The backyard shed is an essential part of the Australian lifestyle, and its evolution over the past century reflects the changing priorities and desires of the Australian people

steel shed

After the federation of Australia in 1901, immigration to the country increased significantly, and many new settlers sought to establish themselves in the suburbs of the capital cities. As people moved away from the crowded terrace houses of the inner city, the desire for more space and privacy grew. One way to achieve this was through the construction of a backyard shed.
Many immigrants, Aussies and new Australians loved to grow vegetable gardens, and many expanding suburbs had multiple small market gardens as well. Of course, sheds were required to store equipment, make repairs, to sell and store produce.

old australian back yard shed and lawn mower

Early Days

In the early days, backyard sheds were primarily used for storage, but as the suburban backyard grew in size, so did the sheds themselves. They began to take on a more versatile role, serving as a workshop, a studio, or even a home office. This evolution was further accelerated by the rise of the DIY culture, as people increasingly took on home improvement projects themselves rather than hiring professionals.

old back yard shed with swinging doors and windows

As the backyard shed became more and more versatile, it also became more and more visually appealing. Prior to the 1950s, sheds were typically made of corrugated iron and were not seen as much more than functional structures. However, as the suburban backyard grew in size, so too did the size of the shed, and people began to pay more attention to the design of these structures. They started to be built with wood and other materials and became more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

more modern garage with an old holden out the front

The 60/70’s

The backyard shed also began to take on a more recreational role in the 1960s and 1970s. As people sought to escape the stress of modern life, they began to use their sheds as a place to relax and unwind. This led to the creation of the “man cave”, a dedicated space for men to retreat to and enjoy their hobbies and interests. The man cave trend is still strong in Australia, and it has grown to include not only men but also women and families (teenage retreat).

4 photos in one frame of people doing thinsg in sheds and shed interiors

The backyard shed has also evolved to meet the changing needs of the Australian people. As the population ages, there is a growing demand for sheds that can be converted into living spaces for elderly parents or adult children. This has led to the creation of “granny flats”, which are fully equipped with all the amenities of a home, including a kitchen and bathroom.

Outside the shed Chevy Bel Air V8 Rare Australian Model

In recent years, environmental concerns have led to the development of eco-friendly sheds. These structures are built with sustainable materials and are designed to minimize their impact on the environment. They are also equipped with features such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems, making them an attractive option for people who want to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

A final word on the backyard sheds of Australia.

In conclusion, the backyard shed has undergone a significant evolution over the past century, and it continues to adapt to the changing needs and desires of the Australian people. From its humble origins as a simple storage shed, it has become a versatile and visually appealing structure that serves a wide range of purposes, including storage, work, recreation, and even living space. It is a reflection of the Australian people’s desire for more space, privacy, and self-expression, and it continues to be an important part of the Australian lifestyle.

Modern shed with modern colours and landscaping

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