If you are one of the potential tens of regular readers of this blog, you may (but probably not) have noticed a couple of things. One, the site now has obnoxious ads. This is due to the expiration of my WordPress Pro subscription, and my inability to justify continuing to pay for it. They’re distracting, I know, but this blog has no business potential, and if it’s not going to bring in money, I can’t allow it to cost money. Anyway, on to the headliner of this show: The Shed.
Back in January, I introduced a pretty big project I had decided to tackle: transforming a small shed on our property into an office space for myself. The shed was an outwardly ugly, inwardly dank, dark, 98 square feet of plywood and mildew. It was full of boxes whose contents were unknown (and largely not missed), computer parts that haven’t been used since 2008 (I could rant about clutter and packrattiness for hours, but I’ll save you the read), and our disassembled – now water damaged – pool table. What it lacked in charm though, it made up in potential (much like the rest of our property). It already had electricity running to it, which seemed to me like a pretty good start, so off I went guns blazing or whatever, ready to tear some walls down.
Day one: Demo Day! I invited a couple of friends over, and armed with sledgehammers and crowbars, we went to work. While I do watch a fair share of home remodel shows, I am not naive enough to believe that home construction projects go anywhere near as quickly as they do on TV. That is to say, I did not expect to have this shed cleared out in an hour. I did not, however, expect demo to take an entire week. The girls and I spent most of a Saturday afternoon prying off trim and taking down shelves, but at the end of the day, the walls still stood.
While I am an enneagram 9, my 1 wing is incredibly strong, and I am an organized, scheduling, planning machine. I had a timeline of how this project was going to go, and at the end of week 1, I was somehow already almost 2 weeks behind schedule. I had hoped to be caulking and looking at whatever electrical work would be needed (a job I outsourced to my husband – electricity is not something I have any desire to play with), and instead I was still tearing out plywood and eradicating wasp colonies.
Once the walls were gone, I was ready to rock and roll. I marked off where I wanted my windows framed in (another job for the husband), and started planning the next step, which in my mind was insulation and drywall, but turned out to be adding trim to the outside to stop water from getting in. The enthusiasm you see in the first picture? Waning quickly. Still, I kept myself encouraged by thinking about the end goal, picking out paint color and light fixtures, and reminding myself there is value in learning to manage expectations. My kids kept me encouraged by continuing to live their lives in full volume on either side of the guest room where I still worked.
Eventually, The Shed was ready for windows, and because I am equal parts brilliant and foolish, I proposed to my husband that we replace the windows there were in our kitchen with french doors and put the windows in The Shed. This was a project we had already planned to do (eventually), and would save us from having to buy windows. Obviously, my timeline took a hit since we couldn’t take the windows out of the kitchen and put them immediately into The Shed – we had to install the french doors first. In a perfect world, this side quest would have been roughly a 3 day adventure, but it’s well known that the world is not perfect.
Just as we got the doors installed, but before the wall was put back up, my husband got the call that his father’s passing was at the any day stage. The weeks that followed were a blur of his travel to and from his mother’s house across the state, an ice storm with no insulated kitchen wall, a frantic push to finish the wall before the whole family traveled across state for the funeral, and finally, a week in the mountains where we all took a collective breath and got our heads back together.
Once we got back, somewhat refreshed and ready to put a fork in this thing, windows went in, and suddenly the dark, damp cave started showing some real promise.
Things started really moving after that. Insulation, hanging drywall, and taping/floating became three things that I knew wouldn’t make it on my list of hobbies to pursue, but I had no idea I’d hate them so much. Each step was more awful than the one before, but they got me visibly closer to the part of the project I was excited about (design), and ultimately closer to my goal of having my space.
And then it was time. I had electricity, walls, windows, and air conditioning and it was time to take the vision out of my head and put it into this little space. The week I spent painting (yes, an entire week) was far more enjoyable than the week I spent tearing walls down. I happily touched up scuffs and bleed-throughs because it wasn’t mudding drywall seams. For three weeks, putting the touches that turned this space from a storage shed into The Shed was my full-time job. We ate pizza at 8:00 on a school night because I HAD to get the flooring laid. I woke up every morning with a list of what I wanted to accomplish that day. It really did border on obsessed. I set a deadline of April 23 for move-in. It would be one year to the day of when we moved into this house. And with the help of my amazingly tolerant husband, I made it.
I give you: The Shed
It is literally everything I wanted it to be. It’s quiet and cozy. It’s feminine and inspiring. I feel creative and at peace in this space. I could not be more pleased with the outcome. I can’t wait to see what I create in this space.