I have been working to heal my adrenal exhaustion since the later half of 2015 and all through 2016. One of the most recent activities I have introduced into my life, in January, has been a regular meditation and yoga practice. Yin yoga to be more specific has been absolutely amazing for me. I have never in my life been more calm than after leaving yin yoga.
One night in May I couldn’t sleep.
In an effort to do something, I was mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest when I came across this idea of a She Shed. I became so engrossed in the idea. I could visualize it easily becoming a reality. I finally fell asleep after pinning a bunch of different articles and the next morning I started putting my thoughts into motion.
My intentions were to create a calming space, outside of my home (hence the shed) where I could retreat to in order to paint, relax, breath, meditate and complete any other art-like activities I felt inclined to do.
So let me tell you about my new meditation and art studio, which is now fully finished. I’ve been affectionately calling it “That’s What She Shed“.
The Before Photos
Since we’re minimalists, we never really had a ton of stuff in our shed. Some tools, a gas grill, some furniture we keep for holiday use only and leftover construction material from household projects. Mostly that sort of thing.
The first thing I did was sell the grill. It was gone within 24 hours, thanks to Craigslist.
The tools were relocated to the garage and the furniture was moved to the attic. With an empty shed I was able to brainstorm what I wanted That’s What She Shed to look like.
I started with cleaning up the extra wood and nails.
And So The Project Begins
The first thing I did was to purchase, measure, cut and install the insulation and drywall on all four walls.
That was a fun new task to learn and I found it surprisingly much easier to install than I expected.
The hard part came next, when applying the “mud”, waiting for it to dry, reapplying a second and third coat and then sanding it to even everything out to form an actual wall.
That took several days. One day for each coat to allow it to dry with several days spaced out in between because of rain. Another couple days to sand it and once that was complete, I was able to prime the walls to prepare them for paint.
Once the walls were set it looked much more like a room but there were several tasks to think about next. I needed to decide what to do with the ceiling. How to deal with the sloping walls that extended down from the ceiling to the newly installed drywall. And I decided to turn the side walls into shelves so I needed to figure out what material I was going to use to create those ledges…and then how to install that material to create the inset shelves.
After a few trips to Home Depot I decided to go with a Cape Cod beach house feel for the ceiling with some pre-primed locking wood tiles.
Instead of installing the same R-13 pink cotton-candy looking insulation behind the ceiling tiles I used a thicker, more sturdy foam based insulation to help to keep the shed warm so I could still use it in the winter months.
My father-in-law helped with an amazing way to easily cut the styrofoam. Don’t do this at home, kids. :) He took the end of a metal coat hanger and held it with a pliers. After heating up the end with a portable torch it then melt the styrofoam insulation like butter. Check out the video below for what that looks like if you’re more of a visual person. :)
Built In Shelving
Once the ceiling tiles were done and I figured out how to remove the front panel of the shed to slide the long blocks of paneling in. I then needed to figure out how to fill the gap between the ceiling and the side wall. By cutting the paneling into smaller pieces and inserting smaller pieces of wood to attach them all the paneling was finished.
Next up was to determine what material I wanted to use for the built in shelving. I found a cheap piece of wood at Home Depot that worked fabulous. After measuring several times I cut the wedges for each post into one whole piece, slipped it in through the front of the shed, dropped it down and attached it with the air hammer.
Making good progress on #ThatsWhatSheShed. The ceiling paneling is fully installed and so are the built in shelves! Painting is also complete, though this picture doesn't show it. I'm literally waiting for paint to dry before I can finish the flooring. ???????? #almostdone #homeimprovement #summerproject #construction #diy
After installing the trim near the ceiling to cover the holes where the drywall and the ceiling paneling meet, next up was to measure, cut and install the trim to cover the insulation in front of the cut outs for each post on the built in shelving.
Once the trim was installed, I then painted everything with several coats of bright white paint. Once that was dry I applied several clear coats of water-proof sealant over the cement floor. When that dried I installed the painted trim along the floor and finally I was ready for decorating.
This entire project took me 2 months from start to finish, working 2-3 days a week for 3-4 hours each day.
Initially I wanted a cork flooring for the shed but I was not willing to pay more than the cost of a bottle of sealant, so instead when I went to IKEA and spotted this cork desk, I knew it was meant to be.
I picked up a meditation pillow and blanket from World Market for my meditation space.
With a couple plant holders I was able to pot some succulents and create a couple different decorative plants. I already had a couple painting easels and once I moved my other art supplies from the house in, I was all set!
With a fancy bright blue and green soft bristle broom I can shoo the spiders away.
I have been using it as a writing space, a painting studio and a meditation space since it’s been finished.
I would like to extend the internet from our house to reach the shed so I can do all my work from there but that will take a little research to see how I can extend our wifi.
I would also like to change out the lighting fixtures and create a mason jar chandelier.
The walls are purposely white so it feels like I’m in a little beach house but I have plans to do some line art on the walls. If it doesn’t work out I can always paint right over whatever doesn’t work and start again. :)
Empowering Through Production
One thing I feel I have been sorely lacking has been a feeling of accomplishment. After completing this project all on my own, from start to finish, I not only feel accomplished but empowered to keep moving forward.
It was a lot of fun because I’ve always love demolition, building and construction but I haven’t had an outlet for those activities in a really long time.
All The Senses
I also moved my diffuser out to That’s What She Shed to use my essential oils while I’m working.
When I was putting the finishing touches on That’s What She Shed one of our neighbors was carrying the white bench to the curb that can be seen in the very first image above. It was absolutely perfect timing and a perfect fit for my outdoor patio.
In the future I’d like to build out a proper patio and install glass French doors along with an August lock so all I need to carry is my phone to enter but those are future goals down the line. Right now it’s perfect how it is and I’m so happy I now have a space to call my own.