Spring 2020 ORC – Week 1-The Schoolhouse and She Shed

If you have been following along for any amount of time you know how both Ashley and I feel about participating in The One Room Challenge, a bi-annual event occurring in the Spring and Fall each year hosted by Better Homes and Gardens and the great people at the ORC. When you see this logo you know what time it is!

I can’t think of a better way to get to know other like minded people in the design world. It is fun and motivating as you cheer each other along to the finish line of an entire room transformation. You can find the featured participants here and the guest participants here.

I enjoy the spirit of the competition so much that I am starting to loose count of how many I have completed. The very first project was in my rental house dining room, which coincidentally I am using the same light fixture in this Spring’s project. The next fall both Ashley and I worked on our dueling Master Bedroom projects. The leftover mural paint from that project is going to play a big part in my shed this round. I had to take the next round off since we moved into our new house and had so much going on. However Ashley more than made up for it with an epic kitchen remodel. Then I came back last fall with a Dining room part duex for my new house.

The Plan this Spring

You are probably thinking “Enough is Enough, tell us what you are working on this round Rocky!” Well I am happy to reveal that we are transforming our outdoor storage shed into a functional She Shed Office, School Room and Storage space. There are a lot of reasons why…but let me start with a bit of background and before photos.

When we bought our house last year we loved a lot about it, however we were a bit concerned that 1250 SF would be a tight fit for all of us. When the previous owner left a locking storage shed on site I knew that I would eventually transform that space into a craft studio/office. Here is the current view:

As You would expect, the shed has been used solely as a storage space for the past year. It is a dull pale yellow color and lacks any form of character. When I told my husband my grand plans for the shed he kind of laughed and hoped I was joking…

Shed Interior Before

I don’t even know where to start…Basically once we moved in the overflow of our life ended up here. A huge part of this project is organizing all of these items, finding a designated spot and hopefully making all our craft/art/office supplies more accessible for the family. It is not glamourous, but necessary for a functional space.

Here is a nice overall view of the shed interior in case you weren’t scared yet 😛

She Shed Transformation.

The view outside of our shed is of these beautiful trees and more recently our hot tub addition:

The COVID-19 Curve Ball

Up until February my plan was to finish off this space mainly for myself. I thought having a little “She Shed” in the backyard where I could paint, craft, work and basically just be alone would be amazing. Then on March 19th California issues the stay at home order and we all became homeschool parents while working from home.

The first week played out a lot like it did for most families trying to juggle it all. We were all crammed around our dinner table, bumping elbows (we have a lefty in the house), complaining about the new setup, cleaning EVERYTHING up for meals and snacks on a 2 hour rotation, spilling water on a laptop and an Ipad…you get the idea. It was chaos over here. I imagine you can relate to “COVID lifestyle” adjustment period.

This was the moment I decided to pivot, this extra space just outside our back door would be the perfect “getaway” for our professional work calls, school zoom calls or if someone needed a bit of time to focus. Since my kids are 7 and 4 they both need a fair amount of oversight while they work. I often spend my work day in front of the computer…so our space had to tackle a lot of different needs simultaneously.

Beyond all that I still needed to have storage for all of our overflow supplies. I grabbed my tape measure, pulled some dimensions and went to work in AutoCAD laying out the space. I probably tried 15 different configurations before I settled on this layout/idea.

Schoolhouse Shed Moodboard

Since January we have been slowly working on the infrastructure of the Shed. When we hired out drywallers in February to work on out garage project we also had them drywall and insulate the shed. My husband ran electrical at that time so we could have interior lights and duplex plugs. We also plan on painting and installing wood look alike vinyl floors. Once that is done the fun stuff can start:

  • 1. The entire back wall will be covered in the Ikea BESTA storage unit. I bought 3 towers and they fit perfectly with little gaps on the sides.
  • 2. I am going to re paint the beautiful mural by Colleen Elizabeth Art that was made into a DIY by Mandi at Vintage Revivals. The samples I originally bought are about to go bad and I miss that mural in my rental office nook so MUCH.
  • 3 and 6. Each kid will get their own Ikea Skadis peg board above their desk area.
  • 4. I am going to build them a DIY desk out of plywood. Stay tuned for that one!
  • 5. This is going to be another DIY where I create a fold down desk extension. I’m making this from scratch, fingers crossed it works out!
  • 7. Another Ikea Besta for kids stuff and supporting their desk.
  • 8. A stainless steel and Travertine desk I built with my dad almost ten years ago. This table is super sentimental to me and the perfect amount of space. We used it as a dinner table for years. You can see it covered in junk in the before photos above.
  • 9. More Besta units.
  • 10. Wall mounted computer monitor.
  • 11. Some kind of DIY bookshelf- Stay Tuned.

As I mentioned above, a big part of this project is sorting, purging and organizing the art supplies and tools we have in here. I’m using these images from pinterest to help motivate me to tackle that overwhelming task. The paint and marker organization inspo can be found here and here.

Doesn’t every DIYer and artist dream that all of their supplies are this accessible:

Shed Exterior Plans

As of right now my plan is to paint the exterior black and dress up the shed a little bit. We are thinking about trying to deck around the shed, but that is a big question mark right now. In the meantime check out this inspiration from Nesting with Grace:

No matter what happens the shed will be ten times prettier than it currently is!

The goal of this ORC

Unlike other ORCs I have participated in, this space has to remain completely functional while I work on it. The kids and I are out there every day during the week – So we need to time our projects around school and work.

I’m also trying to use up any and all materials I have on hand. As much as I would love to spend a lot of money really making this shed shine it is not realistic with the current state of the world and my budget. A lot of items are weeks and weeks out for delivery making it a lot easier to grab a piece of plywood from Home Depot and DIY some cool stuff. Plus I want to avoid being out in public as much as possible right now.

I put in one big order to IKEA for the BESTA units the week after the world shut down. Luckily those have been delivered and I’ve already started installing them. I went to place another order yesterday and it is a 5-6 week delivery window….GASP….So it sounds like I need to really make due with what I have.

I also feel like COVID has created a much needed mental shift when it comes to how and what we spend and use. A lot of us are having difficult financial stressors right now and spending a lot of money on decorative items just isn’t as fun. As I go through all these storage boxes I am constantly surprised at what I find and what I can’t wait to re-use in my house. So in the spirit of that I want to use what I have and be conscientious about where I spend my budget.

In conclusion I just want to say Thank You for following along again. I hope this Schoolhouse She shed transformation will inspire you to DIY a thing or two! If you are on Instagram please jump over and follow along @RelativeRenovations as I usually update what I am doing in my stories.

Talk Soon – Rocky