A Room of One’s Own: How to Create Your Own She Shed

by Matt Solis


A she shed is a personal, private retreat where you can relax or explore a hobby. Photo: Landmark Landscapes (2016)

Why does it seem that every time you sit down, you get interrupted? The phone rings, the kids start fighting, your spouse can’t find the remote…inside our own homes, we can feel like we’re constantly forced to multitask or put someone else’s needs before our own. But what if there was a place where everything was different: a room of your own, made just the way you like it? Imagine a place where you could enjoy a respite from the distractions of daily life or pursue a hobby that brings you joy. And wouldn’t it be perfect if this room was just a few steps from your back door? If this sounds like a tempting proposition, then perhaps what you need is a “she shed.”

A she shed is a place where you can fully devote time to yourself and your interests. These small rooms (usually converted sheds or garages) are remodeled and decorated to suit one’s fancy. You can fill it with objects that comfort or inspire you and add personal touches that reflect your design sensibility. Best of all, a she shed is all about you. No need to furnish it in neutralizing tones (unless that’s your preference)—this is a space where your design fantasies can come to life. Ready to get started? Here are some things to think about when creating your backyard retreat:

1. How will your she shed reflect you and your design aesthetic? Go online, search through magazines and maybe even consult a professional designer. Take time to consider what color schemes and furnishing styles you like best. Let your imagination go wild. Then, turn those ideas into your reality.

2. While some people long for nothing more than a single small room with a desk, others have more ambitious plans. A she shed can be a very simple, ascetic space, or it can be a full-sized guest house with room for an artist’s studio, a walk-in closet and extra sleeping quarters for friends. Think about what size and level of luxury you desire for your she shed.


When creating a she shed, think about how you’ll design and decorate the space. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2016)

3. If you have a hobby you want to explore, be sure to design your she shed with this in mind. Maybe you’ll need full sunlight to illuminate the canvases you imagine painting. Consider soundproofing the space if you plan on playing guitar into the early hours of the morning. If you’re an avid gardener, make sure you have space for your tools and other supplies. Think about your passion projects and anticipate your needs.

4. Utility requirements in she sheds can vary greatly. Some imagine a simple, no-frills cabin without water or electricity. But maybe you imagine watching movies there or making tea for friends. It also makes a big difference if you plan on using the space year-round or only on mild summer nights. Check with your local municipality to learn about permitting. Depending on your plans, you may need the following:

  • Electricity
  • High-speed internet
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Heating
  • Air conditioning or ceiling fans

5. Will you invite guests or is the space just for you? Installing benches along the walls can create extra seating for friends. A loft can create additional space for sleeping or storage.

6. Think about your she shed’s exterior space, too. Some choose to create storybook footpaths leading back to their little rooms. Put your personal touch on the space by surrounding it with your favorite flowers and plants. You may want to take advantage of mild days by adding patio furniture such as a small café table and chairs.

Whatever you decide to do with your she shed, remember: this time, you don’t need to compromise with anyone else—the space is just for you. Enjoy!

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