In Europe, especially Germany and Poland, many people have a small wooden summer house either in their backyard or on plots of land where they have a garden, often near a river or lake, even in the middle of a city.
In Germany the gartenhaus designs are often quite elaborate and made of cedar, usually completely enclosed with windows and doors and sometimes having lovely front porches, something between cottages and a Swiss style chalet.
In Poland, although the designs are modest, the quant wooden summer house creations that people build on their garden plots (even in the middle of Warsaw) are called ogrodki dzialkowe and are sometimes just a mish-mash of whatever wood was available.
However, most people incorporate latticework porches, gabled balconies, verandas with benches and inner areas large enough for a table and chairs or even a bed.
These summer house ideas are unique because they offer a place to escape to even if holiday travel is out of the question, and in the case of the Polish garden houses, they provide a place to sit when taking a break from tending the vegetables.
They’re a healthy place to just exist for an afternoon or a weekend, especially for those who may live in a small apartment in a high-rise building, as is the case in Warsaw.
Many of the German gartenhaus and Polish garden buildings described above, also serve as storage sheds for seeds, fertilizers, tools and small equipment. But because they’re so quaint or well designed, often very decorative from the outside, observers may not immediately think they have anything to do with storage.
North American homeowners would do well to imitate the age-old European wooden summer house ideas and forgo buying ugly metal storage sheds that are so often an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful garden or backyard.
If you must choose one of the prefab metal storage sheds that are for sale, try to select ones that have a wood finish or those that appear to have been painted, even if they’re aluminum, vinyl or powder-coated steel.
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