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a space of her own

From Habitat magazine - issue 31, on trend

Let the men have their man caves – the age of the ‘she shed’ has begun.

Women are told from a young age to let the boys have their fun, to make way for men to take over the dens, garages and basements of the world with their bar signs and beanbag chairs.

Enter the ‘she shed’ – a space for women to immerse themselves in activities that bring them joy. While the word ‘shed’ may bring to mind a shabby chic sort of space, there is no limit to how luxurious or humble your hideaway can be.

And take note – gifting a ‘she shed’ to your special someone would make an epic anniversary or birthday present.

Depending on how you or the woman in your life likes to spend time, here are some ideas of how different types of she sheds could take shape.

Artist's retreat
Gardner's nook
Zen retreat: In this zen artist’s retreat, the timber walls have been stained in Resene Colorwood Ironbark and finished in Resene Aquaclear. The floor is in Resene Quarter Spanish White, the tall vase is in Resene Canterbury Clay, the jug vase is in Resene Putty and the footed bowl is in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey. The plant pot was given its texture by first painting it in Resene Double Pravda, followed by Resene FX Crackle effect and a topcoat of Resene Quarter FossilStockists: Oku Rubbish Bin and One Soul art print from Paper Plane. Radial Low Small Shelving and Handwoven Rug from Città. Salad Days Vase 1 from Sunday Home Store. Petley Handmade Lemon Squeezer and Ace Firers Utensil Holder from Everyday Needs. Louis Kittleson mug from Blackbird Goods. Armadillo & Co Zulu Rug from Indie Home Collective. All other props are stylist’s own.

Green thumb's refuge: Those with a green thumb would love a she shed like this one, decked out in verdant Resene hues. Wall in Resene Rivergum, table in Resene Palm Green, stool in Resene Bud, pegboard in Resene Nourish with tool outline in Resene Rivergum, crate in Resene Rice Cake and plant pots in Resene Nourish, Resene Bud, Resene Palm Green, Resene Rivergum, Resene Secrets, Resene Peace, Resene Middle Earth, Resene Paddock, Resene Mangrove, Resene Spanish Green and Resene Celtic.  Stockists: Garden tools and growing kit from Bed Bath and Beyond. White garden spade and pitchfork from The Warehouse. All other props are stylist’s own.

The zen retreat

Artist types will love a relaxing space to seek out inner peace while bearing their soul on the canvas. Painters, sculptors and other creators of fine art typically need some peace and quiet – and plenty of storage space – for them to work their magic. With enough floor space to roll out a mat, this shed could also double as a yoga den.

The focus of this space should be to minimise distractions as much as possible. Choosing a natural and serene colour scheme can help.

Consider installing a rack to hold finished artworks and drawers with plenty of dividers to keep supplies and tools organised. Create a separate compartment for each Resene testpot in the drawer where they are stored painted with the same colour as what’s inside the testpot so that it’s easy to remember which colour hasn’t been put back where it belongs.

The green thumb’s refuge

A place to get your hands dirty, this is a she shed for a woman with a penchant for all things green and growing; its a space to hang her hat – and her gardening tools.

To ensure there is a designated place for each shovel, spade and pitch fork, install a large pegboard and paint an outline around each tool. That way, you’ll instantly know if something is missing when you pack up for the day.

Resene Nourish

Resene Secrets

Resene Peace

The crafter’s hideaway

Crafter’s bits and bobs are best stored in ways where they can be easily seen so that you can always find what you’re looking for. Paint up a pegboard to hold spools of ribbon and hang up small shelves to house glass jars of smaller supplies.

Colour coding can be a key to help identify where different types of tools and craft provisions can be found. Paint storage boxes in an inspiring spectrum of colours using Resene Chalkboard Paint or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. These finishes work as a chalkboard, so they can be written on with chalk and wiped clean with a damp cloth. Or, get really crafty and paint a symbol on each that hints at its contents.

A statement painted floor in a crafter's hideaway
Moodboard for sewing room
Crafter's hideaway: A statement floor in Resene Half Villa White with stripes in Resene Thunder Road, Resene Jailbreak, Resene Memory Lane, Resene Unwind and Resene Rococo sets the stage for a creative crafter in this she shed. Walls and pegboard in Resene Half Villa White with shelves and pegs in Resene Noir, hand-painted frame (surrounding pegboard) in Resene Noir, table in Resene Rice Cake with legs and polka dots in Resene Noir, chair in Resene Liberty, mason jars in Resene Irresistible and Resene Ethereal, large vase (with eucalyptus) in Resene Noir with spots in Resene Rice Cake and Resene Rose Gold, striped vase in Resene Rice Cake with Resene Peace and Resene Rose Gold, stool in Resene Rice Cake, textured plant pot (on shelf) in Resene Noir and basket (with plant) in Resene Safehaven.  Stockists: Bang Bang Pegboard from George and Willy (painted Resene Half Villa White). All other props are stylist’s own.

Moodboard: Striped background in Resene Half Villa White and Resene Unwind with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (clockwise from top) Resene Rice Cake, Resene Thunder Road, Resene Rococo, Resene Memory Lane, Resene Jailbreak, Resene Unwind and Resene Rose Gold metallic. The large mason jar is painted Resene Irresistible and the box is in Resene Noir with Resene Rice Cake polka dots.

Resene Ethereal

Resene Thunder Road

Resene Jailbreak

Resene Memory Lane

Resene Rococo

Resene Noir

Resene Liberty

Resene Rose Gold

Resene Safehaven

The biker’s haunt

Whether you prefer your noble steed to be motorised or self-propelled, a biker chick would love a space to fix up her favourite mode of transportation.

Storage should be a priority for a space like this, but so should ease of clean up as many fix-it-up activities involve a certain element of grease and grime. If the bike has an engine, starting it inside the shed to check how the motor is running could cause blackened stains to appear on the wall behind where the bike sits. Paint that wall a darker colour, such as Resene Quarter Bokara Grey, and use a durable paint like Resene Enamacryl for a high gloss finish or Resene Lustacryl for a semi-gloss finish on surfaces that will need frequent wipe-downs.

The page-turner’s paradise

A tranquil place to read in peace is just about the best thing a bookworm can imagine, especially if it includes plenty of built-in shelving. Work with restful hues like soothing pinks, soft greens and blissful blues such as Resene Ethereal, Resene Peace and Resene Unwind and be sure there is adequate lighting by installing windows or electricity in the shed. Or, try an LED lamp or two powered by rechargeable batteries.

A cubby-style shelving system makes it easier to categorise books by topic and keeps the contents from toppling over each time you go to grab a book from the shelf. Each topic could get a cubby in a different colour. Or, just paint the edges of certain cubbies in a single contrasting colour so that you always know where you can find your favourites.

Take gender out of the equation

No matter how you identify, everyone needs their own special place to retreat to. Instead of a ‘she shed’, why not create a ‘we shed’? If you have trouble sharing with your partner, separate spaces could be partitioned with a sliding divider and each occupant could decorate their side of the screen with a colour, or even a mural, that speaks to their personal style.

Styling: Gem Adams, Annick Larkin, Vanessa Nouwens
Images: Melanie Jenkins


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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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