Ideally, a backyard structure serves its purpose while also adding to the beauty of an outdoor space. Whether you want a guest cottage or a backyard office, or just need a spot to stash gardening tools, the right outdoor shed or studio can make life easier, or at least more organized. Let these 8 examples of beautiful garden sheds and cottages inspire a new project — or a makeover for your existing shed. Which one speaks to you?
1. Garden guesthouse. Light and bright with ample windows and glass-paned French doors, this petite garden guesthouse would make a lovely in-law unit or space to house visiting friends. Well-planned landscaping can help a backyard structure look more at home.
2. Backyard office. If you work from home, you know how difficult it can be to separate the office from home. Make the division easier and gain space to meet with clients by adding a mini office in the backyard. And at only 92 square feet, a structure like this one could work even in a compact backyard.
Related: Home Office Ideas for Small Spaces
3. Green-roof shed. Add an ecofriendly touch to your shed design by incorporating a green roof. Seen from an upstairs window, a green roof improves the view, too. Work with a landscaping pro to install one and choose plants that will do well in your climate.
4. Garden folly. This homeowner needed a place to keep the pump for a water feature out of sight. Instead of choosing a basic structure, he designed this fanciful garden folly, which artfully conceals the fountain’s pump as well as a potting shed.
5. Mini escape. A place for unwinding after work, playing music, napping … a backyard escape can be whatever you need it to be. Glass doors opening onto a small deck in this backyard shed in the San Francisco Bay Area make for an inviting, flexible hangout space.
6. Greenhouse. If you love to garden, a classic greenhouse can make a beautiful and useful addition to the backyard. Use it to shelter delicate plants in winter, start seedlings in spring and store gardening tools out of the elements. Help your greenhouse fit in by matching a few architectural details to the main house, like shingles or similar windows.
7. Modern shed. Horizontal wood slats give this shed a distinctly modern look, perfect for modern urban spaces. The door can be slid open to reveal a potting area on one side. Around the back, another sliding door opens up to a storage zone for outdoor and sports equipment.
8. Writer’s studio. Wish you had a secluded place in which to write and reflect? Instead of looking farther afield, make a special place right in your own backyard. It has the advantage of being accessible via just a short walk down a tranquil path.
By Laura Gaskill, Houzz