For some it’s the adult version of a child’s outdoor playhouse where the only rule is have fun. For others, it’s a quiet place to curl up with a good book, visit with friends, putter in the garden or work on a hobby. No matter how you decide to dress it up, the she shed phenomenon is growing, says Lowe’s Style and Trends director Cindy Jardim.
“When I first started talking about it, everyone said ‘What?!’ But once they see it, everyone wants their own little space of heaven,” said Jardim.
The she shed is the lady’s answer to the man cave: an outdoor room she claims as her own that can be whatever she wants it to be. “It’s kind of like the grown-up version of ‘boyz out,’” said Jardim. “It’s really and truly her space, a place to sit back, relax, unwind and regroup.”
This season, Lowe’s is showcasing its own take on what a she shed can be. Inspired by the five-sided La Remise 10-by-10 base shed, Jardim styled a charming, cozy room that could just as easily be indoors as out. The exterior is painted Vessel Grey (Valspar 4005-2A) with white trim and features picket-style shutters and window boxes. The interior is warm Skyspace blue (Valspar 5001-6B) and Maple Taffy yellow (Valspar 3003-3C), complemented by a gorgeous floral wallcovering.
Designed as an extension of a home, the room is outfitted with a comfy conversation set jazzed up with colourful throw pillows. Artwork and a stunning beveled edge mirror adorn the walls. Jardim even threw in a glass lamp and bar fridge, powered by an extension cord.
“This is her place to sit back and relax. No one is telling her what she needs to be doing,” said Jardim, who says she sheds are popping up as far away as Europe. “It doesn’t matter what you call it, at the end of the day it’s just a place for her,” she said.
If you’re feeling up to the challenge, a base shed is a good starting point to create your own outdoor retreat. Kits are available in wood, metal and resin, depending on your budget and preference. Or you might have an existing shed that’s sitting neglected on your property and just needs a bit of tender loving care, starting with a good power wash and fresh coat of paint.
Where you go from there is completely up to you. Once you’ve got basics like windows, flooring, shingles and paint colours covered, you can add any amenity or finish you dream up. Replace doors with heavy curtains for a whimsical, romantic look. Add shelves for knickknacks, hooks for hanging things, or repurpose old furniture and accessories you no longer need in your home. Some women even go to the lengths of prettying up the outside with a small porch or picket fence.
The she shed can be anything from a yoga studio to a craft shack to an office, and everything in between. “Even though I say there are no rules, the one thing you should be careful about is not to overcrowd it,” advised Jardim. “You don’t want it to become a catch-all. You want to be able to go into it and say, ‘Wow! This is my escape.’”
Author: Dianne Daniel