The door of the old wooden shed in my grandparent’s backyard would creak as I pushed it open. The smell of wood, varnish and a collection of unknown but equally pleasant odours would hit my nostrils as I happily greeted my grandfather. His shed; his colourfully painted, rickety old shed was his sanctuary. Perfectly ordered drawers with small painted on labels filled with any number of interesting and only possibly useful objects; jars stacked on shelves filled with old nails and screws; tools hanging on the wall, their absence easily noticed by their painted outlines. Yes, his shed was his sanctuary, his small, controlled and personal sanctuary. Used by him as a time out for himself, a place to do odd jobs, a haven for quiet and a piece of the world that was his and his alone.
The importance of sheds is often overlooked; from the humble backyard shed, whether it be a simple, old wooden design, an easy to assemble farm sheds, all the way through to rural sheds and barns we often look past them in everyday life.
We live in a very versatile world with different climates, careers, needs, desires and requirements. One thing we all have in common is a space to call our own whether that be for recreational purposes all the way to supporting our livelihood. There is no difference between the man building his own bird feeder or letter box in his small backyard shed, having his hobbies and a craft, and the man running his own property and farm land, storing his machinery in his large steel shed. Dairy farmers rely on sheds every day, especially in the winter with the use of wintering sheds helping to save money and cut costs.
For the wool industry, sheds are vital for equipment storage and for ensuring that sheep are kept dry for shearers. Equine enthusiasts optimise barns and rural sheds for housing their animals and for storing equipment and machinery with steel pergola designs, the outdoors man with his boat, jet ski, caravan or just used as a regular car garage.
Not only is the shed used for business and pleasure; now more than ever we see people choosing to reside in their sheds while they wait for the completion of their future homes. First home buyers, young couples beginning their lives together, making their start inside their shed as they watch their dream home become a reality.
Sheds have evolved a lot since prehistoric times, while they retain their functional appeal, an element of status exists for shed owners. They come in all shapes, designs and styles to suit everyone from the now very common American Barn style to sheds with double storey lodges. Every man can find a use for a shed and with the varying prices of kit sheds, rural barns and sheds it seems easier now that ever for anyone to find a shed that accommodates them and their personal needs.
With my grandfather now passed away, I still find myself visiting his humble backyard shed. It is where I find a sense of the man, a memory of who he was and what he was about. I think that we can all make our place somewhere, why not be it in a shed?