The Very Best Shed In EnglandPublished on 24th August 2016
We’re big fans of the outbuilding here at Apropos, from pool houses to garden studios and even the humble garden shed. We’ve seen our fair share of beautifully designed summer houses, cabins, outdoor entertainment spaces and modern garden sheds over the years and we like to think we know a little about the design of these spaces too.
Which is why we were hooked on this year’s Shed of the Year 2016 competition – which showcases sheds from up and down the country across nine different categories, none of which much resemble the sheds of old.
The show has come a long way in recent years, and we’d be pretty surprised if you’ve managed to miss out on what was some seriously good viewing, but we enjoyed it so much, we’ll recap slightly for you here anyway. Some of you may have been put off by the idea of a show celebrating what many think of as an afterthought for their home and garden; somewhere to store extra compost and a few folding chairs or, for the particularly forward thinking, a space akin to an air raid shelter with a musty old arm chair it’s only comfort and a radio the only company.
The owners showing of their sheds in hopes of winning a Shed of the year award, however are far from the gloomy, cobweb stricken spaces we usually associate with the word shed. These sheds take sheds to the next level. These sheds, make you wish you owned one of these sheds. These sheds are the sheds of the future; spaces to get away and have some time to yourself, bolt holes at the bottom of the garden for the whole family to enjoy, aspirational pieces of architecture that make you want to leave all your traditional ways behind you.
Our favourites this year included The Hooting Owl, a timber framed bar in a secluded woodland area which won best entertainment space of the year, as well as a stunning rotating shed which looks very much like the first incarnation of our Apropos Garden Studios but we were, like George Osbourne and his fellow judges, completely bowled over by the winning shed.
Situated at the bottom of its owners garden (as all the best sheds are), The West Wing was built using sustainably sourced timber, the comparisons to the traditional shed end there. Instead, when you step inside you are met by a beautiful timber lined work shop, truly fascinating loft space and a secretly stowed away play room, cleverly hidden behind a timber bookcase leading off from the main space. The whole shed is covered in foliage giving it the air of having always been there, and the sympathetic construction of its timber frame blends with nature seamlessly.
At Apropos, we’re a fan of any architecture that blends with and builds on nature, taking our ethos from famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who worked with nature rather than against it to create structures of true timeless beauty. The West Wing too has a timeless air about it – it could have stood for a hundred years and with the quality craftsmanship and care of its owner will doubtless stand for a hundred more.
If you missed the show you can catch up on Channel 4 – prepare to be inspired. If you decide to take on your own project, why not work with us? We’re always up for a new challenge and our bespoke offering provides endless possibilities for your outdoor spaces. Who knows, we could even have a crack at Shed of the Year together next time and give The West Wing a run for its money.Return to Blog