8 Tiny Backyard Buildings for Work or Play

You know that disheveled shack in the corner of the yard? It might just be one of your home’s major assets. These backyard buildings prove that an underutilized backyard shed is a work or play space simply waiting to be discovered. Get ready to shed your preconceived notions—because outbuildings are in.

  1. Repurposed Retreat

    Backyard shed retreat


    Tucked away along the fence line, this “backyard house” was cleverly constructed with salvaged building materials. Its clean lines and minimalist furnishings make for restful accommodations, while the sense of privacy makes it perfect for house guests, or homeowners, who needs to escape the world for a while.

    Related: 7 Creative Guest Houses You Can Actually Afford

  2. Reading Room

    Reading nook shed


    Transformed with some potted plants, shelves of books, and a daybed, this ordinary country shed is a dreamy backyard spot for whiling away a summer afternoon with a classic tome and a tall glass of lemonade.

    Related: 12 Garden Sheds You Could Actually Live (or Work) In

  3. Play Palace

    Kids playhouse shed


    This blogger gave an old shed an extreme makeover to create the ultimate playhouse for her two young daughters. From pint-sized screen doors to a front porch that can turn into a curtained stage, the structure’s thoughtful details make it truly magical.

    Related: 9 Kits for an Instant Kids' Clubhouse

  4. Fit in a Box

    Shed home gym


    When your gym is in your own backyard, you really don’t have any excuse not to stay in shape. This streamlined Modern Shed helps you meet fitness and organizational goals, allowing you to finally move that heavy exercise equipment out of the guest room or basement.

  5. Think Tank

    Prefab shed


    A home office offers convenience, but it also means bringing your work, well, home. This backyard-bound design from Kithaus might just change all that. Set apart form the house and furnished with a stylish desk and a bit of storage, it makes a bright, stimulating office space with room enough to welcome coworkers or clients.

    Related: 10 Ingenious Alternatives to a Traditional Home Office

  6. Fine Dining

    Outdoor dining nook


    You could use your lean-to shed to store rusty old tools—or you could outfit it with vintage furnishings, pretty tablecloths, lots of white paint, and a chandelier and turn it into a cottage chic dining nook instead. Storage shelves hold supplies for impromptu snacks alfresco.

    Related: Eating Out—10 Essentials for Alfresco Dining

  7. Musical Genius

    Music studio shed


    For garage bands that want to go upscale, this covetable studio-in-a-shed features wiring to accommodate electric instruments and recording equipment, plus denim insulation for soundproofing. So go ahead and thrash that guitar late into the night—the neighbors (or the parents) won’t mind.

  8. For Art’s Sake

    Shed artist studio


    Creativity often blossoms in small and simple spaces, such as this wood-frame shed devoted to the pursuit of painting. Ample natural light, white-washed walls, and a hard-wearing brick floor provide a no-fuss backdrop for artistic explorations.

    Related: 16 Amazing Homemade Sheds to Inspire Yours

  9. See the Kitchen of the Week


    These innovative and beautiful kitchens may inspire your next renovation or redecorating project. Take a look to see the latest images and inspiration.