Decorating your garden-shed outhouse

Written by kimberly kilmer
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Decorating your garden-shed outhouse
Mimic a log outhouse by applying split logs to the exterior. (Well Preserved Wooden Outhouse-Bodie,Ca image by Tahoe Bearables from

Outhouses were of basic design. Four walls, a roof, a door and a seating area were all that was necessary. They gave way to indoor plumbing long ago, but you can still find them on occasion serving an altogether different purpose -- as backyard ornamentation. If you want to add an element of bathroom humour to your yard, consider an outhouse. While you're at it, let your outhouse double as a garden shed.


Make your garden-shed outhouse look as authentic as possible, if it doesn't already. Traditional outhouses had an opening carved in the upper portion of the door to allow for ventilation and light. A crescent-shaped cutout was common. Add a window screen behind the cutout to keep bugs at bay. If you would rather not cut a hole in the door, paint the crescent design, making it your own with colours and painting techniques sure to enhance your garden.

Country Quaint

Take a decorating hint from the classic white country church, and paint your wooden outhouse bright white. Carve a small window in the front door. Place glass or a screen behind the opening. Add decorative moulding to give the window the appearance of having four panes. Add small dark green shutters to complete the design. A stone path leading from the garden to the shed and flowers planted alongside it will enhance the design.

Add a Bright Spot

Make your shed the centre of attention by painting it with bright blocks of colour. Check a home and garden store for discounted exterior paint. Home and garden stores often have a discount area with mixing mistakes and less popular colours. Use a level, and plan the block design. Paint each block the colour of your choice to make the design truly your own. This works well in a garden that lacks colour.

A Bit of Key West

Add a fun element to a tropical garden by painting the shed coral and turquoise. Hang an artisan's version of a tropical bird, sailboat or even a margarita glass on the door to add colour. Attach white picket fencing to the sides of the outhouse. Use the shed to store your grill and outdoor entertaining supplies, allowing it to be the centre of any outdoor entertaining. A few beach chairs and a bistro table near the shed will complete the vignette.

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