Thud thud thud BANG “Waaaaah! He puuuuushed meeeeee!”
“Haaaaaaaiiii-YA! Got you! Now you’re dead!”
“No I’m NOOOOOOT!”
“Yes you ARE – that’s the GAAAAME!”
CRASH!!! “It wasn’t MEEEEE!”
“WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH! THERE’S NO HOPE FOR YOU, SKYWALKER!”
For some people at work, the soundtrack to their daily grind is the rustle of trees outside the window. For others, it’s the soft mutterings of colleagues wrestling with Powerpoint. There are those whose keyboard taps are accompanied by the distant whoosh of cars.
However, for me, a work-from-home mum with two small yet incredible noisy boys (and one incredibly long-suffering nanny), the noises I have to contend with while working are akin to Darth Vader taking on Anakin with super-strength double-ended light sabers (is that a battle that actually happens? Don’t really know what I’m talking about, except that it’s LOUD).
OK, there are benefits to working in the basement office. Namely, er, that it’s close to the utility room and therefore ideal for doing the washing when I’m supposed to be working. And the fact that I can wear my PJs all day, even when the postman comes round at 3pm and gives me a weird look. But despite these huge bonuses, what I really really want, with Geri Haliwellesque fervor, is not just a room, but an entire HOUSE of my own. Yes; I want a She Shed.
While to my mind, a man cave evokes images of dirty, dark garages filled with cobweb-covered pool tables, piles of rusty tools, and stacks of questionable magazines, the She Shed of my dreams is something quite different.
Firstly, and most importantly, it sits separately to the main house, meaning you have no sense whatsoever of being trapped in the middle of the Death Star. Or Millenium Falcon. Or whatever the kids are fighting on these days.
What else? It’s light and airy, yet warm and cosy. It has a well-proportioned desk, a looks-retro-but-is-actually-digital radio, a vase of flowers, and a sumptuous sofa with fuck-loads of cushions because, well, CUSHIONS.
This is something that PR Melissa Byrne, who owns Byrne Communications understands, because she HAS A SHE SHED. Melissa works from the family home, which she describes as “a house full of boys – even the dogs are male!” To escape the noise, she converted her garage into her own personal hideaway/office, “with its own log burner, plants, rugs, pictures on the walls, pinboards and a view of the garden so I can close the door on the house (and the domestic jobs!) and completely shut myself off with just Radio 4 for company! It's bliss...” I can only imagine.
For those of us who crave a She Shed but don’t have a handy garage to convert – what to do? Katie Langley, owner of three small boys and founder - with husband John - of JML Garden Rooms, has the answer. With loads of experience in the building industry, this clever couple has come up with a concept for a garden room/sanity saver, which is:
- built using the highest quality materials
- energy efficient and sustainable
- quick to build
- multi-purpose (can be an office, gym, art studio, playroom, etc…)
- super insulated so they’re even cosy in the winter
The other excellent thing about JML’s garden rooms is that they don’t usually need planning permission. If, like me, you’ve ever tried to get planning permission for anything more than a mole hill, you’ll a) have added a flowery range of expletives to your vocabulary, and b) know what a massive bonus this is.
There’s also the extra advantage of adding value to your home when and if you sell. As Katie puts it: “As more and more people are working from home, our clients have seen their garden room investment increase the value of their home significantly as many people are really attracted to the idea of an outside, usable space.”
I spoke to artist Kim Somerville, who recently had a JML Garden Room installed, to find out how she likes her She Shed. It’s fair to say she’s pretty enthusiastic:
“Two months after completion of our JML Garden Room we felt like it had been here forever. The quality is exceptional and everyone who’s come to see it is so impressed. But I do take exception to it being called a 'shed', haha!” says Kim. “Although it was initially intended to be my personal space for my art studio, I’m delighted everyone else in the family has found their own use for it too - when I allow them! Having been set up as a peaceful space filled with natural light for me to paint in, it has also become ideal for practising yoga whilst looking at our lovely views.” Jealous? Me? Yup.
For more info on how you can escape the Death Star and check Instagram - I mean work - in peace in your very own She Shed, click here. For tips on great places to hide the key, or if you’re looking to add to your expletives collection, do drop me a line.
This post was sponsored by JML Garden Rooms, but as always, all opinions are my own.
If I don't like something, I won't write about it.