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.
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.
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.
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.
I added a daybed in case the need for an impromptu nap should arise.
And this is the only phone allowed. It doesn’t work– which is intentional.
My Sonoma County She Shed is still revealing itself, so stay tuned.