How to Turn a Garden Shed into a Relaxing Retreat

If you need an office, a workshop, crafts studio or simply a space to get away from the hubbub of daily life, consider a garden shed. With a little creativity and DIY moxy, you can transform a utilitarian storage unit into a relaxing retreat with all the creature comforts of home.

Here’s how.

Pick the right shed

Style and size will be the obvious considerations, but also look for units that will be livable, such as gambrel-style sheds. The gambrel has a steeply sloped roof, offering plenty of headspace. Taller models may even provide a little extra attic space -- ideal for a loft with a daybed. Lean-to and gable styles also lend themselves to easy shed-to-office renovations.

Insulate it

Garden sheds are barebones by design. Without insulation, they will be unusable during seasons of extreme heat and cold. Insulation regulates the temperature, making the unit livable year round. Plus, it will help retain air conditioning and heating. (More on that later.)

Finish the interior

Beyond drywall and plywood, you’ll want to finish the interior with baseboards, crown molding and window casings. Texture the walls with paint, wallpaper or other material of your choice.

What do you want under your feet? Carpet? Hardwood? Tile? The options are endless.

Whatever materials you use as finishing touches, give color strong consideration. Is this going to be a creative space? If so, go with yellow. Yellowish hues stimulate creativity.

Climate control

You will need this. Even with insulation, this is a small space detached from your home’s HVAC system. It will be a hot box during summer and an ice box during winter without a climate control system.

Your best bet is a ductless mini-split. An air handling unit mounts flush against a wall, connecting to an outside compressor via a conduit housing a power cable and refrigerant tubing. It operates silently, which is ideal for a small space. Plus, it doubles as a heater during the winter.

Make your garden-shed renovation uniquely yours. And depend on the qualified professionals at Morris Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning to correctly size and install the right cooling and heating unit for your space. To schedule an appointment, call 978-961-0338.