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New ways to re-think sheds

From the Resene decorating blog

The more time we spend in our homes, the more we adapt our homes to suit our needs.

We’ve seen it clearly through the early 2020s with the increasing importance of having a functional place to work from home in most houses; ideally one you can decorate to be an inspiring and motivational space.

A green potting shed

A monochrome finish in fresh shades of botanical green is perfect for this potting shed.

Walls and floor painted in Resene Rivergum, table in Resene Palm Green, stool in Resene Bud, doors in Resene Black White, tool pegboard in Resene Nourish with outlines in Resene Rivergum, pots painted in Resene Nourish, Resene Bud, Resene Palm Green, Resene Rivergum, Resene Secrets, Resene Peace, Resene Middle Earth, Resene Paddock, Resene Mangrove, Resene Spanish Green and Resene Celtic and in Resene Rice Cake. Boots and tools from Bed Bath & Beyond. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Mel Jenkins.

A fun storage shed

Even storage sheds can be elevated with fun use of colour and some creative organisation.

The walls of this practical shed are painted in Resene Silver Chalice, with Resene Nero and Resene Stack on the floor. The stook and coat hooks are Resene Turbo, DIY shoe rack is Resene Foundry on the cinder blocks and Resene Black White on the shelves. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

But it’s not all about work. Upheaval of recent times has also taught us to value balance in our lives, between our work, family and the other things that bring us joy. It might be time out to retreat and read, it might be you want to improve your carpentry or even mechanical skills, maybe it’s pottery or art, or maybe you really want to embrace your life of interior design and styling. Having a place to go to enjoy your new-found or rediscovered hobby can make all the difference in how easy it is to devote time to it, and maintain that balance in your life.

Having a studio or shed devoted to your hobbies or ‘me-time’ can be a luxury, but a little creative thinking around the idea of a ‘shed’, and some clever use of Resene paint and products opens up possibilities for carving the space you need from the space you have.

Re-thinking sheds

Typically we think of a shed as a steel or wooden box, down the back of the garden often used for the lawnmower, garden tools, old paint tins (did you know you can return these to the Resene PaintWise recycling service?) and the odd bike. Sometimes they’re a little more fun, with bars, dartboards and ‘retired’ sofas, or they’ve been repurposed as the home office.

But if we start to think of our sheds as outdoor rooms, they become great opportunities for some creative decorating, and can become an asset to your whole property, both visually and practically.

If your outdoor area is small, maybe you want to consider a pergola-style structure instead, that still creates a new use area in your garden, with a lighter footprint that doesn’t feel as though it’s taking up so much space. Or, if you rethink the idea that ‘sheds’ have to be outside separate spaces you can start to take a fresh look at how you use some of your indoor spaces to carve out a dedicated zone for your chosen hobbies.

Top tip:  If you’re building a new structure outside, check with your local council on what regulations apply and what consents you will need.

A ballet practice studio

Clever use of screens creates space for a ballet practice studio in one area of a larger room.

The screen panels are framed with paint in Resene Regent Grey with Resene Geyser and hand-painted details in Resene Quarter Iron. The floor is Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash and the rear wall is Resene Geyser with a colour block in Resene Cest La Vie. The light shade is Resene Quarter Iron (top) and Resene Cest La Vie (bottom). The rear drum table is Resene Regent Grey with bottom and stripe in Resene Gunmetal, the front table is Resene Martini (top) with Resene Quarter Iron and the barre is Resene Cest La Vie. Mirror from Made for Tomorrow, rug from Armadillo & Co, artwork by Holly Schroder from endemicworld, ballet slippers from Devonport School of Dance. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

A bold and colourful craft shed

Bold stripes on the floor add colourful inspiration to this craft shed.

The base floor colour is Resene Half Villa White with stripes in Resene Thunder Road, Resene Jailbreak, Resene Memory Lane, Resene Unwind and Resene Rococo. The walls and pegboard are Resene Half Villa White, with pegboard frame, shelves and pegs in Resene Noir. The table is Resene Rice Cake with legs and spots in Resene Noir. The chair is Resene Liberty and the stool is Resene Rice Cake. The large mason jar is Resene Irresistible, with a smaller jar in Resene Ethereal. The large vase with eucalyptus is Resene Noir with spots in Resene Rice Cake and Resene FX Rose Gold. The floor planter is Resene Safehaven. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Prep your shed

If you want to revive and re-purpose an existing shed on your property, cleaning is most likely your first step. Clean out any cobwebs and dirt then give all the surfaces a clean with Resene Moss & Mould Killer.

For most sheds, you’ll be dealing with limited floor space, so before you repaint and start furnishing, draw out a floor plan to scale so you can get a clear idea of what will fit where. Think about how much storage you’ll need and try to come up with creative solutions, from box seating and hidden wall cavity cupboards, to using ceiling rafters, hooks and shelves. Having a storage plan before you start will help you keep your small shed space organised and usable.

How you’ll use your shed, will also influence how you go about decorating it. Keen gardeners wanting a place to nurture and maintain their leafy babies, might like to keep interior wood surfaces looking natural with natural wood stains like Resene Colorwood Natural or the soft grey of Resene Colorwood Smokey Ash. If your shed and surfaces are open to the elements, and on the exterior, opt for Resene Woodsman outdoor stains instead.

Top tip:  For shed surfaces that might get dirty or need regular wipedowns opt for Resene Lustacryl for a semi-gloss waterborne enamel finish or Resene Enamacryl gloss finish tinted to your chosen colours. They’re durable and easy to clean.

Consider your light source

If you’re going to use your shed for any kind of work or hobby – whether it’s pottery, planting seedlings, or time on the laptop, think about lighting, both natural and artificial. Big windows and doors can work well in a shed that you’re using as a studio or workspace, add a comfy seat or two and it can work well as an overflow entertaining area.

You could even try building a whole wall from a collection of upcycled windows for a greenhouse-style finish. For a fun finish, paint the window frames in different shades of the same colour, like greens in Resene Wabi Sabi, Resene Staycation and Resene Aloe Vera.

Just remember to give yourself plenty of ventilation, particularly if you want to use the space for things other than just growing plants. It could get warm in there, particularly in the summer sun.

Get creative with shed exteriors

The exterior walls of a shed can also be a handy place to try a vertical garden, as a practical and visually appealing way to tie the building to the rest of your outdoor space. Upcycle wooden pallets to create small planters and bolt to the walls of your shed.

Painting or staining both the planters and the shed walls in a deep colour like Resene Woodsman Skywater or Resene Woodland, will soften the edges of the structure and help it blend into the rest of your garden.

A shed can be a great place to try some upcycling, so you can get the shed you want without shelling out lots of money. Use leftover Resene paint from your house decorating, or pick up some Resene testpots to revive everything from planters and pots to upcycled furniture.

If your shed sits close to your house you might want to paint the exterior in a shade to match, or complement your house. If, for example, your house walls are the muted grey green of Resene Blue Smoke, try shed walls in fresh Resene Edgewater. On the other hand, if you want a bolder complementary colour to give your shed its own punch of personality, try painting the walls in bold Resene Red Berry or deep navy Resene Bunting. Paint trim in oaty Resene White Pointer on both your house and shed to tie it all together.

If you have a neutral house exterior in something like ever-popular Resene Half Fossil, pair it with bold front and back doors in bright red Resene Roadster and carry that through to your shed colours.

The indoor shed

Yes, technically sheds are all about creating usable space outdoors, whether it’s for simply for storage or for DIY, home maintenance or crafts. But if that’s not practical for your home, have a think about how you might create some ‘shed’ space inside. Do you have a large bedroom or living area or even just some spare garage space in which you could dedicate a corner as a craft or hobby space?

For a visual barrier, paint out a section of the room in a contrast colour you find inspiring. In a neutral Resene Alabaster bedroom, paint out a colour block on the wall (and even the floor and ceiling) in a dramatic shade like deep blue Resene Midnight Express or burnt orange Resene Fire. Pick a shade you find personally inspiring, add a third colour like complementary Resene Half Stack, and make that the theme colour scheme for your ‘shed’ space. Add wall shelves and a work surface in the same colours, and think about adding moveable screens or storage units on castors so you can adjust your space, how and when suits you.

A large cupboard or wardrobe in a spare room can even work as a ‘shed’ space. Have a think about how you can adapt it with fold out work surfaces or storage to create what you need, in a way that can be easily packed away if space is at a premium.

The pretend shed

An outdoor pergola can be a nice way to ‘cheat’ getting some additional shed space without the hassle and complexity of building a whole shed. A concrete or paved pad surrounded by four posts and a roof can be a hugely versatile space that adds functionality to your back garden.

Add partial walls with wooden slats for some shelter, or even consider hanging outdoor fabric curtains. You could add fold down work benches to be used for potting plants or any hobby you prefer doing outdoors. Box seating also works well for additional storage that still looks aesthetically pleasing – and useful for when you’re entertaining.

Top tip:  Apply Resene Concrete Clear or Resene Walk-on Clear on concrete surfaces to ensure they’re easier to wash down and keep clean.

Top tip:  Keep an eye out for The Resene Shed of the Year with NZ Gardener if you want new, creative ideas for shed; or enter your own!


Resene Ethereal

Resene Rose Gold

Resene Rococo

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Staycation

Resene Wabi Sabi

Resene Nourish

Resene Peace

Resene Memory Lane

Resene Thunder Road

Resene Liberty

Resene Safehaven

Resene Aloe Vera

Resene Jailbreak

Resene Noir

February 22, 2023

For more ideas how to bring out the best in your shed, visit your local Resene ColorShop or ask a Resene Colour Expert online.

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