Transformation of a She-Shed

Hi there! It's Jen, and I'm excited to introduce you to a series of recurring blog posts I’ll be sharing intermittently over the coming months. We’re calling it: “The Transformation of a She-Shed.” I’ll be taking you through the renovation process (all the way from “pie-in-the-sky” to nuts-and-bolts reality) of an existing workshop in our back yard. You see, I want to turn that workshop/shed into my dream office. Because, let’s face it, working at the dining room table gets old…fast. 

I know many of you out there also work from home, at least part of the time. I'm hoping my  journey transforming this space will spark ideas and conversations that will help you on your own journey in creating an inspiring work space somewhere in your home. 

Quartzite Countertops

Now, one important thing I need to warn you about: When I say “pie-in-the-sky,” I mean pie-in-the-sky. This renovation project is not actually even on the home budget radar...yet. My hope is that by throwing it out to the universe as something that I want to make happen, I'm bringing it one step closer to it really making it happen. I know, I know, that’s all kind of hippy dippy of me maybe, but you just never know, right? Can’t hurt, anyway.

I also should say that I haven’t yet put much thought into this project as far as what exactly I want to see happen out there. So these blog posts will be as much about exploring ideas and possibilities and dreams as they will be about sharing the actual transformation as it (hopefully!!) unfolds. Since this space is essentially a blank slate, and I don’t have one singular image of what I want it to look like when it’s done, I would love, love, love your advice, input and suggestions as I toss around ideas along the way! So I hope you’ll join me down this path towards renovation. 

Here is what I DO know:

  • I want this workshop to become my office for my interior design work (at home, but not in the house).

  • Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed of a light, bright, airy office with lots of windows (this space definitely doesn't have tons of big windows, but I think I can achieve the light, bright, airy effect...).

  • It needs to be insulated, and heated in winter, cooled in summer.

  • There is electricity out there now (although I bet you anything it’s not to code!).

  • If we’re going to do this project, I want it to be done well. I want it to look and feel like an extension of our home, not like I’m going to work in a shed rigged up to look like an office.

  • And I know what you're all wondering right now: What's the budget, Jen? And yes, I know that's the single most important question to ask a client from the get go. But, I'm not good at being my own client.  And remember, I did tell you we're very much still in the pie-in-the-sky phase, so my answer (and I know you're all going to roll your eyes at this) is: I don't know...yet. But, hang in there, I'll figure it out, I promise. For now, humor me. 

O.k, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s talk about the space...

Part One: The Space

I put together this little video tour for you to give you an idea of what we’re working with. Plus, I wanted to share some of the amazing details the previous homeowner included in this workshop of his. His hobby was woodworking, and when we bought this home, all of his woodworking tools and equipment were back here and in the basement.

He loved coming out here to create. We were even told that he purposefully did not include any windows in the workshop design that faced the house because he didn’t want his wife always checking in on him! As a compromise, however, he did install an intercom system for her so she could call him out here (obviously this was way pre-cell phone era!). We’ve never been able to get the intercom system to work, but it’s kind of a fascinating ancient relic to see!

He also built a wine fridge cabinet and stem rack for glasses. I bring up al these details because I want you to know that there’s so much soul and character in this structure. And, as much as I do want to make it my own, to create a warm, bright, inviting place for me to create, I worry that I’ll rob it of all its personality. That it’ll become just one more suburban white-walled home office. It’s pretty darn special to begin with, and even as I change it to suit my needs, I want it to remain special. That’s where I’ll need your help, suggestions, and advice along the way--how to reinterpret it to suit my needs and personality, while still maintaining the integrity of the original structure?

(And can I just add here how amazingly exciting it was to learn how to embed a video into this blog?!?  I even had to set up our very own YouTube channel to do it! Maybe next time we'll even show our faces in the video--that's going to take major courage and support though from all of you though because just hearing my voice on this makes me cringe in horror!!)

Trim Design Co. cofounder tours the backyard shed she will renovate into her own interior design home office.

And here are some still photos of the shed in the likely event you don’t feel like hearing my annoying voice on the video:

So, please, hit me with your initial thoughts, feelings, reactions! Would love to hear some of just your first gut feelings about this this space and the project! Feel free to shout them out here in the comments section or on Instagram. Next week we'll dive into some initial space planning ideas that might work...

As always, thank you for stopping by and have a great week!

--Jen