Daydreaming About the Perfect Garden Shed

I’m a terribly undisciplined reader, so working in a bookstore is the worst thing I could possibly do. Rather than sticking with the good novel I’m currently reading, I’m powerless against every shiny new book that catches my eye at work. As I’m currently working on various landscaping projects, my eye was caught by Debra Prinzing‘s Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, a beautiful book about people (including novelist Amy Bloom) who either built from scratch or transformed ramshackle outbuildings and sheds into whimsical yet practical buildings: greenhouses, writing sheds, chicken houses or outdoor living rooms.

While there are the usual couple of outlandish or completely over the top constructions, most of the “sheds” are simple barns or old cottages transformed with love, effort and a good eye into what are likely the most used rooms in their respective homesteads. I have an old two-car garage that I just use for storage. This book has me eying it for other possibilities.


Debra Prinzing’s garden blog:

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  1. Patrick’s avatar

    Have you ever read Michael Pollan’s book, A Place of My Own (The Architecture of Daydreams) about how he (and a builder) design and construct a writing shed? It was my first exposure to Pollan as a writer, years ago, long before he was writing about food and agriculture. Terrific book about what makes a building, even a small one, work.

    1. Rich’s avatar

      Hi Patrick,
      Not yet, but I just bought it and hope to get to it soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

    2. Garden Sheds’s avatar

      It sounds like we may have the same problem. I always seem to be off task day dreaming about going fishing or the dream boat I want to purchase.

    3. Susanmpls’s avatar

      Garden books are my weakness. Are sheds a new trend? I’ve been seeing books and mag articles about them lately. I’ll defintely check this one out as I’ve been thinking a potting shed would be just the thing to work on this summer (that and a little plot for the neighborhood kids to each have their “own” flower).

    4. Jess’s avatar

      That book cover is killing me. How to do something similar without A) buying those crappy pre-built sheds from Home Depot or B) spending ridiculous amounts of money?

    5. Susanmpls’s avatar

      Jess–an idea to find the supplies that could replicate the shed of the cover. Visit a reuse or recycle center or flea market for the doors; not sure that you can get cheap cedar shakes (also at recycle center? flea market), but I bet you could imitate the look w/ plywood and then paint and seal it. How, no idea. Roof looks like aluminum, couldn’t say where you could buy that–never bought aluminum sheets before. I can find the stuff, but haven’t ever built anything, so I couldn’t build it. Was planning to bribe the husband and handy neighbors with beer and food to do it for me.

    6. Rich’s avatar

      Jess, all the sheds in the book are older garages or out buildings converted into deluxe garden sheds. You could always find an old pre-fab shed somebody wants taken away & start with that. Check Craig’s list for a start.

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