8 Creative Garden Shelving Ideas for Outdoor Spaces

8 Minute Read

Shelves might not be the first thing you consider when thinking about outdoor storage – especially when you’re thinking of the garden. Storage boxes, tubs, and sheds are usually the first thought, but outdoor shelves can be put to use in plenty of ways around the outside of your home and in the garden.

If you looking to spruce up your garden or simply want some inspiration for some new outdoor storage solutions, take a look at some of our shelving ideas below.

What To Consider When Buying Outdoor Shelves?

When you’re thinking about buying garden shelves, it isn’t quite the same as for inside your home since there are different considerations. With outdoor shelving, you must consider the exposure to the weather, if you like to move things around, as well as the style of garden design you prefer.


Outdoor shelving can be added to many different places outside of your home. Patios, balconies, inside garages, summer houses and sheds, as well as inside conservatories, pergolas, and fixed gazebos will benefit from installing shelves.

Shelf Size

Always a consideration wherever you’re installing a shelf, you need to bear in mind how your shelf fills the space. Getting the right dimensions will mean that the shelf doesn’t look overbearing, or lost in the space. Be sure to measure carefully, and map it out before you buy. 

Weather Exposure

The weather has a huge impact on the type of shelf you need in a garden. Even if your outdoor shelf is inside a conservatory, a shed, or a summer house, it will be affected by the cold and damp – so you can’t just pick any old shelf, with any style of fixing. If your shelves are completely exposed to all weather types, then you’ll need to make sure you choose the right material, and the right fixtures, so that you don’t end up needing to replace them each year. Check out our previous blog for more tips on protecting your outdoor furniture.

Material & Fixings

Depending on where you’re installing your shelves, wood, metal, and even plastic may be appropriate for an outdoor shelf. Be sure to get the suitable type of finish, particularly for solid wooden shelves, and treat them as necessary – even if you’re aiming for a rustic effect. And just as with the material the shelf is made from, you need the right type of fixings for your outdoor shelf – you don’t want them falling down because a dowel has got wet and rotted away.


If you’re the type of person that likes to revamp your garden on a regular basis, then you’ll need to think about how easy your outdoor shelf is to move. Indoor shelves are pretty simple to remove (most of the time!), but when installing shelves outdoors, the weather will play a part in how easy fixings are to remove, and whether your shelf will survive being taken down and put back up multiple times. If you’re likely to want to reorganise your garden from time to time, a shelf unit that can be picked up and moved might suit your needs better than one fitted to a wall.

Our Favourite Garden Shelving Ideas

1 - Displaying Plants

As potted plants flourish, you want to be able to see them – and shelves are the ideal way to show them off and allows you to move the pots around needed. In larger gardens, a larger shelving unit might work, while on patios and balconies, you could consider having a few shelves fixed to the wall so you can maximise your space.

2 - Storing Tools

Another great garden shelving idea is to use them to organise your garden tools. Even the smallest of gardens and outside spaces need maintenance, which means tools are necessary. Keeping small hand tools in baskets or caddies, and on an outdoor shelf means you can grab them as you need them – and depending on how much you need to store, you can keep adding additional shelves.

3 - Outdoor Kitchens

We love the idea of an outdoor kitchen but they require a lot of storage systems, Installing outdoor shelving means that you can have everything you need at hand and take enjoyment when creating shelving displays for the outdoor cooking area.

4 - Creating a Herb Garden

Another inspiring way to use garden shelves in your outdoor space is by creating a herb garden. If you’re a fan of fresh herbs and salad vegetables, then placing them on outdoor shelving can help keep them away from pests as opposed to them being on the floor of your garden.





5 - DIY Gear

Most homeowners have various DIY bits and bobs, from power tools to random screws and decorating equipment. Installing outdoor shelves in the garage or shed means those items can all be tidied away effectively, clearing floor space. If you’re really into being organised, break out the label maker!

6 - Tableware

Tiny patios and balconies have precious little space for an al fresco dining table – but you can make use of wider shelving around the outside of the space to create a bar effect. Add a couple of bar stools, and you can sit and enjoy meals outside, without losing floor space or needing to invest in garden furniture. Don’t forget, we can cut shelving to the size you need – so get in touch if you’re considering a project like this one.

7 - Home Cocktail Bar

Having a bar at home is pretty luxurious, and many of us have indulged in the bar cart trend indoors. But have you considered the idea of using garden shelving for an outdoor bar? Cocktails, and cool drinks outdoors in the summer – displayed on an outdoor shelf with an ice bucket, why not?

8 - Additional Storage

Whether you need more storage in your porcs, garage, or shed, installing shelves to store hats, gloves and footwear can help keep the area tidy – You can even add hooks that suit your style to hang additional items like coats and waterproof clothing.

Get Creative With These Garden Shelving Ideas

I many different scenarios, outdoor shelving can be incredibly useful – and some of the ideas for garden shelving we have discussed aren’t the only ways you can get creative! There are thousands more ideas online, with Pinterest being a great place to start digging for more garden shelving ideas. If we’ve inspired you to get out in your garden and install some shelves, make sure you take photos so you can show them off on Instagram, and tag us @bensimpsonfurniture – you know much we love a great #shelfie!

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