8 ways to use your summerhouse

Green and white summerhouse with banner saying '8 ways to use your summerhouse'

A summer house is a wonderfully versatile garden building that can be used in so many different ways. Whether you’re hoping for somewhere to relax, entertain or even work through the warmer months, a summer house makes a cost-effective starting point.

Not sure how to put your new summer house to best use? Here are a few ideas…

1. Art studio

Closeup of paint brushes and painting supplies
A summer house is a useful place to spread out art materials
Image: Kathie Nichols/Shutterstock

Creatives benefit from a dedicated space in which to pursue their art. Not only is a summer house the perfect blank canvas for you to decorate as you wish, it allows you to paint, sculpt, draw, and design to your heart’s content, without causing chaos in your home. 

Nature is an excellent muse, and the changing landscape of your garden provides an endless source of inspiration. Think about how to position your summer house to get the best light, and choose a model with plenty of glazing for a bright and welcoming place to hone your craft.

2. Home cinema

Closeup of painted summerhouse with outdoor seating
Leigh’s 12 x 8ft Summer House with side shed has a built-in tv and surround sound
Image: Leigh (Waltons prize winner)

If binge-watching Netflix or watching an old film with a bowl of warm popcorn is your idea of heaven, why not turn your summer house into a home cinema? Waltons customer Leigh transformed his 12 x 8ft Contemporary Summer house with Side Shed into the perfect place to chill with a glass of wine and the TV remote! 

After insulating the space to make it suitable for cooler months, he installed a built-in tv, added surround-sound speakers and threw in a comfy sofa. Quietly understated, you’d never guess that all of his electrical gadgets are voice and mobile controlled. Fancy your own movie theatre? Swap the tv for a projector screen to ramp up the Hollywood glamour. Read Leigh’s customer story for helpful tips. 

3. Business headquarters

Interior of Waltons log cabin turned beauty salon
Danni’s nail bar is a warm, welcoming and beautifully functional space
Image: Danni (Waltons customer)

If you’re looking for a cost-effective space from which to launch a new business, a summer house is a great way to create a professional atmosphere and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Waltons customer Danni started a nail bar from a conveniently-placed summer house in her own back garden. Choosing the Waltons’ 10 x 8ft Helios Summer House, she added extra insulation before plastering the walls, connecting electricity, installing heating and fitting an alarm system. Client-facing businesses like beauty rooms, hair salons, tattoo parlours and podiatry services can all be run successfully from summer houses, although you may need to check with your local council to see if you need planning permission. Read Danni's customer story for tips on setting up your own business premises. 

4. Craft room

Interior of painted Waltons summerhouse with painted black walls and tools
Transform your summer house into a bespoke craft den
Image: Sophie Robinson

Passionate about crafting? A summer house is a fantastic way to indulge a beloved hobby. Deck it out with a large workstation, add storage for your materials and decorate the interior to create an inspirational escape. 

When interior designer Sophie Robinson was challenged to create a crafty she-shed, she transformed a Waltons’ 7 x 7ft Bournemouth Summer House into something really special. Whether you like to sew, make jewellery or even upcycle furniture, having a special place to organise your supplies and practise your craft makes it much more enjoyable. And if your hobby should blossom into your very own Etsy business, so much the better!

5. Garden bar

Exterior view of Waltons corner summerhouse turned prosecco hut
Grant chose a corner summerhouse for his Prosecco Hut
Image: Grant (Waltons customer)

Imagine the scene - you’ve come home from work on a Friday afternoon, with the whole glorious weekend stretching in front of you. Instead of flopping down on the sofa, head on out to the garden, fling open the doors of your summer house and pour a cooling glass of your favourite beverage. There’s no better way to make the most of the long, warm summer evenings than with a refreshing drink and an impromptu barbecue. 

Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? Waltons customer Grant carefully positioned his 7 x7ft Premier Corner Summer House so that it catches the last golden rays of evening sun. With glasses of bubbles in hand, he and his wife Lisa use their Prosecco Hut to shelter from the chill wind while soaking in every last ray of natural light. Read Grant’s customer story for more information. 

6. Party room

Overview of painted summerhouse with outdoor pizza kitchen and firepit
Summer houses make the ideal venue for laid back entertaining
Image: @sammiesvictorianhome

If you like to entertain, why not turn your entire garden into a magical party room to allow you to go big with the guest list? All you need is a special summer house, some comfy garden furniture and a table where people can rest their drinks.

Waltons customer Sammie uses her beautifully decorated 12 x 6ft Maine Summer House with Side Shed as a base from which to entertain friends and family. With a pizza oven for summer events, and a firepit for the cooler months, it provides a welcoming focal point around which guests can gather and relax. And the side shed provides a useful place to stash their equipment when not in use, keeping their gorgeous garden immaculate all year round. Read Sammie’s customer story for inspirational styling tips. 

7. Collectors cabin

Interior of Harry Potter themed Waltons summerhouse
This summer house has been dedicated to a special collection of memorabilia
Image: Zoe (Waltons customer)

If you’re an avid collector, it’s easy to run out of space in your home and end up with a loft full of treasures that can’t be enjoyed. What better way to display a special collection than by dedicating your summer house to it? 

Waltons customer Zoe is a huge Harry Potter fan and decided to transform her spacious 9 x 9ft Premier Corner Summer House into a themed space filled with memorabilia. A metaphorical ‘Room of Requirement’ in its own right, her cosy summer house becomes whatever her family most needs it to be, including somewhere to entertain friends or a peaceful retreat. Zoe told us: “I also love quiet moments at dusk with the twinkly lights on, reading a good book.” Read Zoe's customer story to find out more about her homage to wizardry! 

8. Nap pod

Interior of Waltons summerhouse with daybed and fairylights
This daybed is the perfect place to catch 40 winks!
Image: Dee (Waltons Customer)

With recent evidence to indicate that short regular naps could help to keep our brains healthy as we age, creating a relaxing area in which to enjoy an afternoon sleep is just what the doctor ordered! We also know that connecting with nature is good for our mental health, so taking your daybed outdoors is win-win!

Waltons customer Dee chose the 10 x 8 Helios Summer House for her vintage style retreat. The perfect place to tackle the crossword, enjoy a cup of tea, or relax with a good book, her gorgeous summer house couldn’t look more inviting. Just need to rest your eyes for a few minutes? Arm yourself with a newspaper and head out to your summer house… 

10 more interesting ways to use a summer house

Still looking for inspirational ideas to help transform your summer house? Here are some more ideas to wet your imagination. 

  • Teenage games room 
  • Reading room/library
  • Writing studio
  • Music room
  • Yoga studio
  • Peloton zone
  • Kids’ play room
  • Home brewery
  • Potting shed
  • Workshop

How do you plan to use your new Waltons summer house? For more inspiration, take a look at these clever ideas for decorating a summer house.

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