All The Things in My Work-from-Home Paradise I Can’t Live Without
Have you ever wanted to have your own special space where you can be creative and get away from the world? With all manner of foster kids, dogs and surprise long-term guests, getting a space of my own – outside the four walls of my house – was imperative if I ever wanted to work another productive day in my life. Plus, the deadline for my memoir was fast approaching and there was no way I was going to get it done amid the insanity of day-to-day life. I needed an office of my own.
Enter my She Shed from Coastal Portable Buildings! She’s a 16×28 beast with a metal roof, a huge loft and an adorable little garden in progress. We divided her into two sections, my space and Rick’s space, which let’s be real, is just storage for his various hobbies. The whole thing is absolutely big enough to be its own house, and who knows? Maybe someday we’ll buy some land and drop it out there to live out our tiny house dreams. In the meantime…
What do you put in a She Shed?
It took more than a year from conceptualization to move-in date, and we had lots of hiccups with permitting, drywall and weather, but finally, in December, I moved into my dream space. I thought that would be the easiest part, but it’s been tricky finding exactly what to put in my She Shed. Now that I’ve had a few months to get settled in, I wanted to share the features and amenities that have turned my She Shed from empty shell to perfect spot to write books and daydream.
From the beginning, I knew I needed a multipurpose space. Not just a home office with a desk, but a place to read and write, to do yoga and meditate, to paint and craft and garden. I’m somewhere in between my world traveler and Coastal Grandmother era, so that all makes perfect sense.
In this post, I’m sharing some of the features in my She Shed that are giving me life – they make me feel extra inspired every day. From comfy furniture to stylish accents and whimsical touches, check out these She Shed ideas to inspire your hideaway.
10 Things Every She Shed Needs
I divided the space into 4 main sections – arts & crafts, yoga & meditation, reading & writing and flex space, which is mostly for filming reels and shooting product photos. Every piece inside is light enough to move on my own, so I can change things up as my whims dictate. I’ve already had the desk in about 4 different spots just depending on my mood. That flexibility suits me, so I don’t think I’ll be adding any permanent storage or fixtures anytime soon.
On a good day when I’m not too frazzled, I like to start the day by reading the Bible in my little meditation corner, maybe jotting some notes down in my journal and doing a 10-minute Peloton meditation on my yoga mat. I intend to eventually add Peloton yoga classes into that morning routine, and I’ll do that right here because I have all the gear: mats, blocks, towels, socks, straps. In the early days of planning out the space I imagined a full gym area, but we set that up in the main house now and it doesn’t make sense to move it.
Finally all my craft supplies have somewhere to live in my little She Shed art nook! I’ve got more paints and paintbrushes than a person who paints maybe once a year should have… but maybe that’ll change now that I’ve got a dedicated spot to get my art on. I have an easel, a dozen blank canvases, tall storage bins for fabric, glue, glitter, scissors, beads. If you need a craft done on short notice, I’ve probably got a bigger selection than Michael’s so pop on over. Now I just have to actually make time to MAKE something.
Now for the shoppable goodies…
You won’t be surprised to know that I couldn’t sit still for all the money in the world, and I have never been able to sit with my feet on the floor. It used to make my Great Gram so angry! But now I realize that I’m not rude… it’s actually biological. And it makes sitting at a desk for long periods (required when you’re a writer, unfortunately) extra tough. I came across the Pipersong chair on Instagram and while it was more than I wanted to spend on a desk chair, I can’t think of another piece of furniture in the whole place that is more important since I use it so much. I ordered the newer model, the Pipersong Plus – it’s a bit bigger in the seat and has even more functionality than the OG.
Do I love the Pipersong? I really do. It’s the most comfortable office chair I’ve ever had. There are countless ways to sit, including cross-legged, squatting and kneeling, so I can wiggle and move as much as I want. I use a Pomodoro timer when I’m working to make sure I stay focused and also get up to move and drink water every 25 minutes, so I also make sure to switch positions on the Pipersong when I do that. It’s not like any other desk chair I’ve ever had, and that’s a very good thing. I stopped sitting on my legs since I got the Pipersong, and that’s a hard habit to break.
Check pricing and availability of the Pipersong meditation chair (they aren’t often in stock, so if you see it, snap it up!)
The only issue I’ve had with it so far is the white leather has absorbed dye from my jeans so now it’s tinged blue. I wish I had known that could happen – I would’ve chosen a different color.
Instagram-Famous Wicker Egg Chair
On the topic of seating, I wanted a big statement chair for my reading nook, so after watching prices and researching for months, I bought the famous egg chair from Better Homes & Gardens. I love that it lends some vertical height and interest to the space, and that it’s not a couch so the temptation to nap doesn’t overpower me too much. (Although to date, I have slept on the egg chair and on the floor on my yoga mat, so maybe that doesn’t matter too much.)
Skywalker thinks I bought it just for him. He’ll sit there for hours, little feet crossed, watching Mom write the next bestseller. (fingers crossed)
Simple Glass and Gold Desk
A few years ago, Rick built me a huge desk out of solid core wood doors in my home office, and I adore it, but I didn’t want anything so imposing or permanent in the She Shed. This smaller desk helps me prevent paperwork / clutter because it’s so compact. It fits a laptop or two and the essentials, and that’s all a writer should have on her desk if she doesn’t want to be distracted by stacks of BILLS. I also love the glass and gold look. It’s clean and classic and will match just about any other design elements I might decide to add in. Check it out: Inexpensive gold and glass desk on Amazon
Jumbo Dry Erase Board
It’s the dry erase board of my dreams! I found it at Hobby Lobby for 75% off, so it was a steal. Rather than hanging on the wall, Rick built a ledge so the board rests on it along with my markers. I like these multicolored, fine point ones with magnets so they can hang out on the board or on the ledge.
Alexa Echo Dot
I held out as long as I could on the smart home devices, but I admit now that I’m in love with Alexa. We’ve got one in the kitchen at home and one in the She Shed. I’m sure they have so many more capabilities than what I use, and there’s no doubt *they* are listening in on what’s going on in my house. Fortunately, it’s not much more than me talking to my dogs and singing Britney Spears songs while I cook.
When I walk into the She Shed every morning, I say, “Alexa, start my day” and I’m treated to a compliment, a Bible verse, the weather, updates on Amazon packages and then the best part, my curated playlist that always gets me going. That routine is all it takes to put me in the right headspace to get down to business. (Alexa: add “Let’s Get Down to Business” from Mulan to my playlist).
I am connected to Apple Music so I have playlists to get me through all parts of my day. Taylor Swift on repeat is my go-to book-writing soundtrack, obviously. And yes, I have a specific playlist for when I have to write strongly worded letters. It’s called “My Evil Twin.”
You can control so many devices through the Alexa, either via voice or on your phone. It’s just made life that much easier.
Check out Alexa devices on Amazon.
Also in the world of smart home devices I never thought I’d need and now don’t want to live without: smart plugs! We used them this year for our Christmas trees, scheduling the lights to come on in the Alexa app. It’s all so easy and I love that I can do it from my phone just in case we aren’t home and would like it to look like we are. You can also turn on or off with voice control, so it’s basically the modern version of The Clapper.
Our whole system from house to cottage to She Shed is Schlage-based, and I will never use keys again! It’s just so easy to have codes programmed for each place, and even for each person who might need access. You can set it up where codes only work on certain times or dates, say if a repair person is coming or maybe a dog-sitter. So convenient. No one is ever locked out, unless you need them to be.
Smart Light Bulbs
Yes, my She Shed even has smart light bulbs. I got the Amazon Basics ones that work with Alexa to transition from day-to-night projects in the She Shed. Love that I can do a soft hazy light if I’m just chilling or a bright light if I need it for crafts or detailed projects. I’ve also scheduled holiday-themed light shows so if you’re driving by at night, you’ll be treated to what looks like a red-and-green rave coming from the shed. The neighbors must be so confused.
Bookshelves & Display Cabinets
I’m not one to collect books – I mostly read on Kindle or Audible these days – but I still have my fair share of Jane Austen editions and of course, my friends’ books which are my absolute favorite to display. Much as I’d love to turn the whole She Shed into a Beast-like library I can frolic and sing in all day, I am purposely keeping shelving to a minimum to avoid hoarding. I got this simple white and gold bookshelf to hold the lion’s share of my books and knick-knacks, and this cute little IKEA cabinet for special items. (Like my original T-Mobile Sidekick and the camera I used for photography classes in Paris. A time capsule!) I also bought these invisible floating shelves, but haven’t gotten around to installing them just yet.
My sister knows what to get me for my birthday, right? This Britney Spears welcome mat and this Saint Britney candle remind me to pray for my girl Britney and to keep an eye out for the patriarchy. #FreeBritney #JusticeforBritney
Sunday Citizen Weighted Blanket
Do you have a weighted blanket yet? It’s like a hug with no strings attached. I put this on and I’m pretty much guaranteed a looooong nap. I love this one because it’s so, so soft and not too heavy. And it has crystals sewn in. No idea if it makes it any better, but I’ll take all the help I can get on the most stressful days. Pricing and availability
Rick pushed for a split unit for the She Shed but those were running well over $2,000 and as I mentioned, we went WAY OVER BUDGET on this beast. So I settled for a Black & Decker unit. It does the job, cooling, heating and dehumidifying up to 450 square feet. In the future I still may upgrade to a split unit… we’ll see how this first Florida summer goes.
I love a good local artist! Target is good for a lot of things, but the art / wall decor is crazy expensive and pretty generic. It’s the same price, if not cheaper, to get one-of-a-kind stuff from artists near you.
Can you believe I got this one-of-a-kind drawing from The Mitchell Perry, Project Runway Season 13 and All Stars Season 5? The world famous designer drew this sketch from a photo of my wedding dress and I am obsessed with it.
Loft for Storage
We customized our shed from Coastal Portable Buildings to have an 8-ft. loft on my side, and now I wonder where did I keep all of this stuff before I got the She Shed?! Oh yeah, in every closet of the main house.
Eventually I’d like to slide a small mattress up into the loft – would be a perfect place to stick RaeRae when she comes to visit, right?
She Shed ideas I’m still exploring:
- Wallpaper. I love a big, bright, bold print, but I struggle to commit to a style because I get sick of things SO FAST and even peel-and-stick ain’t cheap.
- Ladder for the loft. Would love one of those cool sliding ones you find in schwanky libraries. They’re pricy so this may be a DIY for Rick.
- Chair and a half or colorful loveseat. I am giving into my nap desires.
- Storage bench. Somewhere to drop my backpack and snacky snacks.
- Craft table.
- Hammock. I probably don’t need more seating, but I love the look of a cozy indoor hammock.
- Standing desk. Studies say sitting all day is real bad for ya, so I am looking for either an adjustable standing desk or just a high top table that can double as a workspace.
- Walking pad. Feels redundant since I have a treadmill at home, but I’m thinking about it.
- Mini-fridge. Might be nice to have cold drinks throughout the day.
- A name! She Shed is so basic. I’m leaning toward La Casita. I feel like it’s a nice fit with The Cottage and The Castle, the other structures on our “estate.” (It’s not even an acre, but I can pretend.)
Everyone deserves a special place to call their own, and I am so grateful for this divine little slice of heaven out back. What would you call your “She Shed?” And am I forgetting any fabulous She Shed ideas? What else would you put in yours?