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How one busy mom created a “she shed” that’s cozy, bright and charming.

Thanks to my friend Sheila for contributing this guest post.  

I always dreamed of a magical retreat with white-washed walls bathed by satin curtains blowing in the wind but the odds were against me.

With eight children and a dairy-farming husband, the hope of ever owning a little cabin was minuscule.

However, my passion to construct a little piece of heaven to call my own only grew.

It took courage to share my ambitions with a friend, and she assumed I spoke of years into the future.

Within three months, my dream she shed with whitewashed walls and satin curtains was complete in my backyard.


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I spent hours scouring the Internet for photos and ideas I could replicate but eventually, I realized I would never find something that matched what I envisioned.

I turned to pen and paper and sketched what I visualized as a slice of paradise…a barn-style shed with a loft area.

Working backward, I initially created the furniture layout and then confirmed the dimensions of the shed.

I constructed a drop-leaf table to seat eight people, benches, a night table and took measurements of furniture I eventually wanted to include.

Using chalk, I drew a large rectangle on our concrete garage floor to see if the space was adequate for the furniture.

Then I designed the shell with precise window placements.

Summers are extremely busy so I decided to order the shell in autumn and tackle the interior myself in winter.

We had prepped the foundation with a foot of packed gravel to decrease the chance of shifting, and the framework arrived with the first snowflakes.

My first task was to research how to wire a small shed as I desired plenty of electrical outlets and adequate lighting for guests at night.

I doubted my abilities as I drilled holes and pulled wires but cheered loudly when the shed glowed that first night.

I secretly dreaded working with insulation but I knew procrastination would only hinder progress.

Wearing a long sleeve sweater, mitts, and with my bread knife in hand, I spent what seemed like many hours measuring, cutting, and placing itchy insulation.

The roof was tricky to insulate due to the height but with much determination, the task was completed.

After stapling a vapor barrier over the insulation, I spent three weeks preparing tongue and groove pine boards.

I chose a wider board for a calmer appearance and decided to slightly whitewash the wood to avoid future discoloration.

My wrists ached as my brush graced each board with coats of finish.

The floor was installed in an afternoon and my energy level grew with the end now in sight.

Window trim and baseboards were quickly placed and then came the delightful task of arranging furniture and decor.

My children’s faces glowed at the grand reveal as they said, “Mom, you made this?”

Extended family members enjoy this quiet getaway and my children cherish time chatting with friends in this private space. It has rejuvenated my love for hosting as I invite neighbors and friends to join me for tea and cheesecake.

Hospitality no longer requires hours of housecleaning as this shed is always clean, quiet, and ready to welcome authentic dialogue.

Tackling this large project with little previous knowledge or experience was stressful and discouraging at times but it taught me to persevere. I took advantage of each spare moment in my day.

For example, I would start a load of laundry and then dash to the shed to install a board. In my haste, I did make errors but as the sign in my shed says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

My goal was not only to create a quiet sanctuary for myself but to share this space with others. It was my desire to create a place where memories could be made and those who entered would be blessed.

I have had the privilege of visiting while enjoying tea & cheesecake with my friend Sheila in her oasis. Thanks so much, Sheila, for contributing this guest post. I look forward to enjoying more visits and making more memories together in your beautiful She Shed. I’m also excited to see what you all have in store for the exterior – I’m sure it will be incredible! 

Shirley O

Thursday 19th of December 2019

What a great idea! That is quite the little retreat, such a cozy space, and a great place to relax, read, or do crafts.

Coreen Johnston

Saturday 27th of July 2019

Sheila's"She Shed" is as special as it sounds! Spending an evening eating, relaxing, and laughing with friends was what my heart needed. What a great place for unwinding or making memories!

Krystel | Frugal Living

Friday 26th of April 2019

Wow amazing. I love this and it’s the perfect add on.


Wednesday 24th of April 2019

This looks like heaven on earth!!! I love how simple & rustic it is!

Celebrate Woman Today

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

What a cool idea and an immaculate implementation! Would love to be able to do it myself. But my gifts are not there.