Home remodel Inside my She-Shed

Inside my She-Shed

by Clare Mansell
Inside my She-Shed

cabinnew4There can’t be a woman anywhere who doesn’t fancy the idea of a She-Shed. A little place to escape from the whir of the washing machine and the unrelenting calls of “Mummy!”

Well mine is finally starting to take shape! Over the last few weeks as I’ve caught up on sewing projects, I’ve also begun to sort out the cabin in the garden, transforming it from it’s first life as a sleeping space during our building works, into it’s new role as my studio.

There’s still a long way to go before it looks anything like the pictures of perfect sewing rooms that you see in magazines. (I probably need to iron all my fat quarters and stack them perfectly just to begin with) but already it’s a place I love to retreat to if I can steal a couple of hours while Theo is at nursery.

Part of its beauty is that because it’s detached from the house, none of the day to day house clutter invades my sewing space and likewise my sewing doesn’t take over the living space.

cabinnew3cabinnew2cabinnew6At the moment it is being used solely for quilting, but longterm I also want to have a photography backdrop on one wall which can be rolled up and down when needed. The cabin faces south and the light in it is lovely, even at this time of the year.

Many of the things inside are bits I had acquired over the years which have traveled through a few countries to get here, but I also bought a few bits just for this space.

The pine table my sewing machine is on came from eBay. It was very cheap because it was far too low for practical use. We raised it up by several inches to make it useable again and when I have actually got round to painting the feet, I’ll explain the whole process we did.  It was actually very easy and salvaged an otherwise lovely but unusable table.

This magnetic noticeboard came from Canada and is called an Everyday Display. It is supposed to be used for scrapbook pages (oh yes, I used to be a scrapbooker!) but has lots of photos and magnets on it at the moment.


My sister (the antiques hunter!) bought me the Dr Pepper tray last Christmas. The various quilts on the walls are either made by me or by other lovely quilters as part of swaps on Flickr. The one in the photo above was made by Liz.

This sweetheart display cabinet was given to me by the dotcomgiftshop and is brilliant for storing precious bits and pieces that Theo is not supposed to get his hands on.

Amongst the things on the shelves are a collection of champagne corks marking various significant points in our lives (from four countries) a very old toy truck marked up as British Forces Broadcasting (my former employers) the “&” sign from the table plan at our wedding (The C and J have vanished!) and a pin cushion made for me as part of a swap.

If you could have a She-Shed what would use it for? Many of these outside buildings have been turned into artist studios or libraries.One person even has an extra large one with a swimming pool in it!

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Katie @mummydaddyme October 28, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Oh my goodness I am so jealous of your she shed! It’s beautiful. x

Jeanette October 28, 2014 - 5:38 pm

It’s gorgeous! It already looks magazine photo worthy to me-so lucky to be able to carve out your own studio away from the house. It’s lovely-have fun creating in there!

Isisjem October 28, 2014 - 6:26 pm

It looks great. How are you heating it? I would love a she-shed but I hate the cold so I’d need some convincing. I have a conventional shed and a summer house – the latter can’t be used in the winter (the doors swell to much to get open. They shrink back a lot in summer so I can’t even have them eased.)

Clare Mansell October 28, 2014 - 11:25 pm

I don’t like cold rooms either and I did have a big fear that it would become this cold void in the garden that wasn’t used in the winter. However it is both heated (electric and thermostatically controlled) and extremely well insulated. Also facing south it heats up really well on its own, so if you time sewing sessions for the afternoon you don’t even need the heater. I popped in there today at about 5pm and it was 19c on its own!

City Coastal Life & Style October 28, 2014 - 6:32 pm

I have one, I call it my studio, she-shed is a great name though! Mine needs total refurbing, hope to get around to it in the springtime, it’s had many incarnations from running courses to a party room! Love yours x

Donna October 28, 2014 - 10:47 pm

Oh I would love a She-Shed for blogging, writing and just being. What a wonderful space x

handmadeby EvaRose October 29, 2014 - 5:42 am

What a beautiful room. It feels very peaceful and creative- you are a very lucky lady! Can’t wait to see what you have been making.

Jo Jo October 29, 2014 - 6:28 am

I am sooo jealous, it looks fantastic! Glad I’m not the only one who keeps the corks with the coins in 🙂

Carie October 29, 2014 - 10:09 am

I’m trying very very hard not to be jealous, and failing just a little bit! It’s gorgeous!! I can’t really complain because I do have a studio, or at least a half share in one; we just need to get it tidied up and organised and not used as a dumping ground for the rest of the house and then it will be perfect!

Coombe Mill October 29, 2014 - 12:00 pm

What a wonderful space to call your own and it looks so stylish, enjoy every minure there

snowingindoors October 29, 2014 - 12:58 pm

I love your She-Shed and would love one of my own. I could stick a comfy chair out there and my favourite magazines, I could put the sewing machine out there too! This is definitely going on the ‘must have list’ when we eventually move house xx

normaleverydaylife October 29, 2014 - 1:31 pm

This is gorgeous! No wonder you like spending time here. Such a pretty space! #sharewithme

Rachel October 29, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Your space looks so beautiful! I love the white walls, the light and all the colourful handmade items!

Louisa October 29, 2014 - 7:00 pm

I am SO jealous. We are looking at new houses and I hope to have a little sewing room of my own, even if I have to squash all the kids into one room like sardines.
Your quilts are amazing. I love your little log cabin block; I’m planning on making my first one and turning it into a cushion cover. #sharewithme

Caroline South October 30, 2014 - 9:38 am

Wow, such an amazing space. I so need a she-shed! xx

Lorraine October 30, 2014 - 10:47 am

Quite the most wonderful ‘she shed’ I have ever seen and a great idea for the space, long may you enjoy it Clare. when (and if ) I get a new sewing space next year I hope it looks a little like yours.Lorraine x

Jenny Ripatti-Taylor November 2, 2014 - 7:17 pm

WOW hunny never been so jealous. I need a She-Shed pronto or I am coming to retreat in yours for sure. This is an absolutely amazing space. I am dying to turn my garage into a she-space for my food photography with props galore. It’s on the wishlist at least. lol That’s a start. Love all quilts on the wall too. I just did my very first quilt and it felt like such an accomplishment when I finished. Lovely. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I am also jealous of your light. No where in our house or where we live gets good light. So it’s hard to take bright photos. #sharewithme

Rachel @ Parenthood Highs and Lows January 30, 2015 - 7:28 pm

I would love my own little space as an office, to do my blogging and ‘faffing’ as hubby calls it. Your she-shed is amazing!

Kara February 2, 2015 - 12:56 pm

What a lovely space, I could think of nothing better than having a she-shed xx

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