Prepare to discover what new heights of creativity the nation’s sheddies have scaled during lockdown – as Cuprinol Shed Of The Year returns for 2021.
The past year has seen us all spend unprecedented amounts of time in our homes and gardens.
It’s resulted in a DIY boom where we have reshaped our living environments – by creating office spaces, back garden pubs and peaceful refuges away from the world outside.
That’s why Cuprinol is predicting that the 15th year of its much loved Shed of the Year competition will be the most exciting one yet, with almost 100 entries already submitted ahead of the 2021 launch!
The acclaimed contest invites entrants to submit their creations in one of the seven categories for the chance to win the prize of £1,000 and £100 worth of Cuprinol products. This includes the new Lockdown category introduced last year to recognise the incredible efforts seen during a difficult 2020.
Last year’s shed-building superstar Daniel Holloway walked away with the coveted title of Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 after wowing judges with his nature-inspired refuge Bedouin Tree-Shed.
Daniel’s labour of love is built around two tree trunks in his back garden and is decorated with vintage etchings and specimens of butterflies, while a wood burning stove provides comfort during the winter months.
Daniel says: “I was very surprised, but also felt very honoured and happy that the shed had been recognised as a worthy winner.
“It’s very much a personal space, but as a result of Covid restrictions it has evolved into a communal space for our family – immediate and extended – and also close friends to gather and relax, in the back of the garden and away from the house.”
Daniel handed his £1,000 prize money to environmental charity Trees for Cities and, since winning, continues to develop his shed and is using Victorian quarry tiles for a patio, connecting the shed to an area used as a fire pit.
Ashley Bates took home the competition’s first ever Special Commendation in 2020, after setting up The Shed School to help educate children while lockdown closed classrooms.
He says: “Looking back, this time last year my shed was just a shed, it wasn’t anything spectacular, it was filled with rubbish.
“Not a year later we’ve got this huge following of children across the world that tune into these lessons and it’s running like a business now, it’s running like a tutor service for people who are still at home and still needing that support.
“We now run monthly mental health classes to help children suffering with anxiety and parents who need a little extra support.
“Without Shed Of The Year we wouldn’t have gone into that, we would have closed the shed door and locked up after the first lockdown, but it’s given us that impetus to keep it going.”
Founder and Head Judge, Andrew Wilcox, says: “Since the competition started 15 years ago, we’ve seen some brilliantly creative uses of sheds across the UK.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen people retreat to their sheds as a place of respite and sanctuary and the imagination going into them has been particularly impressive.”
“We cannot wait to see the amazing ways people have used their sheds this year.”
Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Cuprinol, adds: “Our garden sheds are more than just a place to put our tools – they are a wonderful creative outlet for an individual’s unique artistic vision.
“Over the years, sheds have become an extension of the home and one of the most important rooms in the house.
“And this past year we’ve seen people transcend the boundaries of what we think a shed could be and working on them has a much-needed passion project during a time of uncertainty and instability.”
Entries need to include a selection of the best photos & video of your dazzling designs along with an explanation of your inspiration and what makes your shed stand out.
This year’s categories are:
Entries can be submitted via readersheds.co.uk until Monday 12th April.
The shortlist will then be selected by a panel of judges before the public vote opens to select the nation’s favourite shed for 2021.
Category winners will be announced in August, with the overall winner awarded with £1,000 prize money and £100 worth of Cuprinol products.
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