Q & A with Jane Field-Lewis author of My Cool Shed

We have quietly said sheds are cool on readersheds.co.uk since 2001 – but now the rest of the world is catching up 😉 – Stylist and author Jane Field-Lewis has come out with a lovely looking book “My Cool Shed” which features some of our sheddies.

anyway I have done a quick Q & A with her….

Q1) So what is cool about sheds?
Sheds have always been cool in they truly give you a chance to escape and follow your dreams. I love it too with sheds that it doesn’t matter if you want to spend a fortune or are on a tight budget you can find a way to have one that works for you.

Q2) Our sheddies were obviously a great influence on the book – what advice would you give anyone wanting to style their shed and make it unique on a budget.

I was so inspired by some of the shedblog contributors to the book and their inventiveness. Elena Thomas for instance, created a totally unique shed by covering it in decorative fabric strips, the shed is also movable and her friend Dan Whitehouse uses it as a music venue. Amazing!

I do think the best place to start is to think that your shed doesn’t necessarily have to be wooden or even an actual shed!

In the book there is a fabulous library created inside a shipping container, an art studio in an old air-raid shelter, and another lovely workspace in a converted garage, and to me.. a beach hut qualifies too.

Q3) is there one item that a sheddie should not do without in there cool shed?

Hmmmm.. I think having the simple things in life has the ability to make a space feel ‘just right’ or not. So it has to be a desk/worksurface/table and chair combo at the right height, and everything to hand.

But also, in my mind, being cool is also to do with function as well as aesthetics. There is something just cool about using that space to follow your dreams.

Look at Jon Earl for instance, last years ‘shed of the year’ winner. His ‘Songs from the shed’ is just so cool that all that fabulous acoustic music comes out of a seemingly ordinary space and that that now Jon is in part ‘living the dream’..
now that really is cool.

Q4) If you could have the ultimate shed – what would it be.

I think there is something absolutely beautiful in the little tiny sheds/ cabins in the wild.

We feature one that is in the most amazing landscape in West Virginia, that it’s owner describes as ‘glorified camping’ it’s absolutely lovely and in my dreams I’d have a little tiny, but carefully thought out beach-side shed/cabin like Le Corbusiers in the South of France, I would use it as a serious chill out place, and spend the days not doing much either in the cabin or under the shade of a tree daydreaming and looking out at the sea.

On a more practical,and nearer to home note…I find the journey from house to shed of more significant that immediately obvious, something ‘happens’ to your mind-set on that short journey.. and the destination would be a little writing/drawing shed, with good daylight, a fabulous view and a kettle. That
would suit me just fine!

Q5) What next – My Cool Pub shed, My Cool Garden office ?

Ooh those are both nice ideas..and fortunately I have one of those minds that naturally likes to have distraction, projects and it constantly come up with ideas.

I have one very big project that I would really love to share but unfortunately I’m not allowed to talk about yet but I can absolutely hand on heart say that I think all good sheddies will love it.

And I have a slightly worryingly long list of ‘my cool..’ potential subjects pinned to my office notice board.The challenge is to see that the quality of the content, photography, art-direction and writing keep the same high standard as ‘my cool caravan’ my cool campervan’ & now ‘my cool shed’. I love it that the books have been so well received and I that want to see it stays that way!

Many thanks Jane … and good luck with your next project Iam sure the sheddies will be following.

Win one of two copies of My Cool shed – Answer the question in the comments and follow me on twitter or facebook to have extra entry!

By Andrew Wilcox

I love sheds Founder & judge of Shed of the year - Wilco writes mainly about sheds. About the blog Enter your shed into #shedoftheyear


  1. My Cool Campervan…. we used to own a classic VW, but ours could no way have been described as cool unfortunately!!

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