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The She Shed Wish List

By Sarah Fogle

Do you ever wish there was a retreat where you could enjoy your hobbies without leaving the backyard? Somewhere to get a little “me time” around your home that isn’t covered with laundry, family obligations or toys? Move over, man cave– today’s new home trend is the “she shed,” a well-maintained outdoor oasis for the woman of the house to keep all of her tools or put her feet up. While a shed might not sound like a glamorous place at first, you can create a lot out of a structure that normally houses dusty rakes and rusty paint cans. Not sure where to start? Follow this guide to reimagine your shed into a bright and comfortable space of your own.

1. Write Down Your Goals

The size of your shed will be determined by both the amount of outdoor space you have and what you plan to use it for. If you can never seem to resist a decorative terracotta pot or need elbow room for a tabletop, you might want to go for as big of a shed as your backyard will allow. You can make your shed a true workspace equipped with a full potting bench, a quiet sanctuary with a tidy desk for creative writing or a relaxing hideaway more ideal for a cozy reading chair—anything goes! Write down your favorite tasks to get an idea of your expectations for the space. You’ll want ample room to fit your needs.

2. Choose Your Style

Image courtesy of At Home With the Barkers

Today’s trends include a classic barn roof, mini cottage styles, stable doors and modern angles. Plain, square boxes are certainly a thing of the past. Whether you want your she shed to coordinate with the exterior of your home or take on a fantasy quality, your personalization options are wide open. Pro tip: hang flower boxes and bring greenery inside to soften edges and add a little polish. The extra color looks great, too!

3. Pick Your Paint

Don’t let the exterior outshine the interior by leaving the walls au naturale. Set the mood of your oasis with an inspiring color scheme. Channeling your inner earth goddess? Go for a sage green or sky blue. Want to feel a surge of good vibes each time you open the door? Seek out vibrant shades of citrus or coral. Even just whitewashing the walls will give your space a clean, fresh energy, and you can warm it up with accessories.

4. Stock the Basics

Fill up your she shed with the things you need to do what you love. Gardeners may want a cute matching set of tools, several terracottas or ceramic pots of various sizes, a few packs of seeds, some potting soil, and a watering can. You may want to invest in a few plant anthologies and gardening how-to/coffee table books for reference and inspiration. For writers, a small but sturdy desk will do the trick. A classic metal bistro table can handle the elements with ease. For the lady who just wants a place to relax, a sturdy bench or chair with comfortable pillows makes a great place to kick back.

5. Have Fun with the Details

Image courtesy of Design Dazzle

The difference between a regular old garden shed and a bona fide she shed lies in the decor. Make sure your storage is visually interesting: a wooden mail organizer for your seed packets, decorative hooks to hang tools, glass canisters for birdseed and soil, and industrial metal bins for muddy goulashes and kneeling pads give a small workspace a stylish, clever purpose without overwhelming. For a cozy environment, add a lamp for soft lighting, an outdoor rug for your bare feet and some soft curtains for the windows. Give your walls interest beyond paint with artwork or reclaimed pieces from the thrift store—whatever lets your personality shine!

With just a little elbow grease and some thoughtful decorating, you can have a fully outfitted she shed set up over the span of a weekend. No matter the size of the shed or extent of your green thumb, you can carve out a special space for you to enjoy.

 

Sarah Fogle is a self-professed DIYer who believes that anyone can learn how to update their home.  From bigger projects like creating a “she shed” to smaller projects like organizing a space, she offers some great ideas. To see a large selection of shed organization products, visit The Home Depot.

 

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Mailbox Makeovers for Instant Curb Appeal 

by Cat Queen

When visitors or potential buyers see your home for the first time, make sure your tired old mailbox doesn’t leave them with the wrong impression. These quick and easy mailbox makeovers will help you instantly improve your home’s curb appeal.

shutterstock_18671005

Perhaps the best way to give your mailbox a more charming presence is by creating a lovely space for it. Plant brightly colored flowers or low-maintenance shrubbery in a small garden around your mailbox. Then, use an edge trimmer to create a neat perimeter around your new flower bed. If other areas of your yard are trimmed-in with brick or concrete blocks, keep the look consistent by using the same material around your mailbox.

For a quicker fix, try sprucing up your mailbox’s post. Metal or wrought iron can be easily spray painted. If you have a traditional wooden post, first check the post for any rotten or chipped away areas. (In most cases, you can fill these cracks with wood putty; if the post is too far gone, it might be better to replace it.) Then, paint or stain the wood to give it an instant face-lift.

Large, stacked rock mailbox enclosures are beautiful but can be pretty expensive. You can achieve a similar look by adhering faux stacked rock to your existing wooden post.

Next, consider painting your mailbox with weather-proof spray paint. Try to coordinate your mailbox colors with your home’s exterior. White, green, and blue are great for catching the eye without being overwhelming. Red is also a popular and bold choice.

Tip: Steer clear of loud or neon colors like hot pink, orange, or bright yellow, which may be too bold for potential buyers. Hobby or sports themed mailboxes can also negatively affect a buyer’s first impression of the home.

If bright colors aren’t really your thing, use white or ivory paint with stencils instead. Quickly rejuvenate your mailbox by stenciling the number of your address in a fancy script against a plain black background. For a more personalized touch, add the first letter of your last name above the address in a larger font. You can also add embellishments like ivy or flowers.

Remember, when showing your home, try to appeal to all potential home buyers. Plain, classic stylings give your house a sense of character and charm without offending the personal taste of visitors. It is equally important to ensure that your home appears as well maintained as possible. A bright, clean mailbox in a well-manicured flower bed will always give the right impression.

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The Smart Home Takes a Swim

Smart home automation is dipping into pools.

Many poolside mechanisms, such as the heater, pump and timer, can now be automatically controlled with smart home technology, optimizing energy use and performance and potentially extending their lifespan—a benefit that can result in thousands in saved repair or replacement costs, which are often a burdensome expense for pool owners.
“New automation options eliminate the inconvenience of trips to pool or spa equipment to reset timer clocks and thermostats,” said Kyle H. Chaikin, president of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA), in a statement. “Control the pool at poolside, from inside the house, on the golf course or halfway around the world with handy smartphone apps.”

According to the NESPA, pool owners can automate any or all of the following features:

• Chlorine Generator
• Cleaner
• Filtration System/Pump
• Fountain
• Heater
• Jacuzzi/Spa
• Lighting
• Timer
• Waterfall

Pool owners can take automation a step further by assigning control to their pool service provider, Chaikin added.

“Pool and spa automation fits perfectly into any busy lifestyle. You can monitor your pool and poolscape yourself, or you can turn it over to your pool service company who will monitor it in real time, and be able to respond in real time, should any issue develop.

“Automation equipment quickly makes your backyard ready to use right when you are ready to use it, regardless of the season,” Chaikin added. “Owning and operating a pool and spa today has never been easier or more fun.”

Source: Northeast Spa & Pool Association/The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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