Forget man caves - she sheds are taking over New Zealand gardens! These standalone structures provide a haven from a busy life, a unique entertaining space, even a workshop or HQ for a small business. But once you’ve invested, what exactly are the best things to put in a she shed, and how best should they be decorated?
We’re answering all those questions and more with our 10 she shed archetypes. Simply pick the design that’s right for you and follow our advice to create a she shed space that’s truly yours.
The Quiet Space
One of the most appealing reasons for having a she shed is escapism - getting a space to yourself: a place to think, to create, to rest and recharge, getting away from the hustle, bustle, messes and stresses of your usual life.
For the ultimate recharging station, keep it simple. Minimal furniture; a bed, a table, a sofa, and some shelves for keeping the things that matter most to you close. A rustic or ocean-inspired design is a great place to start. Think pale colours (pastels are great), breezy curtains and bare wood.
The Artist’s Studio
She sheds make for excellent outdoor studio spaces, providing you with a quiet, private place to practise whatever art takes your fancy. Create a classic painting studio, with the doors thrown open to nature and filled with greenery to help inspire, or create a potter’s studio where more workspace is the order of the day.
No matter what art you pursue, you’ll need plenty of places to keep your materials. Consider putting up some inspiring decor (perhaps some of your own work!) and a dedicated workstation or two with task lighting to assist with fine detailing and artistic mastery.
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The Gardener’s Dream
Putting the ‘shed’ back into she shed, a she shed makes for an excellent gardener's retreat. Whether used as a potting shed, tool storage space, or nursery, she sheds provide plenty of room for the budding gardener and can often be found filled to the brim with seedlings and plants that aren’t quite ready to meet the outside world yet.
For this style of she-shed, try going for an earthy, spare design, with an emphasis on rich browns and reds. If you’d prefer not to use your she shed purely as a workstation but still want the plant-y goodness, aim instead for the light touch. Wicker furniture, hanging pots and plenty of flat surfaces for your precious plants is a surefire win.
The Sun Room
Everyone needs a little more sunlight in their life, and she sheds make for excellent summer retreats, giving you the perfect space to soak up some rays with the comfort of a good book, a good friend, or just a good nap! This is why some people choose to convert their greenhouses into she-sheds - more windows means more light.
Sun room style she sheds also make for excellent entertaining spaces. If you plan to have guests around to enjoy your sun room as well, keep the space minimalist to ensure that people don’t feel cramped. Some fresh summer flowers (grown from your own garden) and greenery will put the finishing touches on your space.
The Home Office
Sometimes, all you need from your she shed is a place to work in peace. Home offices can quickly fill up with files and paperwork, and before you know it, they start invading the living room, the bedroom and the garage too.
A home office she shed offers a space away from the home, offering both peace and quiet for better productivity as well as the chance to literally separate your work and home life.
The decor of home office she sheds is often minimalist, in keeping with the “less is more” philosophy. Whether big picture thinking or just trying to crunch through a few emails, fewer distractions will help you be more productive and “cut the noise” when you need to concentrate. That doesn’t mean you should leave the space blank, however. Think potted desk plants, inspirational quotes on the walls, and a couple of different working spaces to vary up your day.
The Small Business HQ
Running your own business takes a lot of work - and space. It’s why so many people choose to use their she shed as a small business HQ, combining features from workshops, offices, and potentially even using it as a retail or online shopfront.
Your design decisions will vary depending on your business, but keeping things light and bright is generally a good idea. Clean and modern looks will help you stay focused and sharp on your business while still allowing for practicalities like storage, work stations and more.
Like all small business owners, you’ll likely end up in your small business HQ more often than not. If you plan to burn the midnight oil, including some seating and potentially even a bed is a good idea to avoid bothering your family if you get some late night inspiration.
The Craft Room
Sewing, sculpture, electronics - for many she shed owners, creativity and craft are their raison d’etre. A she shed offers a space to indulge in that creativity without filling up the main home with supplies and tools of the trade, not to mention avoiding distraction.
For design, keep things as open as possible. You want plenty of space to create, no matter what craft you practice, so keep things simple. Shelving and storage should take priority, as should a work space. We recommend placing a work station near your windows to ensure the best possible natural lighting.
The Guest House
A guest house she shed is a great choice for anyone who wants to be able to always have a place for friends and family to stay over. It instantly gives you a spare bedroom and, depending on your design choices, even a whole living space so your guests can get ready in comfort without needing to come into the main house.
Depending on your conditions, you may even be able to use it as an AirBnB space for when friends and family aren’t using it.
For an inviting, adaptable feel, we recommend using neutral tones throughout your she shed guest house. White, creams, and greys are a good choice, as are pale blues and greens. This will give your guest house she shed a sense of cleanliness and calm, but without the sterility that a minimalist design might evoke.
A special note: If you want your guest house to have cooking facilities or plumbing, you’ll need to get a specialist in to perform the work, and may need to consult your local council.
The Backyard Library
A backyard library can have a few design choices. You could go for classic darks and rich woods for a cosy space to snuggle up in, or you could go bright and cheerful, which is especially good if you want your kids to use the reading space as well.
Either way, storage and seating is king, so make sure to invest in good quality bookshelves and chairs. A chaise lounge is an especially good treat for those who like to sprawl - and don’t forget a coffee or side table for the mandatory cup of tea or coffee!
A library she shed also makes for a fantastic entertaining area. If you’d like to invite guests into your reading nook, simply increase your sitting area - you may also want to invest in a dedicated refreshments spot.
The Granny Flat
If you’ve got kids coming back home after university or parents coming to live with you in their later years, a she shed can be converted into a granny flat too. All you need to do is add a sofa, some end tables, a bed and voila, you’re done.
If you’d like to install a toilet or cooking facilities, you’ll need to get wiring and plumbing done by a professional. You might also want to have insulation installed. Our range of she sheds are designed to be easy to insulate by a professional.
And if the granny flat isn’t being used any more? It’s easy to convert into any of the other styles listed here.
Looking to invest in a she shed to expand your living and working space without the hassle of an extension? Get in touch with the team at Outpost Buildings to discover our range of options.