Having a retreat at the bottom of the garden is something that's becoming increasingly attractive to a serious number of homeowners who want to maximise their living spaces in any way they can. Because of the hikes in house prices and stamp duty, as well as the astronomical cost of moving, it's no surprise that people are looking to improve their homes rather than relocate elsewhere... and one of the most popular ways of doing this is by installing a truly luxurious shed in the garden.

It's all about the she-shed at the moment, replacing the man shed as a place where women can get away from it all and enjoy some much needed respite from daily life, whether that's work, the dog, the kids or - even worse - the other half. It's all about creating an oasis of calm, where you can go to escape and have a few minutes to yourself and your own personal interests, from arts and crafts and novel writing to painting or photography. Yes, you could even turn your she-shed into a darkroom if you get yourself some blackout curtains!

Don't be put off by the idea of spending time in a shed. These days, the word 'shed' is a little bit misleading. She-sheds are actually very luxurious and boast every mod con you could possibly imagine, from insulation and weatherproofing to running water, comfy beds, hammocks, central heating, electricity... they really are becoming a home away from home and what's great is that you actually don't have to go that far to get away from it all. It's just a short stroll down the garden!

It's all down to what you envisage for your own she-shed and making it as homely as possible - which is where William Morris oilcloth tablecloths will really come into their own, especially if you're a big fan of the arts and crafts movement, during which time he was incredibly influential. We'd love a William Morris-inspired shed to go and escape to given half the chance... as well as a tablecloth, you could bring in some beautiful lampshades, turn some postcards into some stunning wall art or decorate your sofa with some William Morris throw cushions. What's great about his designs is that they're grounded in nature so would be perfect for a she-shed at the bottom of the garden. Bring the outside in, why don't you!

If you've only just decided to have a she-shed and can't quite work out how you want it to look, head online and see what other people have got up to so you can pinch a few ideas for your own little garden retreat. House Beautiful magazine has some amazing examples of what other outdoor living enthusiasts have done with their sheds and you're sure to garner a few ideas from there. Spend as much time as you can working out how you want it to look and what you plan to use the space for as this will help inform decorating decisions as well.