Shed of the Year 2015: the finalists
It may have begun many months ago but now, with less than a week until the public vote closes, the 2015 Shed of the Year competition is drawing to an end. Along the way, we’ve been treated to a host of weird and wonderful creations that demonstrate that the UK’s relationship with the humble garden shed is nothing if not unique.
More than 2,500 hopefuls entered this year’s competition, all dreaming of winning 2015’s Shed of the Year title. The shed maker that ultimately comes out on top will also receive £1,000 from sponsors Cuprinol, £100 of Cuprinol products and most importantly, a giant crown for their shed.
The initial vote has now concluded, leaving just four finalists in each of the eight categories. However the public can still have their say on the competition, as the voting for category winners is open until midday 29 May.
Followers of the competition can vote to determine their favourites in the Eco, Normal, Pub, Workshop & Studio, Unique, Cabin & Summerhouse, Historical and Budget categories. The best sheds in each category will be revealed on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces, before a panel of experts including competition founder Uncle Wilco and last year’s winner Joel Bird, decide which entry deserves the prestigious title of Shed of the Year. Before casting your vote it’s good to be aware of everything that the various finalists have to offer.
In the Pub Shed category, competition is fierce between Simon’s Night Club, The Bikers, Pirate Retreat and Inshriach Distillery. Each shed has its own unique vibe influencing the pub environment. Simon Steel’s Night Club entry has floor to ceiling glass windows to allow for relaxing views across his pond and surrounding garden, while The Bikers has more of a rough and ready feel with its own bike repair workshop. Meanwhile, Pirate Retreat has all kinds of swashbuckling memorabilia (as well as an electric drawbridge) and Walter Micklethwait’s Inshriach Distillery boasts a farm shop and saloon bar.
This year’s Eco Shed category demonstrates just how valuable recycled goods can be. The Owl House is constructed from recycled plywood and glass bottles and has its own grass living roof, while the seven metre high Eco Dome shows that you can go green, but still go big. Rammed Earth, which unsurprisingly is made from earth, and Cormacs Bothy, which mainly uses forest timber, highlight the variety of sheds you can build from recycled materials.
Workshops and studios
The Workshop and Studio Shed finalists are made up of Darkroom No 1, My Lady’s Retreat, Cabin of the Green Man and Eccentrica – all of which exhibit their own playful designs, despite being places of work. Providing the perfect mix of leisure and work, it is safe to say the work-life balance of these owners is probably pretty good.
Cabin and summerhouse
If it’s picturesque retreats you’re after, the Cabin & Summerhouse category has everything you need. Teasel’s Wood Cabin evokes the spirit of homely Americana with the interior and furniture all having originated in the US, while the Pixie Cabin looks as though it could fall down at any minute, having been built without a tape measure or spirit level, giving it its rustic charm. The Garden Cottage, designed to look like a medieval hall house, and Shedible, converted from an old burger van, round out the category.
Again combining the perfect work-lie balance, the garden offices that have been shortlisted will leave you envious. The Multi Purpose Hide Out, Pear Tree Weddings HQ, Magniloquent Cave, and Crafty Monkey at the Beach offices provide a wide range of furnishings and scenery to make sure that they are perfect for providing a motivating and relaxing atmosphere to work in.
All of the entries to Shed of the Year 2015 offer something distinctive, but the Unique Shed finalists go above and beyond to stand out from the crowd. There’s Goring Folly with its tower and well, Micro Shed, which moves on top of a miniature railway wagon, Terry’s Treehouse, suspended 4.5 metres off the ground and Derek Verlander’s Japanese Tea House with its very own tropical fish tank.
If you’re looking for something a little less unusual, although only a little, the Normal finalists still have plenty of exciting features. Dream City Railway has more than 2,000 square feet of model railway, while the Shedservatory is more stars than railway cars, equipped with its own telescope. The Art Zarb Cabin Cinema houses a 1960s style picturehouse, while Maid of Dekkin can be found floating on a river. Clearly, these entries demonstrate that normal doesn’t mean boring.
Starliner Diner, Garden House, Corrugated Cottage and Bernard Shaw’s Writing Hut make up the Historical Shed finalists, with plenty of variety on show and designs ranging from the 7th century to the 1950s.
The Budget Shed category, meanwhile, is the perfect example of a little going a long way. Whether they’re made from beach debris or old firewood, it’ll surely prove difficult for the public to choose between Cliffhanger, The Shed!, Ty Mynydd Fach and Hillbilly Shed.
Remember to cast your vote and help decide the winner of 2015’s Shed of the Year before the vote closes at midday 29 May.