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How to Make Your Studio Shed a Beautiful Part of Your Landscape

Adding an accessory dwelling unit (or ADU) to your backyard instantly provides you with extra space and a whole world of possibilities. You’ve probably spent time dreaming about how you’ll use your Studio Shed, but have you considered how you’ll landscape around your shed? The landscaping experts from our partner, Tilly, are joining us to share their advice on how to integrate your lifestyle shed into your backyard.


Tilly is an entirely online landscape design company that makes expert landscaping accessible to people across the U.S. and Canada. Homeowners are matched with a landscape designer who has residential experience in their specific area. Through photos and a video walkthrough of the space, a custom landscape plan is created that matches the homeowner’s goals, specific climate, and needs. Tilly will then deliver your plants to your curb, making the process easy and fun. Best of all, everything is done on your schedule and your budget.


They’ve mastered the art of making your shed or ADU an organic and beautiful part of your landscaping. Here’s their advice on how you can do the same.

A Tilly project in Colorado with a fire pit area, raised garden beds and plantings that tie the yard and dwelling together.

Why is Landscaping Around Your Studio Shed Important?

Everyone wants a beautiful landscape that feels like a backyard retreat—and a Studio Shed makes that oasis even better. However, simply placing an ADU in the middle of your outdoor space won’t make it feel like an integrated part of your yard. By landscaping around your ADU, you can create a natural flow throughout your space and turn your shed into a striking focal point of your backyard.


The other factor to consider is accessibility to your shed. If getting to your backyard home office or shed requires weaving between garden beds or slogging through mud, that’s a sign that your shed isn’t working with your landscaping. Whether you’re using your shed as a home gym, an office space or man cave, creating a clear, intentional path from your home to your backyard home away from home will make every trip to and fro easier.

Tips for Landscaping Around a Studio Shed


Find the Right Site for Your ADU

First things first, you have to decide where to place your Studio Shed. In addition to practical concerns like distance from the house and routing electricity to your space, you’ll want to consider sun exposure when designing and positioning your ADU. Think about the views from your windows and either direct them toward an existing landscape feature or plant something beautiful to gaze out at while working from home or powering through your workout.

A fire pit area outside an ADU in a Tilly project in Maine.

Create a Path Leading to Your Studio Shed

Making your space welcoming and easily accessible all starts with a clear path to the front of your shed. You have a wide range of options to suit every design style and budget from a rustic stepping stone path to colorful tiles to the soft touch of decomposed granite. If you live in an area with snowy winters and you’re going to be using your Studio Shed daily all year round, you may want to consider a heated pathway or a surface that’s easy to shovel.

Light your Landscape

Adding outdoor lighting to your landscape adds ambiance well into the night and is an important safety feature to make your nighttime journeys to your backyard shed easy and stumble-free. Incorporate path lighting from your home to your shed or add exterior sconces to light your way. This way, you can keep enjoying your backyard retreat long after the sun sets.

A Texas Tilly landscape design with modern features and landscaping around an ADU.

Expand Your Outdoor Living Space

Why stop with the extra space that your ADU gives you? Add a patio outside your Studio Shed to seamlessly move into outdoor living and lounging. Add a pergola for extra shade to create a perfect spot for a sunny brunch. If your ADU is an exercise studio, you can easily use this space for outdoor yoga or meditation. Once you decide what the perfect feature for your space is, all you’ll need to do is open your shed doors to take advantage of the best of both indoor and outdoor living.

Integrate Your Studio Shed Into Your Yard

It’s great if your Studio Shed stands out as a focal point of your backyard—it’s less good if it stands out as a confusing addition to an otherwise cohesive landscape. Make it feel like a seamless extension of your space by surrounding it with some of the plants that you’ve already used elsewhere in your landscape. Use your softscape to hug your studio and nestle it in your space, or to frame and highlight the studio’s design as a showpiece all its own.

A Tilly project in Colorado with an ADU seamlessly incorporated in the backyard through the landscape design.

Highlight the Entrance

Even if your shed is in your backyard, it helps to think about its very own curb appeal! You’re going to spend a whole lot of time looking at your ADU, so why not make it as beautiful and welcoming as possible? The simplest way to do this is to frame the entrance. Group beautiful plants on either side of your door in garden beds or large containers for classic appeal. If you prefer your plants elevated, hanging potted plants and window boxes add some cottage charm to your ADU.

If all of these design ideas inspire you to add a studio or ADU to your landscape, let us help. Here at Studio Shed, we’re experts at designing the perfect shed for your style and space. Over at Tilly, they’re the experts at designing beautiful landscapes and incorporating all the elements you love—including your Studio Shed. Together, we’re ready to take your backyard to the next level!

A pool/guest house integrated into a Connecticut Tilly client’s backyard.
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A Studio Shed installed in a Colorado location with the Rocky mountains in the background.

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