Jana Ratzenbek
Jana Ratzenbek

Latest posts by Jana Ratzenbek (see all)

Imagine a room that is yours, and only yours ! Your own little escape, your hideout, your space to chill and relax, a place to take a little break from reality and everyday life…. your own little sanctuary ! Sound appealing to you ? Every mom dreams of it, I know I do. Well guess what ? This room can easily become a reality !

All you need is a weekend, a little creativity, and an old garden shed!

Yep that’s right, that old shed that no longer serves a meaningful purpose.  It’s now just a mini-warehouse for all your old rusty garden tools, and your dried out garden hose.  Now you can convert that old shed into a little cabana that everyone will enjoy to hang out in !  With a little time, effort and creativity, you can turn this into a fun weekend project !

  1. Empty that beast ! Take everything out, down to the bare walls. Sweep the floors, and use a shop vac to really clean out those dusty walls and ceiling.

  2. Now let your imagination take control !  Make your fantasies come to life !  Stand in front of the shed, open the door, and start imagining…. imagine the door style, the windows, the bright colors, the furnishings, this is your first glance at what is about to change.  Are you looking for cozy ? Traditional cottage ? Contemporary island beach cabana ?  Go on, be creative ! It’s your space and you will only invite one or two others who worthy of sharing this space with you !

  3. Get some ideas.  Ask a friend, or ask your spouse.  Look through some home & garden magazines, you can always get some great ideas there.  Look up “cabanas” on the internet.  There are so many great sources out there if you need some ideas.  If you are not sure you can do it on your own, get some help from your significant other… this could be a fun and exciting DIY project that the two of you could bond with !

  4. Doors & wIndows.  Most sheds come equipped with barn style doors and cottage windows. Why not replace that barn door with a set of glass French Doors with grilles !  It will bring lots of light inside your shed, especially if you don’t have any windows.  Plus, the grilles/grids are a nice touch, and add lots of character !  Add a window or two, if you don’t already have one.  Don’t go overboard with buying doors and windows.  Sometimes you can look on places like Craigslist for a great deal on slightly used doors and windows — this could be a huge money-saver !

  5. Inside walls & ceiling.  Again, this depends on your individual style and needs. You have a few options here.  You can finish your walls with sheetrock or bead board.  You can insulate the cavities of your walls & ceiling with insulation.  If that’s too much work for you, simply paint the raw walls & ceiling of your shed using bright colors !

  6. Flooring.  Many options here… plywood, laminates, hardwood, vinyl, outdoor ceramic tile.  I personally like bamboo and Mexican terracotta tile.  The options here are endless !

  7. Furnish and decorate.  Here’s the fun part !  Put that old stuff in your house or garage into use.  Put up a few inexpensive prints on the wall.  Outdoor furniture works well with this type of space.  You don’t need to spend a ton of money here !

  8. What about winter ?  You’re asking yourself, “how about the winter, when it’s really cold??” There’s an easy solution to that one…. the cast iron pellet stove !  Just make sure to run the exhaust out of the room, you don’t want the fumes to stay inside the room.  So you can get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside your shed, even when it’s really cold out !

  9. Exterior Walls.  Consider brightening up the exterior walls with a fresh coat of paint.  Depending on the surface you are painting,  you may require some primer and a few coats of paint.  You may even want to consider installing some maintenance-free vinyl siding, and a new roof, although you may need some additional help from a contractor with this.

What inspired me to write this article is an idea that has been inside my head for quite some time now. A cozy sanctuary… with distressed off-white walls, raw wood floors, exposed roof beams and rafters.  An old sofa with slipcover or a lounge chair, and a nice hammock in the corner.  A welcoming set of white French Doors.  A nautical theme, with white, blue and natural wood colors.  A wool rug across the floor, a few prints on the wall, and of course… a rope and anchor hanging on the wall !  And there I am, snuggled up under my blanket, warming up next to my stove, reading my favorite book !

There you go… your very own escape room !  Now relax, and have a glass of wine.  Or have some s’mores by the campfire.  Invite your friends, or snuggle with your loved one.  Or just close the door and enjoy some alone time !  Be proud of yourself, this is your space !

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