Expert Tips to DIY Your Own Backyard Bar Shed

Why be stuck down in the basement when you can be outside, enjoying a cold one, in a storage unit-turned-al fresco paradise?

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“Shed chic is the the newest trend,” says Heather Basso of Studio H Interiors. And the bar shed is here to prove it. A marriage of the “she shed” and “man cave,” the bar shed eschews gender stereotypes and functions as a kind of grown-up playhouse. It’s the newest trend for outdoor entertaining among the Pinterest crowd, so we hit up the experts to find out how to recreate this backyard delight at home.

The structure

“Why not take advantage of some underutilized real estate on your own property by converting an existing shed, which decreases clutter and excess garden tools rarely used?” suggests Basso. DIY Expert and Host of Kelsey On The House, Brian Kelsey adds that “there’s no need to start from scratch.” You can buy an inexpensive metal shed and make a few adjustments: Remove the doors, paint an antique finish on the outside, and use aged wood or shipping pallets as accents to cover unsightly areas.

The furniture and lighting

When it comes to seating and smaller furniture, Basso suggests West Elm for budget-friendly counter-height barstools. “Or you can go with a low-back barstool like this one from Janus et Cie. Adding a sliding barn door is another great idea for a bar shed. Loews has some fantastic options like these.”

A good lighting plan is also key. Basso suggests in addition to (or instead of) string lights, you could also use an interior chandelier or exterior sconces by Troy Lighting.

Photo via Northern Design Awards

Color and materials

Pops of color will bring your bar shed to life, while materials like galvanized metal will ensure it lasts a long time. Kelsey recommends corrugated galvanized material because it’s easy to work with and gives your space rustic feel. “Build a simple framework and finish it with this material. You can also use it over an existing old shed to give it new life. Order it from manufacturers like this one.”


Repurpose pallets

Wooden pallets are another go-to material for sheds. “Weathered wooden pallets are everywhere and they are free,” says Kelsey. “Go around back of your favorite home center, and they’ll usually give you as many as you need and you can keep them as-is or pull them apart and create an instant weathered base for your own private paradise. You can also go to your local Habitat For Humanity Recycle Store and pick up a counter and everything else you need for almost nothing.”

Photo Via John Crosetto

The decor

“Personalize your interior (or doors) with artwork,” says Basso. “Even black and white vintage photographs you can easily frame yourself work. Or, consider a wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries who offers glam grass or grasscloth in a wipeable vinyl.” Kelsey recommends scouring Etsy for vintage signs.

The finishing touches.

“When creating the actual bar,” says Kelsey, “You can buy an inexpensive counter at a top manufacturer getting rid of off-cuts, and you are good to go. Finish with crushed stone from the home center and voilà!”

Basso adds that the landscaping around your bar is just as important: “Don’t forget to draw the eye in by announcing your new structure with the perfect outdoor planters like these in the zinc estate collection by Restoration Hardware.”

Photo Via Kloter Farms 

Related reading:

9 Rooftop Bars Where the Design Is as Good as the Views 8 Laptop-Friendly Bars in NYC 5 Things You Need to Know to Set Up the Perfect Bar