Great Garden Sheds Showoff

A garden shed can be much more than a storage space — you can make it an essential part of your homestead.

| April/May 2012

  • Stanley Garden Shed
    Entries poured in from all over the country for our Great Garden Sheds Showoff, but this lovely garden shed with a pink-and-green color scheme (including flowers and plants to match!) won our Most Colorful/Decorative Garden Shed category. The shed was built with repurposed materials and loving care by Barabara and James Stanley.
    PHOTO: BARBARA AND JAMES STANLEY
  • Vanausdoll Garden Shed
    Denise and Ron Vanausdoll; Whidbey Island, Wash. This garden shed is also a greenhouse, which the Vanausdolls have found to be useful in their temperamental Pacific Northwest climate. The framework was built using the metal bars from an old carport, the wood siding is reclaimed barn wood, and the windows were taken from an old chicken house. The door and many of the other decorative items were found at a local recycling center.
    DENISE AND RON VANAUSDOLL
  • Clements Garden Shed
    Sharon and Dan Clements; Mount Blanchard, Ohio. This shed gets its rustic look from the reclaimed, weathered materials the owners used to construct it. The exterior siding is barn wood, and the metal roof came from a fence that formerly stood on the property. Other reclaimed building materials include pool decking purchased on Craigslist, wire fencing used as a trellis and, inside, repurposed croquet mallets used as hooks for hanging garden hoses.
    SHARON AND DAN CLEMENTS
  • Wright Garden Shed
    Elinor Wright; Mansfield, Ohio. This garden shed/greenhouse has also served two generations as a playhouse. It was built with many recycled building materials. One notable feature is a floor made of salvaged bricks.
    ELINOR WRIGHT
  • Oseychuk Garden Shed
    Jim and Lee Oseychuk Golden; British Columbia. Like many planned “weekend projects,” this one ended up lasting several months, but the Oseychuks are more than happy with the result. Jim, who operates a custom sawmilling business, constructed the shed from leftover fir beams. Its unique look comes from the use of naturally curved wood in a timber frame style.
    JIM AND LEE OSEYCHUK
  • Brach Garden Shed
    Gail and Roger Brach; Montgomery, N.Y. Gail Brach would have been happy with a simple garden shed, but her husband, Roger, wanted more of a challenge. The lovely structure he built includes four stained glass windows as well as ample shelving and storage space.
    GAIL AND ROGER BRACH
  • Langevin Garden Shed
    Bob and Mitzie Langevin; Chesterville, Maine. This garden shed is a post-and-beam structure built with wood harvested right on the property. The Langevins milled the wood to suitable sizes but chose to leave it rough and unfinished for a more rustic look. The doors and windows are all salvaged, and the metal roof helps collect rainwater. The small greenhouse on the south wall extends the gardening season.
    BOB AND MITZIE LANGEVIN
  • Videtti Garden Shed
    Russell Videtti; Chaffee, N.Y. Videtti built this potting shed/gazebo/woodshed on the site of an old goat barn. Some of the repurposed materials for this project came from the original barn. Another thrifty find: The cedar shingles were purchased at a garage sale.
    RUSSELL VIDETTI
  • Aberle Garden Shed
    Kenneth Aberle; Minot, N.D. Aberle built this garden shed/greenhouse almost entirely from reclaimed and repurposed materials. The cedar in the rails and walkway is from an old deck, the wood for the walls came from a farmhouse that was being demolished, and the roof is scrap material from a commercial greenhouse.
    KENNETH ABERLE
  • Lecave Garden Shed
    Kathy LeCave; Auburn, Calif. This shed/chicken coop was built from recycled building materials, including barn wood. Even the chickens inside are “reclaimed” — they’re from an animal rescue organization.
    KATHY LECAVE
  • Clemons Garden Shed
    Ian M. Clemons and family; Portland, Ore. This greenhouse/playhouse was hand-built with cob — a combination of sand, straw and clay. The straw was locally sourced, and the clay came directly from the Clemons’ backyard.
    IAN M. CLEMONS AND FAMILY
  • Brown Garden Shed
    Brandon Brown. This shed was build by Brown’s father using completely recycled materials, including lumber from an old barn and a diamond window from a remodeled geodesic home.
    BRANDON BROWN
  • Cunningham Garden Shed
    Ian and Kathy Cunningham; Sardinia, Ohio. The Cunninghams’ herb house was built with wood reclaimed from an old tobacco barn that had stood on the property. The upstairs loft is used for drying gourds and herbs while the cozy downstairs, warmed with a wood-burning stove, is used for neighborhood gatherings.
    IAN AND KATHY CUNNINGHAM
  • Dow Garden Shed
    Viena Dow; Northwood, N.H. When the Dows inherited this shed from a friend it was 6-by-10 feet — over the years they extended the front by 4 feet and added the windows, which they found for free. Viena believes that everyone should have a shed for potting, planting or just plain puttering!
    VIENA DOW
  • Eger Garden Shed
    Jim and Lori Eger; Chesilhurst, N.J. The Egers’ garden shed gets its rustic, woodsy feel from the cedar planks made by Pennsylvania Dutch craftsmen. Discarded pans and tubs adorn the walls and are used by squirrels and birds as nesting places in the spring.
    JIM AND LORI EGER
  • Dreher Garden Shed
    Teri Dreher; Libertyville, Ill. Dreher recruited her friend, Tom Rodriguez, to build the shed out of “stones” made from precisely cut locust wood. In place of concrete, Rodriguez used an ancient limestone mix between the logs. The cedar shake roof requires minimal maintenance. The door and windows were purchased from a local Goodwill.
    TERI DREHER
  • Peterson Garden Shed
    Gary and Lynn Peterson. This charming 12-by-18 foot shed has graced the Petersons’ property for more than 20 years. The wood is old-growth Douglas fir timber that was reclaimed from a fallen silo.
    GARY AND LYNN PETERSON
  • Hostetter Garden Shed
    Tony Hostetter; Calif. For 15 years, Tony Hostetter and his wife collected discarded relics as building material for this old-style garden shed. Gathered supplies included 140-year-old bricks, a schoolhouse window, rusty corrugated tin for the roof, and a 500-pound porcelain sink with drainboards on each side.
    TONY HOSTETTER
  • Powell Garden Shed
    Kathleen Powell; Connersville, Ind. Powell’s garden shed pays homage to the monarch butterfly. In addition to painting the mural, Powell planted milkweed and sunflowers around her shed in order to attract and feed the visiting monarchs each year.
    KATHLEEN POWELL
  • Beaman Garden Shed
    Frank Beaman; Mineral Point, Wis. Beaman modeled this garden shed after a small house he spotted while walking around Colonial Williamsburg. The color and window caps match his 1870s home. The shed has a potting room, tool racks and plenty of room for storage.
    FRANK BEAMAN
  • Stone Garden Shed
    Bob Stone. Stone designed and built this wooden shed to house his yard equipment after the garage became too full. The white pine he used was milled at a local sawmill, and the roof shingles are hand-split cedar. The old window and door hardware came from the Brimfield, Mass., antique and flea market.
    BOB STONE
  • Fuchs Garden Shed
    Carol Fuchs. Fuchs built this charming shed with the aid of a construction class for women and a friend’s borrowed tools. She cut costs by reusing bits of siding, as well as paint and cement blocks from previous household projects.
    CAROL FUCHS

  • Stanley Garden Shed
  • Vanausdoll Garden Shed
  • Clements Garden Shed
  • Wright Garden Shed
  • Oseychuk Garden Shed
  • Brach Garden Shed
  • Langevin Garden Shed
  • Videtti Garden Shed
  • Aberle Garden Shed
  • Lecave Garden Shed
  • Clemons Garden Shed
  • Brown Garden Shed
  • Cunningham Garden Shed
  • Dow Garden Shed
  • Eger Garden Shed
  • Dreher Garden Shed
  • Peterson Garden Shed
  • Hostetter Garden Shed
  • Powell Garden Shed
  • Beaman Garden Shed
  • Stone Garden Shed
  • Fuchs Garden Shed

We received a terrific group of entries for our Garden Sheds Showoff contest. You’ll find our 11 favorite garden shed designs in this article, and you can view dozens more inspiring entries in our Image Gallery. In the “Most Colorful/Decorative” category, the winner of the $500 gift certificate from Lee Valley Tools is Barbara and James Stanley’s charming Crickhollow Cottage in Hendersonville, N.C. In the second category, “Best Use of Repurposed Materials,” the $500 gift certificate from Lee Valley Tools goes to Sharon and Dan Clements of Mount Blanchard, Ohio, who built the beautiful, rustic-looking garden shed using numerous reclaimed building materials.

Most Colorful/Decorative Garden Shed Winner

Barbara and James Stanley; Hendersonville, N.C.
To build this combination potting shed/workshop, the Stanleys purchased a basic playhouse kit and added custom details using salvaged and bargain materials. Inside the shed is a creamy antique tin ceiling purchased from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. A galvanized tin and maple potting bench — complete with cabinets and drawers — was salvaged from a school cafeteria. James even installed wiring and plumbing, so the workshop has electricity and running water.

Best Use of Repurposed Materials Garden Shed Winner

Sharon and Dan Clements; Mount Blanchard, Ohio
This shed gets its rustic look from the reclaimed, weathered materials the owners used to construct it. The exterior siding is barn wood, and the metal roof came from a fence that formerly stood on the property. Other reclaimed building materials include pool decking purchased on Craigslist, wire fencing used as a trellis and, inside, repurposed croquet mallets used as hooks for hanging garden hoses.

Check out the Image Gallery for more unique garden shed designs with charming personality and a touch of character.



Are you ready to build your own garden shed? For a free, basic shed or cabin building plan, see Build This Cozy Cabin.






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