Converting a shed to a summer house

If you're willing to roll-up your sleeves and de-clutter your garden shed you can have a lot of fun turning it into a summer house. We've come up with some style solutions that won’t cost the earth.

Converting a shed to a summer house

Turn your shed into a summer house

Design dilemma:

I want to convert my garden shed into a summer house. At the moment it's full of junk but if I clear it out and give it a new coat of paint, it could be very useful for the summer. Any tips on where to start?

Design solution:

You're extremely lucky to have a garden building. There's been a huge surge of interest of late in everything from sheds and gazebos to treehouses and lodges. People are realising the need to have another space for work, relaxation or simply just for escape.

If you want a place to retreat from the stresses of everyday life, you could have fun with your shed and give it a fantasy theme. Keep it simple on the outside to blend with your garden – a muted, calm green looks best - and then have fun with the interior. You could conjure up a Greek Mediterranean theme and go for a colour-scheme of cobalt blue and white combined with wooden shutters and simple floor cushions in a bright and breezy fabric. Or you could go all out on a Moroccan theme and decorate your interior with a mix of opulent, jewel-coloured cushions, vibrantly coloured voiles, low-level seating and hand-painted pieces of china.

Alternatively, if your tastes are more traditional, go for a vintage look that suits a summer house down to the ground. If your priority is to create an unusual dining or office area, invest in a simple, junk-shop find table with mismatched painted wicker and metal chairs. Then pretty-up the room with café curtains and cushions in faded florals, gingham and bright and breezy deckchair stripes. Avoid heavy colour on the interior walls and instead go for either brilliant white, warm clotted cream or a fresh eau de nil for a charming country cottage effect.