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If you thought that sheds were just … sheds; somewhere to store your tools, bikes and other outdoorsy stuff, think again.

Each year, wood stain company Cuprinol celebrates the art of the great British shed with a national contest to find the best.  

The 2019 finalists have now been selected and members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite in different categories. You can choose from a 21-strong shortlist, which includes a beach bar shack, Shakespeare-inspired writer’s retreat and live-in lorry.

So, if you’re looking for inspiration to help create your own garden shed, here are a few of the more inventive examples:

A retro shed that’s a tribute to the owner’s love of tea and all things vintage, created for less than £100 and featuring nifty teacup storage and tea tins.

The Tempest shed, inspired by the Shakespeare play, is a writing and relaxation space with a submarine-style door, captain’s table and speaker providing the sound of crashing waves.   

The Reef Cavern is a tropical tiki hut complete with window featuring an ‘ocean view’.

Woody Willow is a two-storey children’s playhouse with a pulley wheel contraption to encourage creative play.  

The Lorry Life is a shed on the back of a lorry, which is also the owner’s home. Its eco credentials include rainwater harvesting and solar panels.  

The competition’s founder and head judge, Andrew Willcox said: “We’ve been really impressed by the aesthetics of the sheds — especially those that entered the brand new nature’s haven category with entrants really demonstrating how important it is to welcome nature into our lives and our gardens."  

You can vote for your favourite shed on the competition’s Reader Sheds website until 29 August 2019.

Read more about this story on the Evening Standard Homes & Property website where you can also find out more about some of the best sheds currently on the market.