Have you thought about converting your shed or barn into a workroom, a mini music studio or even a place to stay when you want to get away from your house for a bit? More and more people are doing this, and if you plan carefully, it’s surprising how much you can pack into a small space. These are some of the tricks you should consider to make it work.
Double up with wall coverings
One of the biggest problems with buildings like this is the lack of insulation. Because they’re small, they heat up quickly, but heat is easily lost again, and running a small heater all the time can get expensive. Did you know that you can buy wallpaper with insulation built in? Using this, you can insulate and decorate at the same time. Fitting a shallow set of shelves against one or more walls can help still further, and provide useful storage at the same time.
Choose multi-purpose furniture
When you don’t have room for much of it, every piece of furniture should be able to do at least two jobs. If you have a desk, choose one that folds out into a table for eating. Instead of a chair, consider using an ottoman for extra storage. If you squeeze in a mini fridge to store food, remember that you can also use it as a cupboard for anything that won’t be damaged by cold, and in fact filling it up will make it run more efficiently.
Put up window shutters
In a small space, bulky curtains can be a problem, and even lightweight ones have a tendency to catch on things. A more practical approach is to install hardwood shutters, which will take up less space, provide better insulation and make your home away from home more secure. You can get them to fit any size of window and they’re easy to fit. If the window is small, they also have the advantage of not blocking off the light.
Keep cleaning in mind
The thing about houses in the great outdoors is that, all too often, the great outdoors finds its way into them. Mud, dirt and mouldering leaves are inevitable, so you will need to be able to clean up easily. For this reason, sealed wooden flooring is the best option, because you can simply sweep or mop it clean rather than having to drag a hoover over from your house. Try to avoid creating awkward niches where dirt can build up.
Fit a fold-down bed
If you want to have the option of sleeping or napping in your outhouse but you don’t want to take up half your space with a bed or couch, a fold-down bed is the ideal option. You can simply fold it up against the wall when it’s not in use. It’s a lot less hassle than having to inflate an airbed. Depending on how your outhouse is constructed, you may also have the option of setting up a bed that can be lowered from the ceiling, using a pulley.
Fixing up your outhouse properly can make it a great place to spend time, no matter what you want to use it for. It’s all yours so it should reflect who you are.