We love a creative garden shed. Whether it’s a sleek, chic home office, a colourful and fun play area for the kids, or even something really off-the-wall, like a Lord of the Rings style fairytale shed. If that last one sounds too good to be true, well then, you’re in for a delightful surprise.
Every year, shed owners in the UK submit their applications to enter Cuprinol’s Shed of the Year competition. Over the past ten years, there have been various themes, such as Historical, Cabin & Summerhouse, and Pub & Entertainment. This year’s winner took home the competition for the theme “Nature Haven” with a shire-inspired garden shed.
You have to take a look at this shed and some of the other finalists in the competition. They’ve definitely inspired us to think about some fun upgrades to our backyard sheds! They also make for great ideas if you’re currently thinking of buying a shed for your backyard.
One Shed to Rule Them All: Chris Hield brings home the gold
Chris Hield is a mastermind when it comes to backyard shed creativity. He took everything into consideration: the miniature-looking shed that is magically spacious inside, the shape and inviting colour of the door, the lush, green surroundings. There’s even a tranquil little coy pond right out front. Given that he’s going to be using the shed as a workspace for making armour and chainmail, it’s just perfect from all angles.
It makes you want to sit back with Gandalf and a cup of tea, reminiscing about past adventures.
And if Hield wants to sit back and relax in his shed, he deserves it! Apparently, construction stalled and was almost abandoned early last year when Hield realised he was trying to dig his hobbit hole on bedrock that he could not break through. He had to fill in the hole that he had started with wet clay and essentially start again.
Eventually, Hield was able to make his dream come true by dedicating his evenings and weekends to building his hobbit shed, which he named Bux End. He made sure to use recycled and upcycled materials to make his shed environmentally friendly.
One thing that Hield says he loves about his shed is that it has attracted so much more wildlife than he ever expected. Blackbird nests, bees, butterflies - he’s created quite a little backyard oasis for local animals.
And it’s not just the extra company that he’s won with his shed. Hield’s prizes for winning the competition include £1,000 in prize money, a whole lot of free merchandise from Cuprinol, a plaque to commemorate the win, and - our favourite - a giant crown to place atop this 1st place shed.
Shed of the Year Finalists
Every year, the competition becomes more fierce, and there were some amazing finalists in 2019.
One of our favourites was called, simply, The Hut. It’s a small shed built on the side of a large hill overlooking a wildflower hay meadow in Carmarthenshire (South Wales.) With no electricity - there are a few battery-operated LED lights - and just a small area for sitting in front of a large front-facing window, the only thing to do, really, is enjoy the view. Summer or winter, it looks absolutely cozy and peaceful. And with steel siding, this shed looks like it was built to last.
Another amazing submission: the Eco-Bastu. Bastu means sauna, and this small shed is just that - a beautiful, minimalist, Swedish-inspired sauna right in the middle of the forest. You can imagine relaxing in this warm, cozy box while watching the snow fall silently outside through its large windows. This shed was built entirely by Kerry Marshall with the help of a few female friends. With no carpentry experience, she wanted to show that she could build a little forest getaway by using upcycled materials and a small budget, all on her own.
In another category, the Unexpected, Julian Hill from Bristol created what he calls the Shedcade. This backyard shed may look unassuming from the outside, but when you step inside, you’re transported to the golden age of video game arcades. There are retro arcade games as well as small PC systems, all for maximum fun and nostalgia. He’s installed plenty of LED lighting and even some special effects to create the atmosphere of being in a real arcade.
Another contender in the Unexpected category was a shed built by David Stocks called The Tempest. It’s a backyard shed with the simple purpose of providing David and his wife with a tranquil place to relax and get away from it all. The style is steampunk and the couple wanted the impression of being out at sea, so there are plenty of nautical design elements - they even have a soundtrack of crashing waves that plays through a speaker. The name refers, of course, to the famous Shakespear play, but it’s also a dedication to the couple’s beloved dog, Storm, who passed away in January.
The Shed of Two Halves was entered this year by Andrew Mowl in Kent, and it’s the perfect backyard bar. Why is it called the Shed of Two Halves? Because one side is a dedicated pub for the adults, and the other side is a children’s tree house for the little ones. In the bar area, there’s just enough space inside for a full bar, a workplace for the bartender to make some delicious signature cocktails, and four bar stools. The children’s play area is accessible by stairs on the other side of the shed and provides plenty of space for some fun games. The two halves are separated by a bug hotel partition, which is a great addition to any backyard garden.
Would your backyard shed make the cut?
We’ve reviewed some of the best sheds in this UK competition, but how does your shed compare? Would you bring home the gold for the Nature Haven category? Or is your backyard shed more of a Pub & Entertainment winner?
We’d love to hear more about your creative shed endeavours.