burner and directs water to the allotment herbs, before recycling it into a water butt.
Whilst 2014’s SOTY can rightfully be regarded as a shed, the jury might be out on some of the entrants in the 2015 contest. Themes from Garden Bars to Chalet style sleepers from Tea rooms to Chinese pagodas and even a pukka looking TARDIS – perhaps stretch the definition of the word ‘shed’ as a storage facility. But is there more to it than that?
Peace be thy Shed
The Daily Telegraph reports that 1 in 5 men use their shed to avoid family arguments. So the word refuge springs to mind. As a place of calm and reflection, we wonder if the UN should introduce a shed environment for the next Security Council meeting. With a bit of lateral thinking perhaps the humble shed could be the catalyst for peace and harmony throughout the world. OK, maybe that’s a bit of a dream.
Creativity in ‘da Shed
Sheds can be a place of creativity as well. Many great ideas began in a shed – amongst others – the Harley Davidson Motorcycle company, the Wright Brother’s (and the world’s first) aircraft, Hewlett Packard Computers, Dyson Bagless Vacuum cleaners, the Black and Decker Workmate and, most importantly for the average teenager, Instant Noodles.
Then there’s the writers sheds. Scribes of note – including Virginia Woolfe, Roald Dhal, Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas, Phillip Pullman – all had spells working from a wooden wonder in the garden. Perhaps it’s the all-natural construction and ‘bare essential’ interior that creates an environment where imagination can run riot. Perhaps that’s why J.K. Rowling is having a replica of her character Hagrid’s shed built on her Scottish Estate.
We’ve touched upon the merits of a shed put to use as ‘bloke space’ – and the Man Cave (to give it it’s proper title) is worthy of a whole blog of its own. For now though,these rules of the man cave could be extended to the general rules of the shed.
Five Star Shed Storage
OK, back to earth. For 95% of us, our shed’s are about storage space. But, crucially, there’s a lot of creativity out there for how we use that space. Whether that’s driven by a British tendency to OCD or that can’t-put-your-finger-on-it-slightly-supernatural creativity that pervades your shed, we don’t know – but here are some of the results of all that clever thinking…
These bin hanging racks are a great way to create storage room without using up floor space. If you’re handy with a saw, drill and screwdriver, they’re relatively simple to build.
In a similar vein, some cut-off bits of pipe, fixed to some batons make an inexpensive and practical solution for garden tool storage. Alternatively, a shipping pallet, fixed to the wall won’t be quite as neat and tidy, but will provide a quick and straightforward way to organise your garden tools.
Even if you own a shed and are as creative and cunning with the available space as you possibly can be (who knows – it might even be worthy of an entry to shed of the year) you might not have enough room for everything. Well that’s what we’re here for. Whilst we can’t guarantee the same level of shed mojo, we are a welcoming bunch and we’ve got some of the best deals around on self storage units. Find out more or book your storage online on our website. Of course, you’ll need to bear in mind that you can’t use a storage unit as a potting shed, and there are some things – which for common sense reasons – you’re not allowed to store (like firelighters for your barbecue).