Furnishing a summer house: design tips

Thomas Bott

A summer house is a great addition to the living space in a house. There are many different ways to use it: you can create a small hobby workshop, your own bar or a guest room in your garden. All you need is the right furnishings. You can find ideas on how to design your summer house here.

A table in a summer house has been set for breakfast. The door is open; garden furniture is visible outside.
© Getty Images / Werner Dieterich

In this article

What’s important before furnishing your summer house

Before you make yourself comfortable in your summer house, there are a few things you should consider. First of all, the legal situation must be clarified. If you’re planning to transform the building into additional living space, you must report this to the municipality. After all, this may mean that you exceed the maximum living space authorized for your property.

The equipment must also correspond to the usage. In other words, the summer house should have good insulation and a heating system. This will allow you to enjoy your summer house even in the cold season and on windy days. It will also make sure mold doesn’t form inside.

Furnishing a summer house: how to make yourself comfortable

You can do lots of things with a summer house. This is true however big it is. Of course the style of furnishing depends on your individual wishes and requirements. Ideas on how to use your summer house can be found below.

Garden shed: space for a lawn mower and other garden tools

You don’t need any heating if all you want to do is store equipment, although good insulation is still worthwhile because this will prevent the interior from becoming damp.

Storage space is the main focus when designing a shed. High cupboards will help you to store tools and accessories for equipment. There is room for even more tools on hooks. Don’t overcrowd the shed – you need to leave room for the actual garden tools.

Lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and other items can be placed in free areas but leave enough space in between so that you can still access everything. Natural wood, concrete or easy-care slabs are ideal on the ground. You can do without wall paint since the walls will quickly become dirty anyway.

Hobby workshop: sewing, soldering, tinkering

If there isn’t enough space in the house for your DIY projects, or you’d like to set up a separate workshop, the summer house is the perfect place. There is plenty of space – and you can work in peace and quiet. You should start by creating enough room for the necessary equipment and tools. A sewing table requires a sewing machine, for example, while a workbench is ideal for handicraft enthusiasts. You can store tools and the necessary materials in cabinets and shelves on the walls.

Tip: make yourself comfortable. No one likes spending time in a bare workshop. Put down a rug, paint the walls in colors that suit the intended purpose, and arrange or hang up some decorative elements. What about a crochet picture for the wall? Or a few circuit diagrams for electricians? The sky is the limit as far as imagination goes

A man is assembling a model. The corresponding instructions can be seen in the background.

There is enough space in a summer house to pursue a hobby. With a workbench and a few cabinets for tools, it can be turned into a paradise for model makers, for instance.

A house bar: a nightcap at the end of the day

Want a place for a cool drink in a relaxed atmosphere when evening comes? You’ll have to leave the house, but only go a few meters as far as the summer house. At least if you convert it into a house bar. The most important thing to think of is a refrigerator to store drinks. Then set up a bar with a few stools in front of it. Special bottle racks for cocktail lovers allow you to hang bottles upside down and pour drinks directly into the glass underneath through a special attachment.

This is a particularly good spot for a rug. If there is still enough room, comfortable lounge furniture is also a good buy. A dark tone on the walls establishes quite a cozy feel. The right lighting is also important. Dimmed light is homely, colorful lights create a party atmosphere. Tip: smart lighting usually offers both ambiances.

Wellness oasis: a place of relaxation

Treat yourself to peace and relaxation in your own little temple. Simply arrange some lounge furniture, add a music system, then sit down and let the music wash over you. A massage chair with a footrest is even better. You can also use part of the room for a sauna and cool off afterwards on cold days by taking a few steps in the garden. If you want a tanned appearance, install a UV lamp.

Decorative elements such as plants, calming pictures, candles and a fluffy rug will add the perfect finishing touches to the room. The walls should also be painted in light tones. After all, the colors shouldn’t dull your mood. For the lighting, opt for dimmed lamps.

A guest room: like a small vacation house

If you often have guests to stay and want to offer them the luxury of a completely separate area on your property, the summer house could be the answer. Turn it into a bedroom with a bed, a closet, a dresser and bedside tables. If the summer house is on the larger side, it might even be possible to accommodate a small kitchen and a bathroom. Then all you need is a patio just outside the door.

Curtains should be placed in front of the windows to darken the bedroom. Choose wall colors that match the furniture. A rug will make it extra comfortable. Tip: if your guests include allergy sufferers, it’s advisable to leave out the rug. Allergens such as pollen or house dust are quickly caught up in the fibers. Plants and a little decoration will give the room a more relaxed feel. The lighting in the sleeping area should be dimmed and kept in warm tones.

A playroom: fun for the little ones

A racetrack, dollhouse, building blocks and more: a child’s bedroom fills up with toys far too quickly. The summer house can be a good alternative. There is room for everything a child’s heart desires. And strict rules about tidying up after playing are also not absolutely necessary. A few cabinets will maintain a bit of order in the creative chaos.

A large play carpet is ideal for the floor. You can hang child-friendly pictures on the walls. Pastel shades go down well in terms of color. The room should be bright and open. A large door will ensure that the kids can switch between the garden and playroom at any time on warm days. Colorful lighting also makes children’s eyes shine particularly brightly.

A boy is playing with vehicles on a wooden track.

The summer house can also be a room for playing. The advantage is that the children’s bedrooms in the house will remain uncluttered.

Hobby room: a playroom for adults

Playrooms are not just for children, but for adults too. Why not convert your summer house into a hobby room? Railroad fans will have enough space for their models. A little storage space in the form of cupboards and shelves can’t hurt. If you have something to display, it’s worth buying a showcase. Depending on the size of the summer house, you may also have room for objects such as a table football, billiard table or dartboard.

The walls and floors can be designed to match your hobby. If you’re going to be building models in the summer house, the room should of course be very bright. Darker colors combined with a large hanging lamp are more suitable around a billiard table. Make the room cozy with a rug and a few decorative items such as pictures and plants.

Conclusion: a summer house is very versatile

You can already see that a summer house can be designed in many different ways. Its style and purpose are of course entirely up to you. We hope that we have given you some furnishing ideas to help you use the summer house in your garden just the way you want.

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