Students Compete To Transform Garden Sheds Into Tiny Hangout Spots

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 4:00pm
Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 4:07pm
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(Photo by Annika Cline - KJZZ)
Students gave their sheds nicknames.

You’ve probably heard of the tiny home craze. The next big trend is creating tiny hangouts out of garden sheds, tossing out the shrub clippers and bringing in a couch — if it’ll fit through the door.

If you had a 10-by-12 room to work with, what would you put in it?

“So my nickname for this space is ‘Book and Bean,’” said Aubree Smith, showing off a shed in which she squeezed a bookshelf, coffee table and loveseat.

There’s even artwork on the baby-blue walls.

“I wanted it to be somewhere quiet, that a person could come and read and store their books and drink coffee and just enjoy themselves,” she said.

Smith is an interior design student at Phoenix College. She’s here at the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show putting her skills to the test in a student design competition to turn sheds chic.

“Pillows, blanket … curl up, enjoy,” Smith said.

“I am standing here and I forget that I’m standing in a shed. It feels like there should be a door to more rooms in the house in here,” I told her.

“It’s like a little living room, it’s kinda fun,” she said.

And it’s a fad in the home improvement world.

“The ‘He Shed, She Shed’ fad is very popular right now for homeowners to put these sheds in their backyard and turn it into, you know, either a game room or a crafting room,” said Joelle Peruch, special events coordinator with Maricopa County Home Shows.

He Shed, She Shed … besides being a tongue twister, it’s also a TV show. The show has turned sheds into tiki bars and mini movie theaters.

“Yeah it’s no longer that shed that you envision when you close your eyes, like it’s your mower and your rake and garden tools,” Peruch said.

Well, except when gardening is your shed’s theme.

“We definitely love our herbs and all the herbs that are going to go on the wall. It’s kind of the main focus we had for the shed,” Andrea Stubblefield said.

She’s working in the shed next door to Smith’s, alongside Adrienne Pilchard. They both study interior design at Scottsdale Community College. They also have plans to set up a bar area, with the idea to use the herbs in mixed drinks.

“So make some fancy drinks and kind of experiment, and all hang out at the same time,” Stubblefield said.

“Get away from all the interior design classwork,” I added.

“Yes! Get away from all the classwork, definitely,” she said.

But lounging can only happen after all the hard work on the DIY projects in here.

“Our grass wall is one of our favorites and was one of the hardest,” Stubblefield said.

From vertical AstroTurf to tiling a floor, the students are getting some hands-on experience in their chosen field. Smith said this project was the first time she’d ever used a staple gun.

“My dad had me practice first on a scrap piece of wood,” she said. “And you know, I felt like 6 years old again, but it was a lot of fun.”

Luckily it’s a small space, so each task is also to scale. But Pilchard said as for personal preference, she’d like to go back to a normal-sized room.

“I am not a tiny person,” she laughed. “I am like as tall as this shed, so not for me at least. I can see the appeal, but …”

But she’ll leave the tiny trend to the people visiting the home and garden show, who can bid on any of these sheds to take home.

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