The winner of the Readersheds Shed of the Year 2021 is Creme de Menthe, a mint green entry by social media influencer Danielle Zarb-Cousin.
The 1970s-inspired cocktail bar fought off stiff competition from a bra-fitting boutique, a fairytale castle, and 300 other entries to take the title, wicch is sponsored by outdoor paint brand Cuprinol.
Creme de Menthe is decorated in ’70s style, with rattan seating and a psychedelic bar cart.
Danielle won £1,000, shed care products, and a plaque. The 29-year-old from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, transformed a rundown old brown shed into a retro bar complete with seating and orange interior, promoted by a split with her fiance, former Love Island star Jonny Mitchell, last year. She said: ‘I went through a bad time with the break-up … building the shed became a focus in a time of chaos. Moving back in with my parents for lockdown was not ideal and I needed my own space, so (once built) it was a place I could go and write and not be disturbed.”
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Creme de Menthe also won in the hotly contested Pub/Entertainment category, as voted by readers of the website www.readersheds.co.uk.
This year the contest included seven categories and more entries – 331 – than ever before.
Joanna van Blommestein, from Faversham in Kent, specialises in helping women post-surgery, such as those with breast cancer, and won the Cabin/Summerhouse category with her bra-fitting boutique.
The 33-year-old said: “Lots of people don’t really enjoy bra fittings… it can be quite overwhelming or quite daunting. I just wanted to make it a lovely relaxing, stress-free place.”
John Williams’ pop-up pub shed Bungy’s Backyard Bar in Plymouth, Devon, won the Unexpected category, while Mark Campbell, from Wingerworth in Derbyshire, won the Lockdown category by building a fairytale-inspired castle for his granddaughter.
Rosemary Hoult with her shed The Hideaway in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, won the Nature’s Haven category for her bird-watching sanctuary, while Ally Scott’s shed The Peculiar Pear in Southampton, Hampshire won the Workshop/Studio category, a space for her to pursue her dream of becoming an artist and signwriter.
Artist Les Rowe, from New Brighton on the Wirral, took top spot in the budget category with his shed Tranquility Base, a seven-sided refuge using predominantly second-hand materials including stained-glass windows recovered from a synagogue.
‘I originally created Tranquillity Base because I needed a shed, but because it’s so beautiful and unique I don’t really want to put anything in it,’ he said.
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