BY CHRISTINE BRUN
FOR RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017
Tiny She Sheds
A woman needs her privacy! Every young mother with toddlers realizes sooner or later that they follow you around like puppies. Longed-for adoration and sweet dependency can feel different at the end of a long day with three kids calling your name repeatedly while you try to unload groceries. There is no alone time, even when you are in the bathroom. These days are comical, but only when looking back at them from a safe distance. Erika Kotite, former editor-in-chief of Romantic Homes magazine, says there are ways to create a special retreat in your home.
Women often shoulder a great deal of the child-care responsibility in American homes, and even as a family grows and leaves, women multitask out of habit. "As women we handle a heavy load of responsibility: Jobs, marriage, children, household chores, and social obligations," says Kotite. "Days will go by and we must ask, 'Have we had one minute alone?" In her book "She Sheds: A Room of Your Own" are ideas for "she sheds," or spaces utilized to regenerate and revive one's spirit. It goes without saying that even though these gloriously selfish spaces are extremely tiny pieces of heaven, anyone who has the space and the means to prepare one is beyond fortunate! The book includes guidelines for either building a she shed from a kit or restoring an old shed.
Unlike the male concept for a retreat space, known as a man cave, these delicate spaces generally do not include TVs, electronics, games, bars and pool tables. Instead, they tend to be devoted to comfort and decorated according to a specific purpose. "She Sheds" offers numerous depictions of potting sheds and artist studios, which is hands down the most favored type. You will see an art escape in Australia, a meditative Bali-inspired retreat in Oregon and a salvaged shed in Texas. One woman in New Hampshire turned an elegant she shed into a tacking shed for her three horses. Women today are a diverse group, and our needs are as unique as our individual circumstances.
For renters and those who cannot erect a stand-alone building, consider the inspired ideas for a second bedroom, loft space or attic. Throughout my design career, I've met women who have created amazing sewing rooms devoted to quilting. We arduously measured and calculated how to best store stacks of fabrics, threads, patterns and old quilts, and custom woodwork was involved. Others have analyzed their supplies and ordered off-the-shelf storage units that work in the allotted space. One woman had an impressive card-making station in a spare bedroom. The closet had been commandeered to hold hundreds of tiny pieces used to create her paper treasures, and her wrap-around desk was designed with precision to accommodate all the trimmings and embellishments that she utilizes. Each custom greeting card was a true work of art.
The components that matter a great deal for a successful she shed seem to be windows, light, the color of the walls, the possibility of privacy and the style that makes you feel the most nurtured. This space may be the one place in your home where you can dip into your more feminine side and take it to the limit, or dig into a hobby for which you have great passion. Maybe it's a place for an avid fly fisherwoman to tie flies, or a place for a workbench to use to make jewelry. Women's range of interests knows no bounds.
Photo Credit: Jeff Doubet
Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at [email protected] To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.