I was sick of my rotten old shed but didn’t want to fork out for a new one – so I transformed it into a gin bar | The Sun

WHEN you usually think of a shed, you often imagine a dark, eery space which houses the lawnmower – and a lot of spiderwebs.

But actually with the right know-how and a few handy DIY tips, an old, grotty shed can be completely transformed – as hairdresser Ria Stones has proved.

The 53-year-old got creative and turned what she calls her 'she-shed' into a gorgeous 'gin palace' for her and her friends to sit back and relax in.

Ria, who lives in Castle Cary, Somerset, inserted a new window to allow natural light flood in, and also got electricity and even a fridge installed.

Here, she shares exactly how she transformed her spacious shed from drab to fab…

'It just looked sorry for itself'

As soon as Ria moved into her house in 2020, she knew she had her work cut out – but when lockdown hit, she had the time to commit to giving the garden a makeover.


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She says: "The shed is in a large front garden that is totally secluded with a large laurel hedge.

"The lawn was very mossy as it's north facing, and the shed just had the lawn mower and a strimmer in it.

"I have a garage so I thought the shed is just going to be sat there looking sorry for itself."

Getting to work

Clearing out the few items housed in it, Ria got to work, firstly painting the exterior black, and the inside white.

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Now, Ria's friends love coming over for a tipple in the 'gin palace'Credit: Ria Stones

She says: "I painted the ceiling with just some white satinwood paint I had, then I wallpapered.

'I probably should have used a thin MDF sheet before papering, but the shiplap (the type of wooden board) of the shed was very good so it went on well and has not got damp at all.

"I also painted the outside black with a garden fence and shed paint."

Fitting a fridge

In total Ria spent around £350 giving the space a garden glow-up.

This was mostly spent on getting a handyman round to fit the new window using a glass panel she already had, and getting power connected up.

She says: "I didn't have a budget in mind but I guess window and power was the most expensive bit.

"I had to have a  power cable put outside so I could have proper lights and the all important fridge to keep drinks cool.

"The window made a huge difference.

"Then, with the interior bits, most of it I had already.

"The signs I had collected over the years and had them displayed in my old house in the hallway."

Bagging a bargain

If Ria did need to buy anything, she scoured the web looking for bargains.

Ria says: "The only thing I really brought was the wallpaper which I brought from Amazon, and the bunting was from Etsy.

"I also picked bits up from Ebay, and during the next lockdown from Christmas 2020 to April 2021 I had plenty of time as I couldn't work again.

Instead of buying new furniture, Ria got creative with pieces she picked up for next to nothing at a second hand shop.

She says: "I up-cycled both chairs and painted them with Al Fresco Frenchic paint.

"It makes the chairs feel more rigid but they don't crack or flake and it's so easy to do.

"The nest of tables and gin cabinet were all Facebook market place purchases and I also upcycled them with Frenchic paint, which is great because you don't need to sand them down or anything."

Now a ship-shape shed

Now, Ria's garden shed is even a place to entertain guests.

She says: "I absolutely love it and so do my friends – it's a real talking point.

"It's lovely on a summer's evening, but also on a horrible rainy Sunday afternoon, just listening to Billie Holliday with a G and T!

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"My only tips for other potential 'she-shedders is just go for it.

"You can't make a grotty, tired, old shed look any worse, so dig out your paint and just try – think of it as another room in  your home and transform it!"

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