Operation She Shed | #5 The Build {Painting The Interior}

Part 5 of Operation She Shed is all about painting the interior. I said from the start that these posts weren’t going to be that sexy — and I wasn’t kidding — but in order to see the butterfly, you have to begin with a dull old chrysalis. Or something like that. Anyway. Just to put this post into context, we’d already boarded and insulated the shed — you can read about that here. Because my She Shed is — as it’s name would suggest — a shed (and not a room in an actual house) we decided against having the walls professionally plastered. But in order to tidy up the joins and all the screw holes in the plasterboard — and make it look half decent — I used plasterboard tape. It’s like a wide mesh self-adhesive tape — perfect for reinforcing joints and repairing cracks in plasterboard. You stick it over the fissures and then can use a filler to smooth over the mesh. This is the perfect solution if you’re not going to skim over the walls with plaster. Once you’ve sanded it you can barely see where the joins once were, then you’re ready to paint. I filled with my favourite filler. It’s called Toupret and is available… Read More

Operation She Shed | #4 The Build {Boarding & Insulating}

Part 4 of ‘Operation She Shed’ — and this time round I’m talking about boarding and insulating. Now, I warn you, this isn’t going to be the sexiest post in the world. The pictures are not the best quality and the content is more function than form. That said, I never intended to just show a finished garden office, so it’s important to show the ‘before’ as well as the ‘after’. Plus I really wanted to show all the work that has gone into creating my she-shed and demonstrate that you can create an amazing garden building from scratch — without having to to buy a very expensive off the peg version. In my last post we’d just erected the structure. It was a very basic once it was up it and looked, essentially, like a very large garden shed. Which it was. But to take it to the next level — away from your common or garden shed to garden office — requires a little bit more than a lick of paint. First task: insulating. We used the same kind of insulation that is used in lofts; it almost looks like the inside of a teddy bear — a thick woolly material… Read More

Operation She Shed | #3 The Build {Part One}

In January this year, my boy and I finally embarked on the project that I’ve been desperate to start since I began working for myself around a decade ago; Operation She Shed. I’ve always wanted a dedicated work-space. Having a room in the house is OK but when you work from home — on a full time basis — you can begin to miss the separation between work and home. Being able to close the door and walk away at the end of the day is something that I didn’t realise I’d miss so much initially. But once the boys were born — and my office became a nursery — it wasn’t long before working from a corner of the dining room began to lose it’s appeal and I began to yearn for a space of my own. You can buy an 8ft square garden office from ‘just’ £9,999, according to one garden office company. That seems like quite a lot of money for quite a little space. So to keep the costs down, we bought a garden building that came in flatpack form. Then with a lot chutzpah — and some moderate DIY skills — my boy and I began the task of building a garden office ourselves, from the ground up. Everything from creating the base for it to stand on,… Read More

Operation She Shed | #2 It’s all about the base

Now — apologies if you’re looking for an inspirational, design-led post, full of colour and style. You certainly won’t find it here!!! Inspiration, maybe, but certainly none of the others. I wanted to document this she shed journey from start to finish and the build is not exactly what you’d call ‘pretty’. Anyway, around this time last month, I wrote the first instalment of my quest to create the perfect garden office. A rather un ‘office-y’ looking pile of flatpack garden shed had been delivered, back in January, and the next step was to create the perfect base to build it on. We’d chosen the spot. It was to be sited in the working end of one of the gardens, just in front of the chicken house, opposite the veggie plot. So far, so good. We’d decided to use concrete slabs — rather than a cement base — and the first step was to make a wooden frame to lay the slabs in*. *The frame was sized so that whole slabs were used, rather than having to cut slabs in half. Much easier in the long-run to get your measurements right from the off! Mr D picked up the timber from the builder’s merchants but we had a… Read More

Operation She Shed | #1 My Flatpack Garden Office

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I work from home. You’ll also know that I’ve been dreaming of of a garden office for the last three and a half years. I used to have a dedicated workspace — a room that housed everything I needed — a GIGANTIC printer, my desk and computer, guillotines, folding machines, reams and reams of card stock and envelopes plus various other paraphernalia that I use, in my day to day working life. But when I was pregnant, we decided to turn the room into a nursery for the twins. So we dismantled my office, piece by piece. A lot of the non-essentials were boxed up to take residence in my husband’s office (25 miles away) and I began to work from a corner of our dining room. Once a lovely, tidy, homely space, it became the home for my big ugly printer. My desk sat in the corner of the room and the dining table, more often than not, was covered in paper and work detritus. From that point, I thought endlessly about having an office in a garden building. I wrote about it, talked about it, and pinned inspiration on my dream garden office Pinterest board. Now, if you’ve ever looked into garden offices, you’ll… Read More

My Garden Office | Storage

My garden office. My imaginary garden office. I’ve mentioned it time and time again on my blog. I’ve even dedicated a Pinterest board to it. But THIS YEAR it’s finally happening! This is the year my garden office goes from being imaginary to real! Weeeeeeeee! *claps hands in excitement* It’s currently sitting in the garden — in pieces — waiting for my boy (and a willing helper) to put it together. The base has been built in readiness and (fingers crossed) this weekend it will be constructed. Whilst I can’t really get too excited about the interior until it’s built, and has been boarded out, I’ve been making plans and trying to work out how best to store — and display — everything that’s going to have to live in there. The space is good — the building will measure 16′ x 10′ — and there will be a bank of windows down the right hand side. I plan to have low built in storage built the full length of the workroom, which will store my magazines and books. This is the pic that holds my gaze the longest, on the Pinterest board, so I’m hoping it will look a lot like it. But as well as a… Read More

My dream home office

I’ve spoken on many occasions about my current work set up. The fact that I run a design business from home but my office gave way to the boys’ nursery, shortly before they were born, and I’m now working in a slightly nomadic set up. I have a corner of the dining room for one of my iMacs — the other has sadly been relegated to it’s box — the (enormous) printer sits in another corner and boxes (and boxes) of work stuff — cardstock, materials, tools etc — have been shipped out to various locations. My husband’s work being one. I think it would be fair to say that it’s not ideal. I shared my plans for a garden office back in May. Sad to say, things haven’t moved on at all since then. The reality is very much still in the pipeline, although my boy and I have both agreed that, if we don’t make a start soon — and at least lay a concrete base for my dream home office— then the opportunity will have been missed for this year. So imagine my excitement then when I saw this *claps hands and squeals*! We are inviting you to get creative and create a board dedicated to… Read More