Cuprinol 2021 Shed of the Year winner revealed
At last, the long wait is over. The votes have been counted and the results are in. Never mind the Olympics, who's won Shed of the Year? Find out below…
First 331 entries were whittled down to 22 finalists… Then these finalists were then put to a public vote to pick winners in each of seven categories…
Then – finally – a panel of experts at Cuprinol picked out the cream of the crop for the ultimate prize…
There can be only one winner… And now – after a strict 8pm 6 August embargo – that winner can be revealed…
The coveted Shed of the Year title, £1000, a beautifully varnished plaque AND £100 of Cuprinol products have been awarded to…
Social media influencer Danielle Zarb-Cousin!
Danielle's colourful and creative Creme de Menthe bar/creative shed was previously an unloved brown disaster zone in danger of demolition at the family home in Southend-on-Sea.
Danielle, 29, rescued the shed after returning home for lockdown and transformed it into her retro retreat complete with an orange and mint green colour scheme and cocktail bar.
“After building it, the shed became a place where I could sit and write. It was a little sanctuary for me and it's something I'm really proud of. The shed really represents that time in my life,” she says.
Sadly it was her heartbreak after splitting from her fiance – Love Island’s Jonny Mitchell – that drove her quest to construct her prize-scooping shed. “I went through a bad time with the break-up,” Danielle says. “It was the worst thing that could've happened, going into lockdown and not being able to see anyone or not being able to date. Building the shed became a focus in a time of chaos.”
Danielle, who is a model, says winning Cuprinol Shed Of The Year 2021 “feels amazing.” “I'm so happy I won,” she says. “It's been a long process building the shed, so it's nice to know it's paid off.”
Since its completion Danielle has been using the space to write a blog – on subjects from heartbreak and dating to lifestyle – which she is now in the process of turning into a book.
“Moving back in with my parents for lockdown was not ideal and I needed my own space, so it was a place I could go and write and not be disturbed. I always sit in the shed and write because it's just so peaceful and quiet and I can really focus. I've also started writing some short stories, and I do that all from the shed,” she explained.
Congrats to Danielle!
This year 331 hopefuls entered the competition – the most in the prestigious event's 15-year history – and the individual category winners are…
The Bra Boss Of Kent by Joanna van Blommestein
Joanna, 33, from Faversham, Kent established her bra-fitting boutique in her back garden as a way to provide women with a relaxing and supportive space to get fitted and choose their perfect bra.
Winterwood by Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell, 60, from Wingerworth, Derbyshire built a fairytale castle for his granddaughter with the design inspired by illustrations from two-year-old Sienna’s favourite story books. The two-storey pine creation stands 12 feet tall.
Bungy’s Backyard Bar by John Williams
Royal Navy Chief Engineer John ‘Bungy’ Williams, 46, from Plymouth roped in his son and daughter to help him build his hidden ‘pop-up’ pub in the back garden of his Plymouth home with a footprint of less than 2x1 metres.
The Hideaway by Rosie Hoult
Holistic therapist Rosie, 59 and her 65-year-old retired husband David initially only intended to build a bird table but the couple from Shrewsbury created an idyllic bird-watching sanctuary decorated in a Moroccan theme instead.
The Peculiar Pear by Ally Scott
Ally Scott overcame tragedy to triumph in the workshop/studio category. The 48-year-old, from Southampton, lost her mum and her job in quick succession before deciding to build a studio in her back garden so she could pursue her dream of becoming an artist and signwriter.
Tranquility Base by Les Rowe
Artist Les Rowe’s seven-sided refuge features stained glass windows he rescued from a synagogue in Cardiff. The 67-year-old from New Brighton on The Wirral created his distinctive haven from material mostly donated by family, friends and neighbours.
Well done, all! Enjoy a full gallery of all the sheds inside and out with their creators below.
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Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “We have been blown away by the creativity, passion and dedication on display from sheddies across the country. The amount of care and attention entrants have devoted to their sheds this year is inspiring.
“But it was Danielle’s Creme de Menthe bar and her use of colour, interior design and vintage decorations that really impressed us.
“We hope her win inspires a new generation of sheddies to get out in the garden and start building sanctuaries of their own.”
Kirsty Woodbine, Marketing Manager for Cuprinol, added: “The sheer ingenuity demonstrated by this year’s Cuprinol Shed of the Year winners is unrivalled in the competition’s 15-year history.
“At Cuprinol we’re committed to inspiring people to find creative ways to transform their outdoor spaces – whether it’s a vibrant lick of paint on a brand new summerhouse or handcrafting impressive structures from recycled materials! We are truly amazed and delighted by the creations we’ve seen this year – they just get better and better.”
Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.
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