Not so long ago it was fashionable to convert your spare room into a playroom for the children or to remodel that unused space under the stairs into a mini cinema to keep them entertained but what could be more magical for the kid’s than to have their own private reading room right at the bottom of the garden? Most of us have a shed in the garden that is used for our old gardening equipment, perhaps some bicycles that haven’t been used in years or just a general accumulation of junk that we were meant to get around to decluttering but we just never quite had the time. Why not put this space to good use and start a new project this summer that will give you a chance to reorganise and give the kid’s their own mini-library to discover the new favourite book and develop a positive habit that will last a lifetime. So whether your shed is big or small, in much need of repair or brand new read on to find out our handy hints and you will soon be creating your own scholarly summer shelter.
- Start off your project with by decluttering. This is great to do over a weekend and gives you the chance to sort through all of you old forgotten about items. You have so many options nowadays with what you can do with items you know longer need. Old gardening equipment can be given to local conservation projects or allotments that rely upon donations like these to continue. Tools can even be passed onto the neighbours to help out with their gardening projects and items like bikes can be taken to your local bicycle repair shop to be upgraded. Upcycling is a new trend that allows you to take old materials to someone who will spend time recrafting them into something new to be sold on meaning that you make sure a lot of you old items can find a new use.
- Now your space is clutter-free, it’s time to do some damage assessment. Sheds that are old and have been exposed to the elements may be beyond repair and may need to be replaced. The shed company BuyShedsDirect have a range of options in a variety of sizes at affordable prices to suit all budget and projects. Some may just be in need of some improvements, so now is the time to test those DIY skills and start planning. If your existing shed lacks a window then installing one is relatively quick and easy so there is no need to hire a joiner. Building a window is great for added ventilation and lets plenty of light in so your kid’s can read during the day. If you think that you will be using the library more in the evening add in some overhead lighting or some standard lamps.
- Once you are certain that your space will be functional and safe, improve its longevity by weatherproofing and varnishing the outside. There are going to be numerous books and soft furnishings contained inside so it is vital to protect them from damp. Think about what kind of flooring you want to lay. Laminate is great for easy cleaning and looks professional, however, for a cosier feel you might decide put in a carpet, whichever option you choose make sure you have secured all the edges to avoid falls. Depending on your preference you might wish to paint the walls of the shed in advance of installing the bookshelves. Make sure you do this on a warm day so that there is plenty time for them to dry as you may need a couple of coats to get them completely covered.
- The bookshelves are one of the main features of the room and so should be placed at a height that is appropriate for your children. Whether you fix individual shelves to the walls or construct a shelving unit, ensure that everything is attached securely and the corners of the shelves are child-proof by attaching edge guards for additional safety. Now that most of the hard work has been done and you have a practical area for your library, you can get the kids involved! This is all about them so it is important that they can get creative and craft soft furnishings and decorations that will make this space their own.
- Letting them pick a theme for their library really lets them engage with the project so whether they take their inspiration from the jungle or even outer space you can find arts and crafts supplies relatively cheaply that will allow them to start decorating right away. Local charity shops often have a wide variety of children’s books at vastly reduced prices so you can stock up and fill all of the shelves making it really look like a library and giving your kid’s plenty of material to read. You can design a snug reading area by adding lots of cushions and quilts, perhaps even beanbags for added comfort. Including a small table and chairs set will make the perfect seating area for lunchtimes and great additional seating should they bring their friends around.
Now that you have completed your project is complete all that’s left is to officially declare the library as open and let the kid’s spend time in their new favourite place. Sheds don’t just have to be a practical way to store all of your garden equipment; they can be a functional space for all ages. Not only do they add value to your house but, if used effectively they can be a great way to open up additional space. A shed has so many uses and can not only be converted into a library but also an arts and crafts workshop, a play area and even a cinema. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your new project now and create the perfect place for your kids.