She Shed, Garden Room, Small Wooden Box? Call it what you like, but I will call it Heaven. It’s finished, well almost, nothing is ever truly finished in this house but I’m pretty damn close. I was determined to have it done and dusted before the garden becomes a giant muddy hole next week, I knew it would slip further and further down the priority list once the extension is underway if not.
Lets start by going back to the beginning – creation/ construction, the slippery slope into storage facility, a goods out department for the ongoing house declutter phase of my life. To be honest it was an invaluable dumping space at the time, allowing me to rid the house of all the bits and pieces that seemed to just hang around on surfaces, bulge out of over filled cupboards, cascade down the stairs, it was gone and I could then come back to it with a clear mind a few weeks later. Lets not forget the month it was packed to the ceiling with donations for the Syrian Refugees, that was a good month for this little shed.
That said, I was so excited once I got it back to a nice clear space, it was so much easier to envisage what it could be once all distraction were gone. No more clutter, that is a promise.
My husband built the structure about 2 years ago, almost exclusively from recycled pallet wood and some other bits and bobs he had lying around. I’m so proud of him, he made it up as he went along but still managed to create exactly what I had imagined in my mind.
The girls love the Playhouse/ Climbing frame on the side, Stu even made the slide from old Aluminium printing plates, he’s a clever one. Our garden isn’t huge, an L-shape around the house, but the same rules apply outside as they do inside the house, use what space you DO have well. This structure provides me with a work/ play room, the girls with a playhouse, 2 climbing walls, slide and swing, under the slide is a wood store. The roof has potted plants that attract lots of wildlife, Stu has tomatoes growing away happily up there, many wild flowers have made themselves at home, I can see foxgloves as I look up through the skylights, which were made from recycled glass…all this in a previously unused area under the Willow tree.
With 2 children under 5 and being a stay at home mother for nearly 5 years now I’ve felt the need for a place all for myself grow and grow, even more so since starting my blog earlier in the year. This is the perfect calm, inspiring space and exactly what I had hoped it would become.
I wanted to keep the space quite neutral, taking my cue from it’s outlook, the garden (very much work in progress) pure white walls offset the wood details of the Birch Ply desk, leftovers from making the Kitchen table, the Beech Ferm Living round Dorm shelf, a piece I have wanted for some time now. It was initially meant for the extension, once built, but I think it has found it’s true home here, even if it was by accident.
I’ve coveted the Fine Little Day ‘Up’ print since I first saw it on Pinterest a few years ago, but until now have never had the right space for it, but when I saw the Scandinavian Design Centre had it on offer and adding it to my Ferm Living Dorm shelf order would get me free postage, well that’s just fate talking isn’t it! It’s still on sale by the way – quick!
The copper framed mirrors on the wall were from Maisons Du Monde, but frustratingly they all arrived smashed, due to bad packaging. I got a full refund then had the glass replaced by a local company, which cost less than the originals in the end, so all in all I’m rather happy, I think they are the details that really make this space so special. I love how they reflect the greenery of the Willow, which grows over from behind the building, enveloping from above, giving a sense of seclusion and secrecy when you’re inside.
The arm chair was a lucky right time, right place freebie from the side of the road last week, spotted en route to playgroup with the girls. It had a horrible green velour cover which I soon ripped off to reveal a much more tasteful, if a bit sunbleached, sage green. Here are the girls in the van thinking what the hell is our mother on? You’d think they would be used to it by now, thank heavens for driving a vehicle that means I can randomly pick up furniture on a whim!
Another detail that I absolutely love and helps further illustrate the idea that small can still be worthwhile are the book alcoves that make up the door frame/ front walls. I’ve struggled for somewhere to keep my books ever since we got rid of the floor to ceiling shelves in the living room, shelves in the house = mess, a surface to dump things on, my solution to this was rip them down, but my books have sat unloved in boxes ever since. Now they almost form a part of the structure itself, I think Stu would like to say this was an intentional detail but I’m pretty sure it’s just a happy turn of events, after all nothing was planned, freeform and perfect. There’s a rack on the ceiling to store away wrapping paper and posters, previously these awkward, easy to crease bits and bobs had been cluttering up the top of the cupboard in the kitchen, but now are neatly stashed, using an otherwise unusable space.
The floor is painted white, just like the walls, this helps make the floor area seem bigger and I love the contrast with the rug, which my parents gave us a few years ago. It just so happens to be the exact width, isn’t it brilliant when things just seem destined to be right.
Throughout the room I haven’t tried to cover up the fact it is made from rough and ready materials, the pallet wood was a pain in the arse to paint, I won’t lie to you, but so worth the effort. I love the random holes here and there from the bazillion nails Stu pulled out by hand, reusing many, making this not only a wonderfully cheap build, but also one with a nod to the environment.
Don’t forget to pin this blog to come back to later, maybe for inspo for your own project..