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By Amy Hanlon on 05 Jun 2023

What can you use a summerhouse for?


Within a couple of weeks of arriving at G&M, I was helping to decorate the interiors of the summerhouses. That’s when I realised that the Show Area isn’t just cool timber buildings. It’s a series of little fantasies. Customers walk in and start to picture exactly what they’d use their summerhouse for.

The potential uses for a summerhouse keep us talking here at Shedquarters. We love picturing what people do with their buildings once they’ve been installed. People are so creative and innovative. But that’s the beauty of a summerhouse.

There are so many ways to use it. Here we look at four ways to make the most of your investment.

Can I use a summerhouse as a hobby room?

Whether your hobby is keeping fit, occupying your mind or creating beautiful things, here are some of the hobbies that our customers get up to in their summerhouses.

Can I Use A Summerhouse As A Craft Room?

Sewing, knitting, watercolours, jewellery-making, macrame, crochet, linotypes, resin art, decoupage, origami or making things out of cat hair all have one thing in common: they all need space. Crafts and hobbies come with tools, materials, models and machinery that can quickly overwhelm your living space. 

I’m a bit of a crafter myself, and there’s just something irresistible about buying more paper, more paint, more wool, more fabric, more haberdashery, more, more, more! No cat hair models though, thanks!

But all that STUFF needs a home, and unless you have a whole room in your house dedicated to storing it all, it gets everywhere. Lots of it is small and bitty and easily lost, and before you know it, more time is spent setting up and clearing away your materials than making whatever it is you make.

You need a summerhouse! As well as providing lots of natural light to help you see those tiny details and invisible embroidery, a summerhouse is a dedicated space, away from everything else in the house. You can keep your fabric scissors there and no one will ever use them to cut paper ever again! 


Benefits of using a summerhouse as a craft room:

  1. It’s a beautiful, harmonious place to work undisturbed. You’re close to nature and there’s a door to keep other people out of your space.
  2. No one will ever touch your craft stuff ever again. They won’t pile it up somewhere and upset your precarious organisation system. They won’t randomly borrow things that are crucial to your projects, or make “helpful” comments when you’re halfway through a masterpiece. 
  3. No one will ever complain again about your craft materials being all over the spare room, the kitchen table, or wherever else you usually keep them. Whether you like to colour code and alphabetise everything or leave everything in a tangle, in your summerhouse, your rules apply.

Can I use a summerhouse as a yoga room?

With everyone from Colin Farrell to Madonna to David Beckham getting twisty on a mat these days, yoga has become a hugely popular leisure activity. Whether you like sweating in a Bikram class or chilling out at Yin, there will most likely come a time when you’d really like a space for your own practice. Is a summerhouse suitable?

One of the great things about yoga is that you don’t need much space or any special equipment to practice. As long as your summerhouse is big enough to roll out a mat, you’re all set.

Benefits of using a summerhouse to practice yoga:

  1. Does your other half hate the smell of incense? Do the kids make a din with your tingsha? Yoga is a deeply personal practice that non-yogis don’t always appreciate. A summerhouse gives it the physical and mental space it deserves.
  2. What better place to salute the sun than in a summerhouse? You can enjoy your practice at the same time as enjoying the beauty of your garden.
  3. Yoga is about consistency and it can be difficult to get to a class sometimes. It’s much easier to keep up your practice when you have your own yoga space right there in your garden.

Can I use a summerhouse as a Man Cave?

As a four-year-old, I took great delight in telling everyone that when we moved into our new house we would all have our very own bedroom, apart from mum and dad.

While this was no doubt cute and hilarious, having to share a bedroom does have its drawbacks as an adult. It may mean that the only space that’s yours at home is shared with someone else.

What better solution to this than The ManCave or the SheShed? We’re not here to propagate gender stereotypes, but sometimes a person wants a space of their own.

A ManCave or a SheShed might have a particular purpose, or they might have no set purpose at all. They don’t have to be used for just one thing. They are a perfect example of dedicated space, but in this case, the space is dedicated to whatever you damn well want to do with it. It’s dedicated just to you.

Your hobbies, habits and needs might well require an actual shed, but if your ManCave or SheShed are for enjoying your beautiful surroundings, the additional windows of a summerhouse make for a lighter, sunnier space.

Benefits of using a summerhouse as a ManCave or SheShed:

  1. A ManCave/SheShed summerhouse really is like having your own bedroom again. You can use it for whatever you want. 
  2. You can have peace and quiet, or a riotous time with pals, just like you used to when you were a teenager. Gaming? No problem. Listening to music? Great! Squeezing the blackheads on your nose? At least no one has to see you doing that anymore!
  3. Any mess you make, things you have that take up space in the house, or pastimes you have, are out of the way of everyone else in your home. A ManCave or SheShed is like a selection box of all the different uses we’ve discussed so far.

Whether it’s dog grooming, stamp-collecting or bonsai trees, hosting your hobbies in your summerhouse is a great way to keep them separate from the rest of your life, and out of the way of everyone else. 

Can I Use A Summerhouse As A Home Office?

All that glorious undisturbed leisure time can just as easily be glorious undisturbed working time. 

As someone who works from a summerhouse myself, I’ve written a whole article about the pros, cons and details of using a summerhouse as a home office. While my summerhouse office isn’t in my garden, it’s still a beautiful working space.

Not every job can be carried out in a summerhouse, but if you’re able to work from home, working in a summerhouse should be possible for you, with the added benefit of being far enough away from the chores, home comforts and distractions that can make it difficult to concentrate on your 9-5. 

Benefits of using a summerhouse as a home office:

  1. It’s right there in your garden. No commuting, no traffic, no parking fees. Just open the back door and wander through the garden to get to work.
  2. Peak productivity. With no distractions other than your gorgeous garden, you can concentrate on the job at hand. 
  3. A dedicated space. You can have all the files, equipment and tools that you need and no one will disturb them or you. No more presenting documents with crayon on them, or having to fight your kids for the laptop.

Can I Use A Summerhouse To Socialise?

Sheddies, we’d be disappointed if you didn’t! 

Sometimes we want peace to enjoy our own company. But sometimes we want to enjoy the company of friends and family. Is a summerhouse suitable for socialising?

A good-sized summerhouse is a perfect place to host friends for drinks, games, music, dancing, or just sitting down for a good old blether. The real beauty of having a summerhouse is that you can decorate it however you like. Check out this fantastic party pad:

This conjures up scenes of good food and good company, drinks and a carry-on, maybe some singing later on, and plenty of space to dance if you feel like dancing.

Or if a bar and a pizza oven aren’t your things, what about comfy couches and coffee tables? This is a perfect space for a really good blether, hot or cold drinks, and just because there’s a coffee table, you don’t have to rule out dancing!

Benefits of using a summerhouse to socialise:

  1. Whether there’s someone in the house who needs an early night or kids who don’t want to see your dance moves, having a separate space means you won’t be bothering anyone. Now turn that music up!
  1. A party in a summerhouse means just one room to tidy up after the festivities, or you could even close the door at the end of the night and deal with clean-up in the morning. 
  1. Having a dedicated space for socialising means that everyone comes to you. While they sort out designated drivers and taxis home, you’re back home in a matter of minutes. Smug mode!

Can I use a summerhouse for whatever I want?

This is probably the most important part of this article. Hobbies, working and socialising are all fantastic ways to enjoy your summerhouse.

But really, it’s entirely up to you.

A summerhouse is a blank canvas full of possibilities. We are constantly entranced and surprised by the innovative ways our customers use theirs. We love hearing about pottery pads, Subbuteo pitches, train sets and art studios, but just as exciting is the unknown stuff that we haven’t thought of yet.

As long as your summerhouse use is safe (no welding in there, thanks!) and you have enough space and comfort in your building to accommodate everything you need, we’ll continue to be surprised by the cool things that people do in summerhouses.

What’s the best way to use a summerhouse?

The best way to use a summerhouse is the way that best suits you. We all love a bit of inspiration, but to get great value from your summerhouse you should use it as much as possible. So buy a garden building that fits your lifestyle and allows you to spend plenty of time doing whatever you love doing in there.  

Do you need a wine-tasting summerhouse? Maybe you’re thinking about taking up wood carving. Or are you going to sit there quietly and watch the birds? You could always check out Shedonism: 101 Excuses to Escape to Your Shed, by Ben Williams if you’re struggling to find the perfect use for your summerhouse. 

Perfect for you, that is. It’s your summerhouse. Your space. You can do whatever you want to in there.

Enjoy your geeky hobbies without anyone interfering. Build your empire. Have a giggle with the neighbours. Indulge a passion. Take up space.  What are you waiting for?

That’s what Shedlife is all about. That’s what we’ve been creating at Gillies & Mackay since 1989, one timber building at a time.

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