To celebrate her upcoming 40th birthday, Lindsay Kelley decided she wanted a she shed so she could have a space to call her own for working, and relaxing—in comfort and away from distractions. These aren’t your mother’s storage sheds, or your husband’s.
“My mom moved in at the end of 2016, and my home office is now my mom’s room,” she said. “I was working in the living room and started searching for other options. My husband said ‘There’s no way you’re working in a shed.’”
But Kelley’s handy husband eventually warmed up to the idea, after seeing pictures of transformed garden and storage sheds from around the world. He even helped her create her new home-away-from-home (across the yard counts!).
She spent a little more than $4,000 on her she shed, around the same amount Erika Kotite paid to create a she shed for her book She Sheds: A Room of Your Own. These sheds can range in price, from $500 to sometimes $35,000, Kotite said. The cost depends on how elaborate a woman wants it to be.
If you’re like Kelley and other women worldwide ready for some more space – whether it’s for fun storage, an office or just a reality retreat – we’ve got some great starting tips to help you build a one-of-a-kind she shed!
Create a She Shed Plan and Budget
Before you spend any money on supplies, measure out your yard space and create a budget that includes a little wiggle room for the unexpected. You may need more supplies than you anticipate.
“Having plenty of time to build a she shed is your biggest advantage,” Kotite said. “You want time to scrounge around on Craigslist, and on construction sites for overruns to save money.”
She and her husband spent nearly every weekend for a month building her sister-in-law’s lady shed for the book from a shed kit, which included wonky pieces of wood that needed to be replaced and a couple of windows they found for cheap online.
“Plan to make several trips to the local hardware store,” she said.
Take into consideration your Homeowners’ Association or other local zoning limitations, if applicable, and remember to keep your home and yard’s design aesthetic in mind when you dream up your she shed plans, Kotite added.
“Make sure the shed doesn’t show above your fence line, but also make sure it’s tall enough to walk into comfortably,” she said. “Typical garden sheds aren’t designed for this, but the good news is so many companies are paying attention to this trend and are marketing sheds with the proper dimensions and more flare to appeal to women.”
Kelley ordered her pre-constructed shed online, which was delivered without insulation, electrical outlets or many other essentials she needed for her home office.
“You won’t find the perfect, turnkey shed, which is a curse and a blessing because you want it be unique,” said Kotite.
Kelley said she was able to transform her she shed from drab to fab in less than a month!
How was she able to do it so quickly? She had help!
Build a She Shed With Help (And Lots of It!)
If you’re a strong, independent woman, we support that! But if you find some help to build your beautiful lady shed, you’ll be lounging, working or crafting in your new space in half the time!
Both Kelley and Kotite relied on their families to help them during the build. They also used professional painters and electricians.
“Most people need the help because it’s hard,” said Kotite. “Reach out to people who have skills!”
Don’t forget to add big windows and keep the door open when you’re inside during warm months, so moisture doesn’t become a problem, Kotite said.
“Sheds don’t have all the right ventilation, but keeping it open during the year will keep the air circulating.”
Have big plans for your lady shed, but not sure how to recruit help?
“Make a party out of it for your friends,” said Kotite. “Get pizza, beer and have some fun. If you feed people, they will come.”
Decorate Your She Shed to Match Your Style
After construction is complete, make sure to enhance the inside with some of your favorite things! This way the space will truly become yours and no one else’s.
“It’s my space. Just mine,” said Kelley, who does make room for shih-poo Sophie on the shed’s futon.
“My husband gets the living room, my mom has the family room and my daughter loves her room,” she added. “This has given us our space during the day.”
And there are so many ways to decorate!
“I’ve seen a few eclectic she sheds, but most of time the styles fall into one of four categories: modern, rustic, romantic and bohemian,” said Kotite.
Originally from Maryland, but now living in and loving Florida, Kelley said she wanted to create a coastal-inspired office in her backyard she shed, which is about 20 minutes from the shore.
“I am a beach bum,” she said. “It is bright coastal cottage in here.”
And she made sure to perfectly position her she shed in the backyard to get an ideal view of palm trees and the pool!
“I need a quiet, focused space where I can feel creative, and I feel so creative in here,” said Kelley. “It’s changed (my life) so much just in two weeks!”
Photos courtesy of Lindsay Kelley and Erika Kotite.