A she-shed is the perfect solution for some peace and beauty in your landscaping.
It is no secret that I have a wee little love affair with flowers and outdoor living. And the idea of having a special spot for relaxing, creating and cottage gardening sounded pretty amazing - and the idea of installing a she-shed was born.
A disclaimer: This she-shed isn't just a shed.
It is a flower-arranging dream place. A girl's-night-in, dinner-party-in-the-garden, relaxing-with-a-book, or working-on-the-computer retreat. And it is even a spot for sleeping on those hot summer nights. It is definitely a French cottage retreat for me - and installing it was much easier than you might think.
We started our she-shed dreaming with a charming shed kit that was full of windows and cottage charm. This is a prefab greenhouse kit - meaning it is prefabricated panels and pieces which makes building it much easier and faster.
Tip: Know your area building code and what you need to do before building. And if you are not familiar with power tools such as saws, make sure you hire a contractor or construction-savvy friend help out.
Step 1: Level the yard
We started by leveling an area of our yard to build the shed. Though the shed instructions state that you do not need a foundation, we put in a simple raised foundation to keep it off the ground (and away from moisture) and to allow for a European-style pea gravel floor.
Step 2: Place and secure wall panels
After allowing for the foundation to dry, it was time to start putting up the wall panels. The walls were prefabricated pieces, complete with windows pre-installed, and they went up quickly. Each panel was secured to the next panel and to the foundation with a bolt.
One panel, two panels, three panels, four panels and so on, until all the walls were up.
Step 3: Add top gable
Once the walls were all up, it was time to add the top gable end areas.
This is definitely not a one-man job - some of these panels are quite heavy and took three of us holding and lifting to get installed, so enlist your bodybuilder friends to help out.
The upper peak panels have cut out areas for the vents to be installed as well, which will allow for nice airflow through the greenhouse.
Step 4: Install rafters
Then it was installing the rafters. I have to say, the great thing about this kit is that every single board was numbered and the instructions corresponded with the numbers, which makes it much easier to construct and get it right the first time. And since it was a prefab kit, that meant that each piece was ready to slot into the next. The rafters were also prefab in each section, and then it was time for the roof panels and finishing touches such as corner trim, vent installation, fascia boards and a coat of paint.
The clear plastic roofing panels are simply installed right on the rafters with bolts for a clean and sun-filled look year round.
Step 5: Add paint and final touches
Once the basic shed construction was wrapped and it was painted inside and out, it was time for landscaping and making this feel like a little retreat in the yard.
Honestly, I could probably do an entire post just on cottage gardens and how to get that charming overgrown mingling look. We made several trips to the garden center to get the filled-in look, and I started with some cottage garden favorites - foxgloves, lavender, boxwood, white roses and verbena.
We also found several large wisteria that were already tall and stately for the corners.
Tip: Make sure to till up the soil well and mix in quite a bit of potting soil to help amend it when planting your new plants. Our dirt is full of a lot of clay and plants struggle sometimes, so it is always a good idea to give them the best start you can by amending the soil and giving them a nutrient-rich base to start growing in.
One by one the plants went in. The wildflower seeds started to grow and the path to the shed was filled with pea gravel.
And here is how it turned out:
A fresh coat of cottage white paint created a charming backdrop for the colors of nature. The dutch door was one of my favorite features about this greenhouse kit.
The garden is growing in beautifully. We have planter areas around the front and each side, as well as on the sides of the pea gravel path. We used whiskey-barrel planters to give the garden a little more character and a vintage picket fence to create a small side yard on one side where we could string cafe lights for evening ambiance.
On the other side of the path, wildflowers cover a grassy hill.
And just beyond that next to the greenhouse, there is a small table for garden dining.
An area for work and play. A place to inspire and dream. And a spot to relax. The inside of the she-shed is all about creating a space to escape to and hideaway for a bit. And for me, that means French cottage charm, elegance and lots of flowers.
Inside you will find an antique French daybed that is as comfortable as it is pretty.
And a sitting area lit by a beautiful vintage inspired chandelier.
The daybed does double duty and is pretty much perfection in this European inspired spot. It serves as a spot to sit during the day and also a spot for a nap or spending the night outdoors with all those windows open. It is also perfect for guests as an extra bed.
Another spot that is a favorite- an area where we added shelves to create a place for play. For me that means clipping and arranging flowers, but it would be easy to use this area for a wide variety of things.
At night, this charming little shed absolutely glows and feels like a tiny house in the backyard.
What do you think of our new little spot to escape?
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