Jackie Glass transforms an abandon garden shed on her property into a Designer’s Garden Studio


As I strolled the lush property for the first time of what would become my new home, I instantly fell in love with a small outbuilding nestled in the woodlands at the base of the Niagara Escarpment behind the house. Its construction was solid, the size perfect and its romantic lure undeniable. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and transform it into whatever I wanted it to be.

Jackie’s abandoned shed at the foot of the woodland of the Niagara Escarpment

After three years spent designing, renovating and decorating the original 60s-era house, the time finally arrived when I could set my sights on a fun little project – creating a Garden Studio, a personal oasis situated off the beaten track in the back of my verdant woodland garden at the foot of the wooded Niagara Escarpment.

Jackie discovers an abandoned shed on her new property

Jackie instantly falls in love with this charming abandoned shed and clearly envisions its potential.

The rustic 10’ x 10’ shed featuring lovely solid wood salvaged entrance doors and lovely mullioned windows, was about to be revived and transformed into a welcoming and functional outdoor workspace. With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s charming Garden Studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s week in July.

The rustic interior needed a few coats of paint!


With a fresh coat of paint and an extension to the front porch the abandoned shed came to life.


Situated in a shady spot on the property a fresh colour palette inspired by the surrounding flora, I chose fun vibrant colours for both the exterior and interior – fuchsia, aqua, ocean blue – on a background of mid-to-dark gray tones and white. I gave every surface a fresh coat of paint including the porch extension and vaulted ceiling, The bay window seat is one of my favourite details in the Garden Studio. Colour, cushions and suspended window vases breathe new life into this unexpected architectural detail. An eye-popping bright fuchsia painted wood floor is a bold choice but if not here, there’s no better place to freely express your personality.

Paint: BenjaminMoore.ca: Floor, Tulip 2000-30; Interior, Chantilly Lace OC-65; Exterior, Iron Mountain 2134-30; Accents, Egyptian Green 2043-40, Caribbean Blue Water 2055-20; Deck, Whale Gray 2134-40

White washing the interior in Benjamin Moore Chatilly Lace OC65 and painting the floor in Tulip 2000-30 brighten the interior.

The window seats gets a lick of vibrant Benjamin Moore Caribbean Blue 2055-30


A six-foot extension off the full-width existing porch offers a spot to catch the fresh Niagara Escarpment breezes and early morning and end of day sunlight. The natural light is essential when working on fabric and paint samples for my clients and to catch some rays with a steamy cup of coffee or a happy-hour cocktail. Heaven!

Exterior is painted in Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain 2134-30. Deck extension with Ikea Skarrild outdoor rug is painted in Wale Gray 2134-40. Ikea Kloven black deck chairs are the finishing touch.


It was important that I maintained a rustic cabin-in-the-woods feel for my Garden Studio so decided not to run power to it. If I ever need power, I can always hook it up to the generator next to my house. I typically work here during the day when there’s plenty of natural light but if it’s a gloomy day or in the evening when I need light, for safety purposes, I use solar candle light in my lanterns and a rechargeable Tosthult light bulb from Ikea in my bamboo pendant. (See above and below).

Rechargeable Ikea Tosthult light bulb used in the bamboo pendant


To keep the project on-budget (house renos cost money!), I chose affordable, stylish and durable furnishings suitable for the purpose and style if the Garden Studio. Powder-coated, rust-resistant aluminum and glass Fabrikor storages cabinets from Ikea prevent rodents from making themselves at home, natural wood furniture & accessories provide a modern rustic look and add function to the space. A kitchen island cum desk features shelves on one side and an overhang on the other for adding stools for clients and friends. Folding Ikea Franklin stools help maximize space and can be stored efficiently against the wall when not in use. A wood ladder from Ikea (Satsumas) serves as a planter, sample storage and magazine rack. Everything has a purpose and a place.

Ikea’s clever Satsumas ladder-style planter serves as a planter, storage for magazines, supplies and samples. Ikea’s Skadis white pegboard is essential in any office or work space.

After a long winter in a constant state of anticipation, the thought of getting back outdoors to enjoy the summer months with our family and friends is palpable. Whether you purchase a kit or restore an existing structure, a garden shed is the perfect project to kickstart your summer and release your inner designer, gardener or builder. Make it your own and you’ll enjoy it for years to come!



Designed by Jackie Glass, Jackieglass.ca

Furnishings, lighting, rug and accessories, Ikea.ca

Porch chair cushions, HomeSense.ca

Hanging baskets, Hofland.com

Faux plants, Maclaw.com

Paint, Benjaminmoore.com