One Room Challenge

Before and After: A “Dumping Ground” Garage Becomes the Most Adorable Gardening Shed

published Jun 25, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
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Outdoor Spaces
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Rental Friendly
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Credit: Rendi Trent

Summer is gardening season! And there’s nothing that’ll inspire you to whip out your gardening gloves, spade, and potting soil like a cute (and pristinely organized) gardening shed.

Homeowner Rendi Trent (@thevintagebucket)’s shed on her two-acre property (with an orchard!) now has “spritely and happy vibes,” but before it was cute and cottage-y, it was “a dumping ground” and “dark, disorganized, and too small,” she says.

Credit: Rendi Trent

“It had no electricity or storage, but it did have rats and spiders,” she adds. Her two sons were afraid to go in, and Rendi dreaded any time she needed something from there, especially at night.

“This was such a wasted outdoor space with a ton of potential,” she says.

Credit: Rendi Trent

During the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, Rendi brought some calm (and cottagecore vibes) to the space. “The very first requirement was cleaning out this disorganized mess,” Rendi says. “It was the longest step.”

Decluttering already made the space less overwhelming, but to streamline things even more, she closed the exposed walls in the space, repaired the “old, cracked, uneven, dark concrete” floors with a checkerboard epoxy paint job, and added built-in storage.

Credit: Rendi Trent

The two changes that made the biggest difference, Rendi says, were closing the walls, which “turned the shed into a room and was the turning point of the project” and adding electricity. “Electricity was crucial to making this space functioning for the obvious reason of light but also for charging lawn equipment, and running yard supplies,” she says.

Her husband is an electrician, and he helped her draw up plans for new circuits, run wire to each circuit, hook up the lights and outlets, run a three-way light switch, and land an electrical panel (whew!). “I was very anxious when we turned on all the breakers and checked to see if everything worked,” Rendi remembers. “If something wasn’t right and didn’t work, troubleshooting could have involved ripping up the walls we just enclosed.”

Thanks to their collaboration, everything worked on the first try, and Rendi is proud of the new skills she learned. “I’ve tackled every facet of construction up to this point, but I’ve never done electrical work,” she says.

Credit: Rendi Trent

Rendi’s two main goals for the shed were to brighten it up (mission accomplished!) and streamline the storage, which she did by adding peg rails for yard tools and concealed storage for everything else. Her focus was maximizing space on each wall.

“The metal cabinets were the only storage, so I kept two of them and incorporated them into the new design,” she writes on her blog. “I spray painted them to give them new life and added built-in cabinets around them to create more storage and sturdy them up.” The tool cabinet is now her favorite feature.

She also upped the aesthetics of the space with new furniture and accessories, her checkerboard floor design (she says the cracks and dinges in the exisiting flooring make the checkerboard look like it has marble veining, which she actually loves), and paint on the newly finished walls (Sherwin-Williams’s Utterly Beige).

Credit: Rendi Trent

Rendi says she still plans to add more storage, but for now she’s happy that she has “a sheltered space to hang all our shovels, pruning shears, weed eaters, blowers, wheelbarrows, harvest buckets, rakes,” and more — and an incredibly chic one at that.

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.