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7 Surprising Sheds That Rewrite the Garden Design Book

Cast off the constraints of a 6 x 4ft shed and express your creativity with one of these inventive ideas

Houzz UK and Ireland Editor.

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Not all sheds are created equal and these examples demonstrate just what can happen when you break free of the restrictions of a standard outbuilding and get inventive with your design. Have a browse below for garden inspiration, but be warned – you may well suffer garden envy.

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Banish straight lines
The spaceship has landed! This wonderful design was named the ‘shoffice’ (part shed, part office) by its creators, Platform 5 Architects, and it’s a truly novel way of thinking about garden building design. The rounded form, glass front and totally unexpected appearance in a small urban garden all combine to create an otherworldly appearance.

This is a bespoke piece, so it’s not the cheapest option, but if you’re feeling inspired to commission something similar, keep in mind that the most striking thing about this design is the way the softly curving structure reflects the fluid lines of nature.

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Halve your shed
If space is tight and you can’t fit in the shed of your garden dreams, this novel approach shows how you can give the illusion of a full-sized structure while choosing a design that slots neatly against a wall. Step forward the ‘half-shed’.

More commonly seen in greenhouse design, this shape echoes the ‘lean-to’ structures of old, but rather than having to be tacked on to the side of a house, it will tuck neatly against a fence or boundary wall instead, looking to all intents and purposes like a regular shed from the front view.

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Pick a pod
If curved structures float your boat, how about this magical ‘Podzook’ shed, tucked into the greenery at the bottom of a garden in the US? The designer was inspired by the ‘Archipod’ – a similar structure he’d seen in the UK – so he worked with the designer to build this version based on the original.

Looking a little like a cedar-shingle-clad spaceship that’s gently floated into place, the handmade structure features a futuristic ‘gull wing’ door that opens up, as shown above, much like the entrance to a spacecraft might.

While this level of bespoke build is more likely to be used as a playhouse or garden office, it would certainly make a very chic shed.

Find out more about the Podzook

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Double up your design
Is it a shed? Is it a greenhouse? This dual design actually ticks both boxes, and looks oh-so-chic thanks to the white-painted frame and tiled roof.

If space is tight in your garden, but you just can’t give up on the dream of having a greenhouse as well as a shed, a combination outbuilding like this one could be just the ticket, offering storage for essential garden kit as well as growing space for seedlings and cuttings.

Buy off-the-shelf greenhouses on Houzz

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Utilise the roof
Ever considered the roof of your shed? You might do so after seeing this novel structure in south London. By harnessing this mini retreat’s roof and transforming it into a working allotment, the designer scooped the Shed of the Year award in 2014.

“I needed a work space, and I also wanted an allotment, so I just designed the shed so I could have a garden on the roof,” explains the owner and designer, Joel Bird.

Take a tour of this green shed

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Camouflage it
Spot the shed! This neat storage solution at the end of a narrow urban garden has been upgraded in the style stakes thanks to a green wall along the side that faces the house. The foliage effectively screens it and provides a more visually appealing surface to look out on to.

It’s a simple solution, as any climbing plant would create a similar effect in time. Try a rambling rose, honeysuckle or clematis.

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Do fence it in
If you really want your shed to disappear, this is another way to trick the eye. Extending the side fence material along the front of the shed means it reads as if this is actually the end of the garden. The shed is tucked neatly behind and doesn’t disturb the minimal lines of this chic outdoor space.

Ask your garden designer to consider this at the planning stage if you’re embarking on a big redesign, or see if you can adapt your existing garden by cladding the front of the shed in the same material as your fencing.

Tell us…
What would your dream shed look like? Let us know in the Comments section.
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