Not everyone will agree on what beauty is, but it is one’s perception that counts; however function is a bit more concrete. As a designer and decorator, I strive for both, it is in my DNA. I know that not nearly as many people will find a storage shed a thing of beauty as will find a pretty fabric or the lines of a lovely chair; but to me, the shed illustrated here is a thing of beauty.
I do a great many painting and refinishing projects that add to the aesthetic quality of my life and the lives of my clients; so having a place to work on these projects is particularly important to me. I wholeheartedly subscribe to the designer mantra that form follows function.
I purchased an eight-by-ten foot shed last fall, and my handy husband spent a couple of weekends getting it set up; first he built a frame for the foundation so the shed to sit level on the back patio that was sloping for drainage. Suffice to say that he built the shed and foundation with his usual precision. There are still some additions to install, such as lighting and a box fan for exhausting paint spray and fumes.
Fitting the interior with a tall, wire-frame shelving unit was key to storing the many cans of paint and other necessary supplies. I thought it would be a good idea to wrap the wire-frame shelves with an insulation blanket meant for a water heater. My hope it to help preserve the paint, which degrades in extreme temperatures— since the shed is not as well insulated as the garage. Investment: Insulation, $22, shelving unit was a donation from my daughter, $0.
I bought a set of adjustable saw horses to hold a discarded, standard interior door; this serves as my work table. Investment: Saw-Horses, $59, Interior Door, $0, Lighting, $140 and the Box Fan, $25. The shed was certainly the most expensive, but I did get it on sale. I do not remember what the pressure treated wood and flashing cost, but probably somewhere around $100+/-, and the labor was based on pure love which is priceless.
Without the lighting or the fan installed yet, the room has been a valuable addition. My husband was the first to use it. I insisted that he spray paint some auto parts for the restoration of our 1930 Model A, which has not seen any attention in 50 years! Next up was the painting of a cabinet my daughter uses to conceal the litter box in a bathroom. The shed, which we have nick named "The Dexter Room", has been deemed a great asset and in my mind, a thing of beauty.
A word about the decision to purchase a pre-made shed; we looked into many less expensive options of which there are many. First, was the least expensive, was inspired by the popular TV series Dexter but, involved assembly and take down after each use. PVC pipe fitted to make a frame, and heavy sheet plastic sheeting attached to the PVC constituted the “room”, and would cost about $50. I liked that, but from a realistic stand point, I didn’t think I could do the assembly by myself, and weather might be an issue. The next idea was a simple pop-up tent, a bit more expensive, and certainly easy enough for me to assemble; but it would limit the size of the projects. The ability to use the Dexter Room shed in just about any weather for large and small projects drove the decision to acquirea more formidable structure. My daughter and I have plans to spray paint some custom doors for the newly installed cabinets in her laundry room; a couple of the doors are quite tall and require a fairly large area to work on them and allow a place for them to dry without interference.
From the outside, the shed is a pleasant enough looking piece, with a cottage look, but the interior is pure function.