'She sheds' are like a man cave -- but prettier
If anyone needed a room of her own, it was Erin Kern.
体育在线365The 34-year-old interior decorator from Owasso, Okla., tried to run her Cotton Stem design business and from the home she shares with her husband and four young daughters, ages 1 to 7 years old. Finding a calm corner anywhere was pure fantasy.
“My kids are so many and so close together, and so little still, that there’s no completing a thought from A to Z inside the confines of our home,” Kern says. “No phone calls can happen without chaos.”
体育在线365Luckily, peace and quiet were only steps from her back door. With the help of her husband and her father-in-law, Kern transformed an 80 square-foot potting shed, which had red brick outside but greasy lawnmowers inside, into a charming “she shed” — a cozy hideaway built for one.
体育在线365The shed now resembles a pint-size farmhouse cottage, appointed with rustic shiplap walls and vintage and French country accents. Three paned windows and a single-lite door fill the place with sun, while a small desk and tufted armchair provide both a workspace and sometimes, a comfy spot for a much-needed nap.
“It’s really only big enough for one person to come out here — just me, which is kind of exactly why I like it being small,” Kern says.
Women everywhere long for a private space where they can work uninterrupted, a haven where they can write, paint, practice yoga, read and yes, nap, says Gill Heriz, author of two books documenting the she-shed trend in Europe and the U.S.
“The separation from the domestic space is really important,” notes Heriz, whose "A Woman’s Shed: Spaces for women to create, write, make, grow, think, and escape" was published in 2014 and "A Woman’s Huts and Hideaways: More than 40 She Sheds and Other Retreats" was released in 2016. “That idea of going to work, walking out of the house, leaving that behind and going to do whatever it is that you do in your shed. Private space that is theirs and theirs alone is really, really important for lots of women.”
体育在线365If you have an outdoor area, then there’s a shed to match your style and budget, says Erika Kotite, whose second book on women’s hideaways, "She Shed Style," is slated for release in the fall. In North Carolina, Mary McCachern designed her 10 x 16-foot shed on Lake Norman to look like one she spied on a magazine cover. She salvaged doors and shutters, and added a porch, window boxes and distinctive leaded-glass windows to create an inspirational haven for potting and puttering.
“It’s really not about having all the bells and whistles,” McCachern says of her small space. “It’s really just about having a place to be and create.“
体育在线365In rural Oregon, Tymmera Whitnah built an 8 x 8-foot, all-glass meditation room out of 30 separate doors and windows she had collected and rescued over the years. The tiny house rests on 5-foot-high log stilts, inspired by spirit houses Whitnah saw in Bali.
体育在线365So whether the look you crave is sleek modern, vintage bungalow or eclectic bohemian, any shed style can be achieved economically by using an existing building or salvaged materials, says Kotite, whose own 6 x 6-foot shed is a traditional cottage with a pitched roof.
Lowe’s, Home Depot and other hardware chains sell basic prefabricated sheds for as little as $1,000, while companies that specialize in customized versions, such as Modern Shed, offer French doors, skylights or additional windows that can push costs up to $18,000. A dream shed built from scratch can cost tens of thousands.
体育在线365Keep in mind that although your shed is miniature, it shouldn’t be slapped together or constructed simply, like a children’s playhouse.
体育在线365“It’s a grown-up woman’s studio,” Kotite says. “It’s a building, and you want it to last a long time so you want it to be built right.”