Creative Ideas for Using a Shed for Extra Space

Who said that sheds must only be used for storing tools? You can turn it into a beautiful and useful place to relax or do your hobbies. It’s like a little oasis right in your own backyard. With little creativity, inspiration, passion (and budget, of course), you can have an ultimate bonus room to love.

1. Home gym

Don’t like the idea of working out and getting sweaty with strangers? Having a personal gym is a great way to get fit while staying in the privacy of your own property. Whether you prefer doing cardio, dance workouts, high-intensity training, or weightlifting, you’ll probably get more inspired if you have a home gym. Add mirrors and a ballet barre to the back wall. Cover the floor with rubber mats. Finally, bring in your exercise equipment like treadmills, bikes, dumbbell sets, fitness balls, and other things you use for working out. Add a bench for taking breaks, and make sure that the home gym gets plenty of ventilation. You may also want to install electricity for a sound system or for charging the gadgets that you use while working out.

2. Home office  

If you struggle with work and life balance when working from home, an office situated at your outdoors might be the perfect solution. An office on a separate building allows you to block out the house chores and noise to focus on doing your office work efficiently. Set up your computer at a desk, provide an office chair and a bookshelf. If you have the space and the budget, maybe you can set up a mini pantry too, with a vacant table, mini-fridge, single-serve coffee maker, or water dispenser. A futon where you can relax and take breaks might be a must for you, too!

3. Mancave

Man caves don’t need to be in the basement or garage. You can bask in the sunlight while hanging out at the man cave in your backyard. You can hire an electrician to help set up an electrical connection for essentials like a TV, gaming consoles, and a mini-fridge. Display your sports memorabilia, set up a leather couch or a pair of well-worn recliners, and you’re good to go. You may want to add more seating and a coffee table for your beers if you plan to hang out with your buddies here.

4. Kid’s playhouse

An outdoor playhouse can cost thousands of dollars. But if you transform an existing shed into a playhouse, you can spend less while giving you and your kids priceless memories. Let your kids choose a new paint color for the shed. Cover the floors with a cheerful rug or carpet, and put in a cubby for their toys. Set up their play kitchen inside and let them pretend it’s a home. This will mean hours of fun for your kids – and less mess to deal with in the house for you!

5. Guest suite

Whether you’re thinking about being an Airbnb host for extra income or simply want to provide a little extra space for guests, you can always transform your shed into a gorgeous and stylish guest suit. Place a comfortable bed, a privacy screen, an old but repurposed couch, and a coffee table to make this place comfortable. You may also want to add a little storage like built-in shelves for your guests. Install one of your old TVs in there to complete the package.

Besides doing it for the guests, you can also transform the shed into a romantic retreat for you and your spouse! Try converting your shed to a romantic, cozy cottage. Keep the interior simple with a bed, pillows, and lots of blankets. Also, you can add a small bistro table and chairs out front for enjoying coffee or al fresco breakfast.

6. Booth or stand

With little customization and site prep, you can transform your shed into a concession stand, lemonade stand, home bar, hot cocoa stand, coffee booth, or even a roadside stand for selling your produce. Whatever you want to serve – whether it’s for backyard parties or for the neighborhood, your shed might be the perfect place for that.

7. Poolside cabana

If you have a pool in your backyard, transform your shed into a poolside cabana to get the resort experience at your own property. Outfit the space with a bench, rattan baskets for storage, a hanging area for wet towels, and a cooler for chilled drinks. When your pool day is over, place pool floats and accessories inside the cabana for easy storage.

8. Band rehearsal space

In a band but have no place to rehearse? If you have a shed that can be renovated, it’s not a problem! Soundproof your shed by installing some acoustic foam panels and sealing gaps on the door and windows. Set up electricity, as well as your instruments and equipment. You can also cover one wall with chalk paint to keep track of upcoming gigs and practice schedules or to test out new band names.

9. Workshop

While tools and supplies can be stored at the garage or basement, a workspace and a DIY project can really clutter up those areas. With a shed outside, you can keep the mess away from the garage. If you have a natural knack for woodworking or even jewelry making or embroidery, a shed can host your intimate workshops and be the birthplace of your precious DIY creations. Set up a table with chairs so everyone can have a spot. Keep supplies on hand in cubbies.

10. Greenhouse

If you’re looking to widen your plant collection at home, you can upgrade your potting shed into a full-fledged greenhouse. It’s a great place to try out taking care of new types of flowers or new vegetable plants. Make it glass-walled to allow sunlight to reach seed trays, and install a hanging rack to keep your gardening tools organized. For a bit of character, replace your builder-grade door with a Dutch door.

11. Spa

Find a blissful space in your own backyard by transforming your storage shed into an at-home spa. Paint the inside of the walls with a soothing, neutral color, then set up a pair of massage tables. You may also want to pull up a comfy chair and a foot spa for pedicures. Add some open shelving for your nail polish collection or your massage oils. Then, add hooks for your robes and towels and a wireless speaker for ambiance music. The spa may even lead to a Jacuzzi outside for the ultimate relaxation.

12. Sportsman’s cabin

To all hunters, fishers, and avid hikers, save space in your closet and garage by using the shed as a storeroom for your equipment and your outdoor apparel. Hang jackets and vests from a rack, then keep your waders and bibs in a custom drawer. Use the walls to hang your fishing rods, and add wire baskets to the wall for utility cords, headlamps, and other smaller items. You can also install a gun safe inside and keep the doors secure with a lock. Then, don’t forget a bench and a mirror where you can dress up and prepare to wear your fishing, hiking, or hunting gear.

13. Private library

Every book lover dreams of having their own personal library at home, but they lack the room for it. But few people realize that they can use their shed to make it a reality. In a climate-controlled shed, line the wall with large bookshelves. Use ample lighting to illuminate the room, then create a cozy seating area. It’s also best if you install large windows and French doors to let more natural light in. Once you have a private library in your shed, you can read undisturbed for hours.

14. Writing retreat

Whether you’re penning a novel, memoir, or drafting web pages, you can find peace and quiet if you have a writing retreat. Transform your shed into a tranquil space where you can be alone with your thoughts. Provide a table and a comfy chair, and make sure it has plenty of natural light and great views of the outdoors.

15. Yoga studio

Every morning, salute the sun by converting your storage shed into a place for stretching and meditation. Paint the walls with a soft color and hang a print of your happy place. Install some meditation bells and some hangers for your towels. Consider installing French doors so you can enjoy plenty of fresh air.

16. Photography studio

If you have a knack for photography – or thinking of doing it as a business – you can set up a photography studio in the comforts of your backyard. Paint the interior walls bright white and install floor-to-ceiling windows. Set up one side for shooting, complete with all your equipment and backdrop, then a desk and chair on the other side for editing.

17. Sewing and quilting center

Sewing and quilting can be therapeutic, especially when you’re not worrying about little kids playing near your equipment. Give yourself a place to retreat to enjoy peace of mind and permission to get lost in a project by setting up a sewing area in your shed. Put all your fabric and sewing supplies in there and pull in an old couch or loveseat for relaxing on your short breaks. The plus side is you can decorate this area all you want!

18. Art studio and gallery

Every artist must have a proper studio. If you love to paint and sketch, and if you’re thinking of making it a serious hobby, use your shed and transform it into a workspace and gallery. Adding skylights and French doors can help let in lots of natural light, while slat-wall panels can hold your painting tools.

19. Pottery shed

Meanwhile, if pottery is your form of art, you can also do it in your shed! It’s a better option than the garage or anywhere inside your home. All you need is a table, a small electric kiln, and a shelving unit for your works in progress. Consult a licensed HVAC pro to make sure that the space is properly ventilated.

20. Tea shed

If you’re a fancy lady who loves hosting tea parties, you can create a charming tea shed that’s brimming with style. Set up your vintage floral tea sets for an English tea shed and drink away with your ladies by providing a bistro table and matching chairs. Add floral details and decorate with real, potted flowery plants.

Alternatively, you can also fashion your shed as a traditional Japanese tea house if you’re more inclined to the Oriental style. Use stone pavers to create a winding path that encourages peace and reflection. Then, keep the space minimal and simple – with no more than a sunken stove, ceramic bowls, tatami floor mat, and a painted hanging scroll.

21. Sauna

A sauna can be relaxing and detoxifying. Sweat your troubles away by having a sauna in your own home by transforming your shed into one. Line up the interior with cedar or pine boards, which won’t rot when exposed to moisture.

22. Arcade

You will be the coolest parent on the block if you convert your shed into a kid-friendly arcade. If you want to keep your kids entertained for hours on end, snag a few secondhand arcade machines and install them in the shed. You can also provide a ping pong, hockey, or a foosball table inside if you have the space. Add in a mini-fridge for snacks and some bean bag chairs to create the ultimate arcade center.

23. Home movie theater

Add a new dimension to “let’s go see a movie!” as a family. Make the whole family feel like VIPs by inviting them to a screening in your very own indoor theater. Lay down a “red carpet” (red area rug) on the floor, and add some old loveseats and chairs to create rows of theater seats. Install a projector overhead. You probably want to add a popcorn machine and soda fridge inside, too!

24. At-home casino

Want a piece of Vegas to stay with you? Make casino closer to home by creating the perfect poker shed! Outfit the area with a card table, comfy chairs, red walls, and a wildly patterned rug for a full casino effect. Complete the space with neon signs, dimmer lighting, and a minibar on the side. This will be a great place to invite your friends for a fun night of friendly gambling!

25. Dog wash and grooming station

If you own lots of pups, save yourself a couple of dollars for a trip to the groomers by setting up your own dog washing and grooming station in the backyard. Work with a plumber and an electrician to install a dog bathtub, drain, and outlets for blow dryers. Keep shampoo and other grooming supplies on a shelf.