The Itsy Bitsy Bunkhouse

Turning a basic backyard shed into a backyard gathering spot is one of the newest ways to expand the livable space in your home and yard. Interior designer and artist Amie Freling Brown put this theory to the test when she turned a backyard shed into a dream bunkhouse for her upstate New York lake home.

As one of the winners of a DIY design and lifestyle influencer competition sponsored by The Home Depot, Amie customized and ordered the shed on The Home Depot website. “I chose the 10′ by 12″ classic backyard shed with a gambrel roof, gable vents, transom windows, and 7- foot walls to give the top campers more headroom,” said Amie.

Once the shed arrived, Amie and her father headed to The Home Depot for the rest of the supplies to transform this shell into a bright, nautical farmhouse-inspired bunkhouse. Their first step was running electricity from the main cottage and wiring for outdoor lighting, an overhead light, and three outlets.

Partnering with Progress Lighting, Amie selected the Briarwood pendant as inspiration for the Farmhouse design styling of the interior. “I love this pendant and have waited a long time for the perfect project to use it in. It is a great size, and its open, rustic style and weathered gray finish was the inspiration for the color palette of the interior.”

To complement the Adirondack camp style of the lake house, she installed reclaimed wood paneling on the ceiling as an interesting detail. She added a vinyl plank flooring that would stand up to sandy, wet feet from the lake. Beadboard paneled walls painted in semi-gloss white make the most of the reflected light, giving the small space an open, airy feeling.

“At the peak of the roofline, we have 10 feet. Opting for the taller walls made all the difference in giving the illusion that the space is larger than 120 square feet,” said Amie. “We built two ladders for the bunk beds and painted them gray to pull out the tones in the ceiling and vinyl flooring. I added black door handles to both sides of the ladders for the kids to grab as they climb to the top bunks.”

The clean wall, ceiling, and floor palette stuck true to the farmhouse style trend. As a contrast to the light palette of the bunkhouse interior, Amie used color in the coordinating bedding, nautical décor, navy furniture, and accessories to make it warm and inviting.

On the exterior, Amie and her crew built a custom screen door and installed a pair of vintage-styled Brookside wall lanterns on either side. “Progress is my go-to for lighting that is an affordable balance of beauty and variety. I am obsessed with their lights,” said Amie about her choices.

A cobblestone path welcomes guests as it connects the barn-red bunkhouse to the cottage, and as a finishing touch, boxwood shrubs, perennials, and potted flowers neatly hug the deck.

Images by KNYFIVE Photography