Outfitting the Ultimate Backyard Hideout
A converted shed gives you extra living space … and a place to quickly get away
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (July 6, 2020) — We are now three months into stay-at-home orders and physical distancing measures because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and without question it is starting to feel like the walls are closing in around us.
Whether in a pandemic or not, we all need a personal space where we can escape for respite when the world is weighing down upon us. But during a pandemic, when lockdown measures have largely confined people to their homes, that need for a quick escape is magnified.
A solution is in the backyard. Gone are the days when a shed was just a dusty place to stash the lawnmower and garden tools. They can also be an extra room that isn’t physically attached to your home. Call it a She-Shed, Man Cave, Gamer Getaway or Playroom, a simple shed structure can be transformed into a tranquil hideout that caters precisely to your interests.
It starts with the building itself. A shed about three-metres square (roughly 10 foot by 10 foot) is a good place to start. If you have the space and budget, by all means go bigger. But a 10X10 should fit most everything you need for a comforting space. It would also be a nice bonus if it came equipped with a window you can open.
Outfitting the shed is where you can get creative, but there are some staples you will want to include:
• Power — You should call in a professional to manage this one, but electricity is a must; even if you want to do more than set up a quiet reading nook, you will need a light. So get it wired, and look into having them run a Wi-Fi extender, Ethernet and/or coaxial cable while they are running the wires.
• Comfy seating — First foremost for your list for a relaxing backyard retreat is a comfy place to sit. Whether it is a soft love seat, chaise lounge, reclining chair …. take your pick.
• Television — Your place and your TV – no arguments about what to watch. In a 10x10 shed, you probably want to aim for a TV in 50- to 55-inch range for comfortable viewing. And don’t scrimp on the bells and whistles. Quantum Dot technology will provide the best picture and a more than a billion colours. The Hisense Q8G series comes with Android TV and Chromecast installed, giving you access to all of your favourite programs and movies.
• Storage — Whether books, records or toys, you want a place to store those elements that will keep you entertained in your retreat. This could come in the form of a shelving unit, blanket box, old milk crates … something that will help reduce the clutter and keep the space neat.
• Mini Fridge — Avoid having to run back into the house for some refreshments by placing a mini-fridge in the corner. Compact and stylish, it will keep drinks and snacks cold without taking up a lot of valuable space. It could also double as a stand for pictures, plants or a lamp.
• Climate Control — You want to be able to use your retreat as much of the year as possible. During the steamy hot summer days, a portable air conditioner will keep it cool and comfortable. In the winter, an electric fireplace will quickly warm the space and get it cozy — and will add a stylish element to the room.