As we enjoy more time in our gardens and make greater use of our outdoor space, we are in ever increasing need of useful and convenient storage. Owning a garden building opens up the possibilities for a range of activities and with every hobby comes special equipment, tools and materials. Whatever you enjoy about your garden, from nurturing prize dahlias, to watching the birds, and sketching and painting, to crafting, creative writing or yoga and Pilates, you will find yourself collecting numberless items of essential kit along the way. Even if your plans focus on relaxation and entertaining, you will benefit from having all the accoutrements of the ideal host to hand.
A summer house provides an ideal base away from the house where you can keep these essential items and in our blog, we explore how to make the most ergonomic use of storage so that you can maximise the footprint of your garden building.
Shelves can be installed in creative ways to provide flexibility. Floating shelves use very little wall space, and you can install them above doors and windows as well as in the centre of a wall. Choose the same paint colour as your summer house and your shelf will ‘disappear’ allowing the objects it supports to become the focal point.
Scott’s has designed a clever shelf feature which is inset into the summer house’s back panel that ‘borrows’ storage space from outside. Incorporating a decorative leaded glass window, this feature adds charm as well as providing a useful place to store books, display ornaments or locate your smart speaker.
Shelves can be free-standing or built from floor to ceiling against a single elevation that rises to the ceiling to make maximum use of all the space. Tilt an attractive wooden ladder against the wall to help you reach the higher points. Add simple doors to one or two sections of the shelf unit to hide away utilitarian and practical items.
Make best use of forgotten corners by installing a corner desk that enables you to set up a handy home office. Secure hinged and folding items to the wall and you can raise and lower a garden bar, office desk, coffee table or sketching easel, storing it away securely when not in use. Or add a cabinet that opens up to reveal a fold-down desk to create a multi-purpose environment that you can enjoy at the weekend too.
Pegboards are extremely versatile and available in a range of sizes so you can order different sized items by simply re-organising the layout. Don’t forget to raise your eyes and think about how you could use the roof space for extra storage. A clothes drier on pulleys could be the perfect place to store throws, wraps or cushions.
If you are introducing free-standing furniture, try to ensure that it has a dual use. A coffee table with drawers underneath, a chest that you can also use as a table, or a storage box or trunk that can double up as an extra stool.
One of the most ingenious optional extras in the Scott’s range is the sectional modular seating, designed to fit like a glove into the corners of each wall panel within its premium summer house models. Crafted from timber with a lidded seat, you can store away hobby equipment, garden tools and soft furnishings such as wraps and throws. Each seating module, with high quality padded seat cushions, can easily be moved away from the wall so that everyone can gather around the table. Then return it to its original position to open up the floor space. This type of seating is painted in the same colour at the summer house walls, so it blends in subtly and complements the décor.
With wheels or castors, your summer house furniture can be rolled away under tables and shelves when not in use. Think about stools, chairs, and storage boxes. Add a lid to a wheeled storage box and you will have a freely-moving coffee table that you could even wheel out onto your deck or patio. Check that all wheeled items have brakes to protect your safety.
Re-purpose furniture from your home or reclaim a pre-loved item from a flea market and customise it to the theme of your summer house. Re-paint a wooden chest and switch the drawer handles for a quirky or luxurious alternative aesthetic. Choose foldaway items such as gateleg tables and collapsible chairs that can be stacked to one side when not in use.
Box of tricks
There are hundreds of options for small item storage from fabric-covered boxes, woven baskets with convenient handles, vintage style lidded tins, colourful glass pots and printed cardboard boxes. Affix a metal backing strip to a wall and add magnetic tins for vertical storage. Add hooks and brackets underneath shelves to hang up pots, jars or baskets for storage of small items. Screw the lids of glass mason jars to the underside of shelves and you’ll create the perfect storage station for small items from knitting wool and cotton reels, to teabags and biscuits.
The area immediately outside your summer house can provide useful storage opportunities. Bench seating outdoors can double up as storage space for larger items including children’s toys, scooters, bikes and balls. If you have a fence or trellis next to your summer house, you can hang up pots on hooks, and find a place for the watering can and any tools you use on a daily basis.
If entertaining is your priority, affix a hinged garden drinks station to the wall that you can open up when guests arrive. Fixed by sturdy chains, this creates a stable platform to mix those drinks and also provides somewhere to conveniently store glasses when not in use.
More summer house storage ideas
Creating efficient storage in a summer house can help maximize space and keep the area organised. Here are some interesting ways to achieve this:
Hanging Shelves and Hooks: Install shelves and hooks on the walls to store items like hats, bags, or small accessories, keeping the floor space free.
Fold-Down Furniture: Opt for fold-down tables, chairs, or desks to save space when not in use.
Multi-Functional Furniture: Choose furniture pieces that can serve multiple purposes, such as a sofa that can be converted into a bed or a coffee table with storage space.
Built-In Cabinets and Shelving: Install built-in cabinets and shelves to utilise vertical space and keep belongings organised.
Floating Shelves: Install floating shelves to display decorative items and store small objects without taking up floor space.
Storage Ottomans: Use ottomans with built-in storage to store blankets, cushions, or other items, and provide additional seating.
Cabinet Doors with Storage: Attach organisers or hooks to the inside of cabinet doors to maximise storage space.
Pegboard Walls: Install pegboards on walls to hang and organise tools, gardening supplies, or other items.
Magnetic Strips: Attach magnetic strips to the walls for storing metal items like knives, spice containers, or small tools.
Ladder Shelving: Use a ladder-style shelving unit to store books, plants, or decorative items while maintaining an open and airy feel.
Storage Baskets and Bins: Utilise decorative baskets and bins to store items under tables or on shelves, keeping things tidy and visually appealing.
Ceiling Hooks: Install hooks in the ceiling to hang items like bicycles, beach chairs, or other large objects.
Window Seat with Storage: Build a window seat with storage underneath for a cosy spot to relax while also providing additional storage.
Mobile Storage Carts: Use mobile carts with drawers or shelves to store items that can be easily moved around the space as needed.
Rolling Storage Crates: Use rolling crates or bins that can be tucked under tables or beds for flexible and accessible storage.
Top tips for super-convenient summer house storage
- Think outside the box: all storage solutions have a use beyond their original purpose so use your imagination.
- Go for folding, hinged and collapsible furniture to make the space as flexible as possible.
- Paint your furniture the same colour as your summer house walls to provide an illusion of space.
- Hooks and hangers make excellent use of wall, and even ceiling space, keeping all your kit and equipment tidy without compromising floor space.
- Choose modular, free-standing furniture that can be moved around according to the occasion.
- Wheeled items lend themselves to being tucked away and are easily accessible when you need to access them.
- Re-purpose furniture from any room in your house and give it a second life in your outdoor garden haven.
- Make use of outdoor space and add features to your patio that allow you keep your kit and equipment to hand.
As you reach the end of this exploration, envisioning the transformation of your garden building or summer house into a more functional and organised space opens up a world of exciting possibilities. The insights shared in this article serve as your guide, offering practical tips, inventive shelf solutions, and creative ways to optimise outdoor storage. Whether your passion lies in gardening, crafting, or simply relaxing, the provided suggestions are like a roadmap for tailoring your summerhouse to cater to your unique hobbies.
Take a moment to appreciate the emphasis on aesthetics—consider the idea of painting shelves and furniture the same colour as your summer house walls. This simple touch creates a visually seamless and appealing environment. The notion of modular seating with built-in storage and the adaptability offered by mobile storage carts adds a dynamic layer to the potential of your space, making it versatile for different occasions.
Think big. The prospect of a bespoke summer house designed for specific purposes—be it a home office, a gym, or a hobby workshop—resonates with the idea of creating a personalised retreat just for you. The suggestion to consult with design experts, like Scott’s design team, underscores the importance of seeking professional guidance to turn your unique vision into reality.
In essence, the storage solutions presented here go beyond mere functionality—they promise to create an environment that is not only practical but also aesthetically pleasing. As you embark on this journey to maximise the potential of your outdoor space, let the article motivate you to reach out to design experts and explore the diverse range of premium timber summerhouses available. The goal is to help you create a personalised oasis that seamlessly integrates with your lifestyle and preferences.
If you have got one of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces in mind, why not create a bespoke summer house that doubles as a gym, home office, pool house, or hobby workshop with additional storage built in, or add a separate section to your garden building? Scott’s design team is highly experienced in meeting the brief of a range of clients for its premium timber summer houses and has a myriad of ideas that will help to bring your vision to life.
Whether you have already decided on your preferred summer house model or would like to explore the full range of options, tell us about your project and we will do our best to help you to find the perfect solution. Contact our friendly team today.
You might also enjoy reading these posts:
- Summer house interior design ideas
- Choosing paints and colours for your summer house
- The best furniture for your summer house
- Summer house design through the decades
- Landscaping ideas to complement your garden building
- What to put in a luxury summer house
- Summer house lighting for all of the seasons
- Garden room, orangery or conservatory?