Decor Trends

The Transformation from She Shed into Shed Chic

How this ordinary, boring but cute backyard shed went from shed to She Shed into Shed Chic!

How it all Started

First of all, my plan was to find a small house I could live in the rest of my life…or at least until I could no longer care for myself. The She Shed into Shed Chic was merely an after thought.

You see, I had been living in an apartment since downsizing from my 3,500 square foot home. Apartment living was fine…it just wasn’t for me. After all, I’m a Realtor. I love houses! Living in an apartment to me was boring. I couldn’t change anything and I had fake granite, white appliances and an electric stove. I know – poor me.

Fastest Home Purchase Ever!

As a result, one day, in a 5 minute conversation with my son in my driveway, he told me to buy another house – something small enough for me to manage on my own. As a Realtor, I immediately went upstairs and searched for a house in my price range that would suit my needs. There were only 4 houses on the market. Two were in a neighborhood I wasn’t interested in, one was downright ugly and then there was one. It was cute…but I wondered what was wrong with this house that had been on the market, in a hot area, for over 2 weeks? Oh, it’s 800 square feet. Is that the problem? I asked myself…how big is 800 square feet? I took my silly buyer hat off and put on my Realtor hat and said, “Let’s go look at it!” Seems like a brilliant idea.

As Your Own Buyer’s Agent

As a result, within an hour I opened the door to this cute little house. I said to myself out loud, “Oh wow, it’s tiny!” But as I wandered through, I saw a vision. Consequently, I was immediately placing my furniture, updating the kitchen, and having thoughts about that locked shed in the back yard.

I scheduled another showing so I could show it to my son and get his opinion. After all, I was the Realtor as well as the buyer and wanted to make sure my emotions were intact. At that time, I asked for the shed to be unlocked so I could take a look inside.

Needless to say, I bought the house and won’t bore you with the drama of that transaction!

she shed to shed chic before
She Shed into Shed Chic Before

The She Shed

As a long time home stager, I had been paying monthly for a storage space to house all of my staging furniture and accessories. My son said that I could move all of that into my shed and stop paying storage fees. That was a novel idea and would save me lots of money every month and numerous trips to storage. So, after closing on the house, and moving out of my apartment, I also moved out of storage. Needless to say, I had way too much staging furniture than what would fit in there comfortably. Because I’m a stager, I sold a few things and then arranged it and decorated it with my staging things.

she shed to shed chic before finishing
She Shed Before

Having a She Shed Vision

First of all, you have to admit it was cute to say the least. But deep down, I envisioned a more dynamic space. I saw the She Shed as somewhere I could go and retreat. I don’t necessarily have hobbies like a lot of my friends and I’m not a gardener but I am creative and LOVE to decorate.

A few months went by and I spent time on Pinterest looking for inspiration. Just what did I want this space to look like? While I wasn’t exactly sure what I did want, I started donating all of the things in there that I knew weren’t going to make the cut.

Then one day, after a morning networking event, I quickly stopped by Home Goods to pick up a $6 item I had seen there the week before. Naturally, it was gone – as everything is at Home Goods if you don’t buy it when you see it. But as I was leaving the store, I turned around and almost fell over this couch that was parked just inside the front doors that morning.

Melinda Bartling she shed to shed chic
Melinda Bartling at Home Goods

I Knew it When I Saw it!

That was it! I had found the very first thing that would turn my She Shed into Shed Chic. First of all, that was $700 more than I had intended to spend that day for a couch. And I was also in a hurry. Furthermore, I found myself stalling for time, talking to the store manager and asking stupid questions. As a result, I called for a pickup truck, opened a store credit card, bought pillows for my couch, a side chair and table for my television. $1,800 later, I arrived home with more than enough furniture to furnish my She Shed.

We’ve all had days like that. But what had I done? I had basically just practically furnished my entire She Shed while looking for a $6 item. That was the best $6 item I never spent! Plus, now I had furniture stacked in my living room of my 800 square foot house. How can I possibly live like this?

What’s Next? Finishing My She Shed

I knew the very next steps would be perfecting the finishing details and finding someone to do the work. That’s a story in itself. Probably the hardest part of any house project is finding the right guy(s) to do the work.

My son was getting some work done on his house and mentioned my She Shed project to his guy. It just so happened that his roommate was a carpenter and did odd jobs. It’s the old story of a guy that knows a guy. And this was certainly classified as an ODD JOB!

Setting a Budget – or 3

One big lesson I learned was you should definitely figure and set a budget. I didn’t say you had to stay within the budget.

Actually, there are 3 budgets. You need a budget for labor, materials and décor.  I estimated what I thought the project should cost for labor and had several guys come bid it.

Getting Bids

The first handyman that came by saw my real estate signs in my garage and I swear the price went up. Most of the guys I talked to asked why I was finishing a shed? They were not my guys. They looked at me like I was an idiot.

My son told his guy’s roommate to come bid the job and not ask why in the world I was finishing a shed – or I wouldn’t hire him. He showed up, we talked about the project, he gave me a bid and I hired him. Everyone else I talked to thought I definitely had a screw loose or had money to burn. They also all talked themselves out of a job.

Shopping for She Shed Materials

Our first stop was Home Depot. I had a vision but what did I really need to transform my She Shed into Shed Chic? I had a busy day but met my son and handyman at Home Depot to buy the materials. We had filled up 2 of those big carts with insulation, ship lap, boards, nails, screws, a window air conditioner and other miscellaneous items. Then I ran back to look at light fixtures. There it was…the chandelier that rocked my Shed Chic and I left the store without it.

she shed to shed chic materials
Shed Chic Materials

I opened another account with no interest and was on my way to She Shed Heaven! Talk about not having a budget!

After going on a lunch appointment that day, I headed back to Home Depot and bought the chandelier. After all, I knew all along that it was going to be the icing on the cake. I think you’ll agree.

she shed to shed chic chandelier
Shed Chic Chandelier

Shed Chic has had many parties – after all…no one else I know has a She Shed quite like mine! The bar is always open and drinks and snacks are served daily over Girl Talk!

I still have a couple of projects to finish up like getting a sign made and finishing the stairs but Shed Chic is everything I imagined…and more!

she shed to shed chic interior
Shed Chic!
she shed to shed chic exterior
Shed Chic After!

We’ve had a rough winter here in Kansas but I think Shed Chic will be very usable about 9 months a year.

You can see more photos and like her Facebook page at

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