Monday, February 11, 2019

She Sheds and She Sheds Style by Erika Kotite

Reviewed by Ambrea

Like the man cave, “she sheds” are a place where a person can get away and enjoy the peace of their own space.  For the most part, these sheds are lovingly decorated but fully functioning spaces that are outside of the house—such as in a shed.  (However, they can be made however and wherever the builder so desires.)  These spaces are small, impactful places where ladies can go to simply getaway or indulge in their creative pursuits.

Needless to say, I was intrigued.  I love gardening in the spring and summer, so the thought of having a place to prepare and store seeds, hang my tools, and yet still have an enjoyable space of my own was a wonderful idea.  Plus, who doesn’t want a hideaway where they can sit and read for a couple hours in peace?  I picked up both She Sheds:  A Room of Your Own and She Sheds Style:  Make Your Space Your Own by Erika Kotite to start some research.

I quickly realized that she sheds can be a lot more intricate than simply plotting a pre-fabricated shed into your backyard.  In Kotite’s books, she details the ways in which she sheds can be built—discussing building resources, offering tips on re-purposing and recycling handy materials, as well as reviewing how to build a she shed from a kit—and delves into the decorating side to cover everything from functional and fabulous to barnyard chic.

Honestly, it’s quite a lot to take in when you know absolutely nothing about building or refurbishing a shed.  And that’s not even getting into the tiny details like electrical wiring, paint palettes, architectural details, and decoration.  It’s a bit daunting to say the least.

Although Kotite has many easy projects, as well as several budget-friendly suggestions, her books can feel a little overwhelming.  I liked many of the ideas I saw; in particular, I was very interested in the designing and building a she shed from a kit (which is detailed in She Sheds) and I loved the herringbone pattern brick floor she mentions in She Sheds Style.  However, I noticed many of the sheds she featured were incredibly complex and, in some cases, seemed humongous.  I realize all of the she sheds featured are just examples and a person can customize a she shed how they like, but I couldn’t help but feel that these projects were just way too much for me.

Plus, I had questions, like:  how do you keep a shed cool and breezy?  (I know from personal experience that they can get miserably hot in the summer, and I wouldn’t want to spend five minutes there let alone let it serve as a “getaway.”)  How do you combat humidity, especially if you’re planning to store materials that could be damaged?  What are your lighting options if you don’t have electricity?  How do you keep the mosquitoes or other creepy crawlies away?  I have more, but those were the most pressing and I don’t think they were quite answered.  I may not have done a deep enough reading, though.

Overall, I think She Sheds and She Sheds Style were interesting books.  They have helpful information, they have beautiful pictures, and they are enjoyable to browse.  I know I was certainly inspired to build my own shed; however, I think I’ll keep it simple and very budget friendly.  Dutch doors and wrought iron décor are cute and all, but maybe not realistic for my garden shed.

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