Sonoma County She Shed

When we bought our cottage in 1997, I certainly never envisioned a Sonoma County She Shed in my future. In fact, I had never even heard the term as “she sheds” were certainly not a phenomenon back then.

Originally, we thought the small shed behind our cottage had great promise as a kid’s play room or as a charming potting area but with no basement or other storage area, it quickly became the catch-all for pool noodles, bike helmets and extra paint cans. It also housed all of the other country necessities we had never owned before but realized we now needed (like a wheelbarrow).

Fast forward twenty years and our boys are grown and our need to simplify and to reduce clutter is taking center stage.

We tried to slowly wade through the items but it became clear that a more aggressive approach was needed, so we took everything out of the shed. It’s always mind-boggling to see how much stuff can fit into small spaces. After we gave things away and made several trips to local donation sites, we finally had the shed empty.

We sprayed the inside with white paint for a clean slate and it became clear (at least to me!) that the space was calling out to be a charming and feminine retreat. Since my husband already had his guy space – a tree house 10 feet in the air tucked in between several bay trees – it only seemed fair that I claim this precious bit of space as my reading, writing and relaxing space.

The shed clearly had roots as a tool shed because the large wooden counter across one wall was filled with dents and dings from someone using a hammer and other tools. I thought about sanding it smooth but I love the imperfections and I decided to leave them – they’re as much a part of the shed’s story as my new use will be.

Former Tool Bench in Sonoma County She Shed
Former Tool Bench in Sonoma County She Shed

White paint can transform any space and it did wonders for the shed. I skirted the dinged up former tool area with toile curtains that I hung from a piece of galvanized pipe for a bit of charming storage.

Former Tool Bench in Sonoma She Shed

I repurposed a wicker desk that I have had for years as a writing table and used Annie Sloan chalk paint on a distressed dining room chair and upholstered the seat in blue gingham.

She Shed Gingham Chair
She Shed Gingham Chair

I added a slightly rusty blue metal typing table (I have vague memories of women typing on such tables but they were never painted sky blue!) and two red vintage chairs I have had stored in my basement for years just waiting for the right space. They have finally found a home worthy of their decades of quaint endurance.

Sonoma She Shed Typing Table and Vintage Chairs
Sonoma She Shed Typing Table and Vintage Chairs

I added a daybed in case the need for an impromptu nap should arise.

Sonoma She Shed Day Bed
Sonoma She Shed Day Bed

And this is the only phone allowed. It doesn’t work– which is intentional.

Sonoma She Shed Vintage Telephone
Sonoma She Shed Telephone (the only phone allowed – and it doesn’t work!)

My Sonoma County She Shed is still revealing itself, so stay tuned.









6 thoughts on “Sonoma County She Shed

    1. Exactly! It can be a separate little space or a corner of your yard but we all need a space to call our own where we can instantly escape and recharge the batteries. You must have many spots to choose from on your extensive property!

  1. I finally just found/took:) the time to enjoy your beautiful post of your she shed as I’m having my AM coffee.. oh ! It’s how I imagined it!! Lovely feminine, inspirational , and to boot all the colors I have collected and like and use here and there in my own home..I had a beautiful add on “winter garden “ room, w/lots of windows to be able to enjoy our big yard in our home while covered with a roof) in 2001. I used those colors and mainly the blue and whites , toile curtains, accent pieces…. books , a tea room set up.. even a sofa bed .
    Due to so many life circumstances which prevented me/us to enjoy this room, it has become a big area of “collections , kids’ high school and college items, items to decide to keep or not , extra items I didn’t want to put in the garage where it probably disappear:( All this is there to go though later.. ha! .. Later has not come !:) now it’s no fun to see , and as soon as I get time to get to it..positive thinking here:) I’ll have my beautiful winter garden again..
    In the meantime, however, for self preservation and a “quicker reward” 🙂
    I’m going to try and follow what you did Julia.. empty one of the sheds in yard we already have there.. I’ve so many things to donate in there and to pass on to others.. too many Christmas items I haven’t used in many years..etc!
    I also appreciate what you wrote in regards to decluttering ( my life for the last almost 10 years!:) You used the words, “to give away and to donate “ . This is what I do, and I can’t stand to see the words “throw away”
    I believe in having my treasures 🙂 I’ve collected and no longer use, not End up in the garbage.. someone else can perhaps enjoy, pass it around to others in need, repurpose it etc.
    Well , I better stop 🙂 I just wanted to let you and others know that this post has given me a lot of hope and I know I can share my serene place with my daughters and son whom I’m sure will enjoy seeing a place like that for me.
    Thank you again Julia????????????

    1. Hi Margarita – You can do exactly what I did because we both have a huge jump start by having an existing shed that we can convert. I will say that you have to completely empty the space and start from nothing or else it will become a partial storage area – and not be very relaxing! You could empty it, paint it if needed and then even take some time to ponder a bit what you want to do with it – read, write, meditate, artwork, wrapping gifts – whatever makes you happy. Then you will know what sort of tables, counters, or furniture you might need. It really brings a lot of happiness and serenity and I hope you make it happen. I’m sure your amazing kids would help – and could even use it for their own mini-retreats.

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