Virginia Woolf’s famous essays entitled, ‘A Room of One’s Own’ referred to the difficulties facing female writers in the 1920’s. She said, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Today, we have so many more opportunities to pursue creativity in whatever form we may wish to but the fact remains that women of today still need a quiet place to escape to no matter what their individual pursuit may be. While men may happily have their ‘man caves’ to escape domesticity, we are seeing a rise in the “she-shed”. I admit, it’s a bit of a silly word (no one calls the structures we have that house bikes or tools a ‘he-shed’, right?) but the principal is actually one I love. A simple place outside of the immediate home that a woman can go for respite, relaxation and creativity.
Today, I’m sharing some inspiration if you wish to create your own ‘she-shed’ in your garden. As you’ll see, it can take many forms – whether that’s an artist or yoga studio, a place for crafts or to tend to plants or simply a spot to have a cup of tea (or let’s be honest, a large glass of wine) after a long day.
During summer rains, you can still enjoy the great outdoors by utilising the space as an extra dining area by incorporating wicker or rattan seating and a dining table. Consider using an inexpensive or second hand table and covering it with a linen tablecloth and candle sticks for an elegant feel. Keep the look cool and comfortable in the summer heat using white as the dominant colour with touches of silver and blue.
When Maggie Overby’s parents needed a makeover, they called on her quirky vintage style to give the whole back garden a new look. Utilising existing treasures as well as found pieces, Maggie was inspired by the laid back lifestyle of New Orleans to create a casual and fun ‘she shed’ for her mum. Consider using your own vintage finds and utilise unusual items for an eclectic look.Finding Silver Pennies used this as inspiration for her beautiful coastal inspired she shed in her back garden. Even if you don’t live near the coast, you can create the feeling of being by the sea by incorporating natural and organic elements into your space like plants, branches and shells. Keep the space light and airy and be inspired by the cool colours of the seaside.
Over on Hometalk, this blogger decided to create a lovely little cottage style she shed for her granddaughters’ visits. Bringing in a pastel scheme, the cottage charms with window boxes and shutters. Treat your ‘she-shed’ as an extension of your own home by creating a style that works well with your own interior style.
Kevin Cameron dismantled a disused shed and rebuilt it using reclaimed windows to create a beautiful garden greenhouse getaway for his wife, Heather as showcased in Country Living. This beautiful space is elegantly dressed with beautiful pieces including two grand chandeliers. For shabby chic elegance, incorporate soft florals and neutral tones and compliment the look with lots of cut and potted flowers to bring the outdoors in.
Kirsten Whitby of the blog Ella Claire created this stunning retreat at the back of her garden for relaxing away from the home. Using pale fabrics and a large corner sofa along with accessories with a garden theme, the setting is soft and feminine. Incorporate some vintage pieces in your design to give your space a feeling of home.
What elements would you add to your perfect space? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.