Don’t get rid of that eye sore of a shed that has taken over the back corner of your backyard. Stop being embarrassed every time you have guest over because no matter how nice the rest of your yard is, that rust bucket keep screaming “look at me, look at me.” Well, it is time you give visitors to your home a good reason to look. In just one weekend you will have created a backyard oasis that not even you will be able to resist. Have I convinced you to give that large piece of garden sculpture a chance at a new life? Good. Now let’s get started.
One word of advice, GET AN EARLY START! This is without a doubt a weekend project. The earlier in the day you start, the better time management you will have.
Get rid of the old and make way for the new:The first thing on the agenda to do is clean out that old shed. Get rid of everything. You need to start with a clean slate. The best way to tackle this task is to find a new home for these items and instead of stock piling everything over to the side, go ahead and place them in their new permanent storage location. This will prevent you from having to do a lot of extra work later on. Besides, when you finish creating your new backyard getaway, you don’t want your old storage items blocking your view.
Purchase all the items you will need:Unfortunately, this project will cost you a little money. But, to your surprise, you can accomplish your goals for under $200 depending on how many of these items you already have.
1) You are going to have to paint the shed in order to breathe new life into it. Buy a gallon of GOOD primer and a gallon of EXCELLENT exterior paint. The qualities of these two items are vital for establishing longevity of your paint job. This is not the area where you want to try a save a few bucks. If you do it right today, your shed will still look like a great backyard getaway and be just as inviting fifteen years from now.
Be careful to purchase paint that the manufacturer has created specifically for the material your shed is made from. If your shed is made from metal, you will need a paint designed to cover metal. If your shed is made from wood, you will need a paint designed to cover wood. No matter what your shed is made from, you will need to purchase exterior paint and not paint created for interior surfaces.
This is the time to choose a bright color to paint your shed. Choose a color that will draw the eye of your guest to the shed. Do not be afraid to use color. Your best option is to pick a color that will contrast against the color of your planting material.
2) Purchase 6 LARGE potted plants. These will be used to create a lush garden appeal as well as draw the eye of the visitor to your shed. Try and purchase plants that are, or will be in a very short amount of time, at least five feet tall (including the pot). They should have a look of maturity, be lush and full in nature, and very healthy. DO NOT purchase trees. They will grow to be too tall and eventually overpower the space. You want to create something that is at eye level. Some suggestions are flowering plants or palms.
3) An alternative to the 6 potted plants would be to purchase climbing roses or one of your other favorite vines. Plant them in the ground and allow them to climb up both sides of the shed. Either a store bought trellis or a trellis you have created from scratch would be ideal for achieving the desired effect.
4) Purchase decorative pots to house your large potted plants. The larger the pots the better. Keep in mind that your potted plants need room to grow so buy large, very large pots. Make sure they can withstand the changes in the outside climate. If you live in one of the northern states, your pots must be able to withstand extreme cold. If you live in one of the southern states, your pots must be able to endure heat waves.
Do not be afraid to mix and match the colors of your pots. Purchase bright colors that catch the eye from a distance and have interesting detailing on them. Do not go for plain and boring. You are trying to create the WOW factor and playing it safe is the last thing you want to do. Now is the time to take advantage of the use of color.
5) Purchase additional planting material to fill in the gaps between the large potted plants. These should be plants that are planted directly into the ground. Plant as much flowering plants as you can squeeze into this space. The idea here is to create a lush garden along both sides of the shed. Do not worry about over-crowding, as the plants out grow the space you can dig them up and plant them somewhere else in the yard. You want your garden shed getaway to have that mature look today, not two years from now.
6) Purchase flooring for your new shed. This is optional and should only be purchased if your budget allows. If your shed is already sitting on a concrete slab you could lay decorative tile down, stain it, or have it resurfaced and stamped. There are many decorative styles your concrete slab can be stamped in. However, this is a job for a professional and by far the most expensive method I have mentioned. If your shed is sitting on the ground, indoor/outdoor carpet might be a good option.
7) You are going to need a small table and two chairs. These are items you may already own. If you must purchase them, be sure to consider the inside space of your shed. There is only so much space inside a shed. You do not want to purchase a table and chair set that is too large.
8) Purchase two outdoor wall candle lanterns and one outdoor hanging candle lantern. Two will be used to light the entryway into the shed (place one on each side) and one will be used to provide lighting inside the shed. The Candle Lantern Shop has excellent choices of outdoor hanging candle lanterns that sit on its own stand.
Now it is time to convert that old shed into your backyard getaway
a) Prime the inside and outside of the shed.
b) Paint the inside and outside of the shed.
c) Lay your flooring material.
d) Place your potted plants on both sides and in the front of the shed. Begin by placing one potted plant on each side of the entryway. Be sure they are centered and attractively invites your guests in. Then place two on the left side of the shed and two on the right side of the shed.
e) Fill in the spaces between the potted plants with the additional plant material you have purchased. The more flowering plants you install the better. You are trying to create a focal point using the color from the flowering plants and contrast created by the large scale of the potted plants.
f) Install the outdoor wall candle lanterns (one on each side of the entryway) at least 12 inches from the doorway.
Placement of the wall candle lanterns is extremely important. You do not want to be more than 12 inches from the entryway because the candles are open flame and will cause a safety hazard. You do not want to be too far away from the entryway either. After all, the idea is to provide a lighting source for safe entry into the shed during the evening hours.
Be sure to carefully measure the distance from the ground to the height where you will be drilling a hole for the screws that will hold the candle lantern up on the wall. You want both wall candle lanterns to be of equal height and distance from the doorway. Repeat the measurement that was used on the left side to the right side of the entryway.
g) Add your table and chairs inside the shed
h) Place your outdoor hanging candle lantern within close proximity of your table
i) If your shed has electricity, place a nice table lamp on the table. If your shed does not have electricity, consider purchasing additional candle wall sconces or a candle chandelier from The Candle Lantern Shop and install them within the shed.
j) Add a small potted plant here and there to bring the outside in. Fill a decorative pot with a mixture of colorful flowering plants. This is a great way to add seasonal color.
k) Take a step back and look at what you have created. Add any additional accessories you may need to help create a warm and welcoming environment. Look at the shed as though it is an outside “garden room.” Because accessories will be protected from the weather, consider items from around the house that will help you transform the shed into a place that is calm, soothing, and inviting. You want this to be a place that you will enjoy having your morning coffee or reading a good book or just a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
As you can see, converting your old shed into your favorite getaway can be accomplished within ten easy steps. So, the next time you look out your kitchen window and see that old garden shed of an eye sore, do not get dismayed. Go to your local garden center, pick up a few items, and transform that worn down shed into a refurbished oasis.
Shirley Kelly is the owner of The Candle Lantern Shop at [http://www.lanterns4less.com] where she sells unique and beautifully crafted candle lanterns great for weddings or any special occasion. Shirley has been in the interior design business for more than 10 years. Her passions are interior design and gardening. She enjoys sharing home and garden ideas with others. To read more of her ideas or to share your own home and garden tips, please visit her Home and Garden Ideas Blog [http://www.lanterns4less.com/blog] She would love to hear from you.
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