Shedquarters are hot property

Shedquarters are hot property

A VERITABLE HAVEN: The humble garden shed is no longer merely a dumping ground for tools and unwanted household goods – people are increasingly transforming them for many uses – from home office to mom’s hideaway when she needs time to relax.

Until recently, the garden shed was little more than a shack primarily used for storing lawnmowers, garden tools and the jumble of goods we think we might need one day. But these humble, oft-neglected structures are increasingly being put to much better use in a new incarnation – as versatile shedquarters.

Sandy Geffen, executive director of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in South Africa, says: “Our rapidly changing digital world has transformed how we live and work, with many more people now working remotely, flexi-time or freelance.

“However, although it’s wonderful not to have to wear a suit or high heels daily and sit in traffic for hours on end, for many the challenge is finding a quiet, private space to work at home, away from the many distractions of home life.

“And a customised shed provides the perfect solution – it’s only a short commute across your yard, but it provides the separation necessary for focused work, as well as the convenience of working from home.”

However, since the shed’s revival, it has sparked people’s – and designer’s – imaginations and is proving very comfortable quarters for a multitude of other uses, says Geffen.

Whether you’re a painter, sculptor or scrapbooker, having your own art studio will give you the privacy you need to get the creative juices flowing and the space to safely store your art supplies. Large windows for natural light, shelves for storage and a table to work on are all you need – except, perhaps, a pretty flower garden and a bird feeder close by for inspiration.

If DIY projects and woodworking are more your thing, a backyard shed provides the perfect work space. Depending on the size of the shed, you can fit all sorts of equipment and tools in your workshop and even install some shelving and a workbench to maximise available space.

Some days we just need to get away from it all, even just for an hour or two. Whether you want to meditate, think, read, or just relax, a comfy shed makes a perfect haven. Drag in the old couch and a rug, a bookshelf and soft cushions.

If yoga is your thing, put on some soft music, light some candles, perhaps a fan to create a gentle breeze.

Dads also need some down time and a “man cave” can be the perfect place for him to do his own thing for a while. Add a television, a refrigerator and a few assorted bits of furniture and he will love his new hangout. It’s also the perfect place for him and his mates to watch sports matches and cheer to their hearts content.

Staying in shape is a great life choice, but gym equipment can clutter up a home and it’s hard to work out properly with regular distractions and interruptions. Moving your equipment out to the shed not only provides the perfect solution, it may also help encourage other members of your family to stay fit and active as it gives them easy access to your gym equipment.

South Africans love the great outdoors in summer so why not convert your shed into a garden dining den? Simply replace one wall with doors that fold back to open up completely and furnish with a rustic old table and two benches, pretty cushions and a sideboard if space allows.

Children will love having their own little house in the garden and their toys will not constantly be underfoot. And if you turn transforming the shed into a playhouse a family event, it will be a fun bonding experience while also giving the children a chance to have a say and to be hands-on with their future playhouse

Teens need their own space but we’re not always keen to have them lock themselves in their bedrooms, especially with friends, so why not convert create a den for them where they have privacy but are not out of sight. Bean bags, squishy old sofa, X-box or play station, old mini fridge and sound system will keep them very happy.

“Depending on your budget – and the condition of an existing shed – you can either order a purpose built prefabricated structure, buy a kit to assemble or clear out and spruce up the shed already in your garden,” says Geffen.

“There are now endless options in design and sizes available if your budget stretches to buying a new, purpose-built shed but with a little imagination and elbow grease an old shed in decent condition can easily be transformed.”

She concludes: A converted shed will add value to your home and can also save you a considerable amount of money in the long run especially on the cost of off-site office space. Shedquarters are, in fact, an appreciating asset you can enjoy for years to come.”