Research has shown that reading helps us to escape our every day lives, and become absorbed in stories and other worlds. The Australian Council for the Arts survey reveals that Australians rank reading as their favourite leisure activity and they still prefer a printed book in their hands.
Do you have an idea of what you would want your perfect reading room to look like? Maybe there are floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Maybe there’s a huge comfy reading chair. Maybe you envision a huge window that looks out into the garden.
Well, these things are all possible when you convert your backyard shed into the perfect book lover’s retreat. Within steps of your backdoor, you’ll be able to have a peaceful, quiet space to spend hours with your nose in a book.
So, what do you need to do? In this article, we’re going to break it down into four easy steps.
Organize and clean
It’s not very relaxing to read in a space that is filled with stacks of storage boxes and that musty, dusty smell of an old shed. So, before you convert your garden shed into a reading getaway, you’ll need to do a bit of cleaning and organizing.
Try to get rid of everything that you don’t want or need anymore. Old appliances that you’ve been storing. Boxes of old paperwork that you’ve been meaning to digitize. The plastic bin of old clothes that you swore you were going to donate to charity. Take a couple of days to just focus on clearing all of the unnecessary items out.
Now, you might still have a few things to store in your shed, and that’s okay. But before you put them back, make sure to do a deep clean. The great thing about Easyshed is that we use materials that won’t absorb bad smells over time, but you still might need to dust off any cobwebs along the ceiling. Also, if you installed a flooring, you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and there’s no water damage. You’re going to be spending hours reading in your shed, so you definitely don’t want to be breathing in dust or mold.
And the cleaning step isn’t just necessary for your health. It will also help to protect your books. Make sure there aren’t any leaks or standing water in your shed, and that you’ve gotten rid of all dust and dirt.
When you’re ready to move those stored items back into your shed, you might consider placing them on a dedicated shelving unit to maximize your space and make the area look neater. You can even cover these items with a standing room divider or curtain. Or, if you don’t need easy access to those items, you might place a bookshelf right in front of them.
With the cleaning out of the way, there are couple of other things you’ll want to consider to make your shed library perfect.
First, think about temperature control. Books, especially old ones, should not be exposed to excessive heat, sunlight, or humidity. Plus, you don’t want to be sitting in a hot, humid box, yourself. For the heat, you might consider installing an air conditioning unit for your shed. And for the humidity, make sure that you have good airflow.
Be ready to stick to a cleaning schedule. Books are ideal places for insects to lay eggs, and cockroaches and moths love to chew on the pages. To prevent this, it’s important to take the books down from the shelf periodically and clean them as well as the shelves. It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll never have to worry about sharing your beloved books with pests.
Finally, think about your lighting. Natural light is great in the daytime, but you know once the sun starts to set, you’ll be sad that you don’t have another light source. Instead, consider a lighting option so that you can read just one more chapter, or two! We have a whole article dedicated to garden shed lighting, here.
This is where your imagination can run wild. Do you want a fluffy carpet that you can stretch out on? Do you want a hanging hammock chair? Do you want a room that is filled from wall to wall with floor pillows? If you can dream it, you can make it happen in your book lover’s shed.
But, if you need a bit of inspiration, consider these design options:
- Simple and elegant. To pull of this look, all you’re going to need is a single reading chair, a book shelf, a nice area rug, and an antique side table. You might also add a vase of roses or peonies to complete the elegant look.
- Bohemian vintage. This is going to be a comfortable style that will make your shed look super cozy. The look will require the comfiest reading couch that you can find, a shag carpet or vintage rug, plenty of knit blankets, and a few houseplants. You might also hang some macrame pieces on the wall.
- Cabin library. To create this style, you’ll want to get a bookshelf that is made of pine or oak, as well as a brown leather reading chair. Make sure to have a basket full of flannel blankets, and cover the floor with a nice wool or faux fur rug.
- Hidden Garden Library. Your shed is already in the backyard, so why not make your book lover’s shed a little hidden oasis in the garden? You can hang plants from the ceiling, or snuggle them in on the bookshelf alongside your books. You can encourage birds to come join the fun by placing bird feeders near the window and next to the door. And as for your furniture, you might find a nice rocking chair or other simple reading chair. Keep the color scheme light so that the gaze is attracted to the many shades of greens of your plants.
As you can see, creating your own book lover’s retreat in your backyard is easy. All it takes is a little imagination and design, and you’ll be reading your own quiet library before you know it!
If you’re a book lover and you found this article useful, why not share it with others in your reading community?