6 TECH IDEAS FOR THE
ULTIMATE SHE SHED
Never heard of a she shed? It's sort of like a man cave, but totally different. The idea is simple. Take an old shed and transform it into an oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation—a place where women can leave stress and responsibility at the door, if only for a few hours. She sheds are a relatively new idea, so we decided to make one. Here's how it went, along with six ways we incorporated tech into the mix.
1. EXTEND THE WI-FI FOR ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT
Streaming music, movies and TV shows are great ways to unwind, but to stream successfully, you need strong Wi-Fi. Getting that signal out to the she shed in the backyard is often a challenge, so one of the first things we did actually didn't happen in the shed. We added a Wi-Fi range extender inside the home. A strategically placed extender boosts the range of your existing router so the wireless can reach more places. Once it's set up, you can enjoy movies on a tablet or music through a Sonos wireless speaker inside the shed.
2. SET THE MOOD WITH YOUR PHONE
The right lighting can make all the difference. We wanted maximum flexibility in our she shed, so we went with Philips hue. It has 16 million different colors, including presets like "Reading," "Relax" and "Energize." Everything is customizable and controllable via your phone. We used hue bulbs in our lamps and portable hue GO lights on our shelves. We wanted phone-control for the chandelier, too, but since it uses standard lights, we plugged it into a Belkin WeMo switch instead. The switch lets you turn things on and off right from the WeMo app.
3. TURN UGLY CABLES INTO ART
Cables and cords are a necessity, but they sure aren't pretty. Concealing them is the easiest way to avoid the eyesore. Or when life gives you cables, make cable art. It transforms something functional into a unique conversation piece. We created a bull. Or maybe it's a bison. You decide. Art is subjective.
4. BASK IN SUN (EVEN WHEN IT RAINS)
You can't control the weather. Or can you? Because our hue lights have a preset that simulates sunlight, we decided to have our hue sun automatically rise when it's raining. To make it happen, we used IF. IF is an easy-to-use app for creating automated tasks (IF calls them "recipes"). We told IF, "if it starts raining, then change the color to sunlight." The result? A little bit of sunshine to break through those rain clouds in our modern shed.
5. GRANT ACCESS WITHOUT A KEY
The days of hiding a key under the mat are over. We replaced the old padlock with the August smart lock. Installation was pretty easy and it works with most standard deadbolts. Once it's set up, not only can you lock and unlock the shed from your phone, you can also send an invite to a friend so she can enter for specific periods of time.
6. CREATE A HIDDEN REFRESHMENT STATION
Coffee. Tea. Wine. We wanted them all at the ready in our ultimate she shed, but having too many small appliances in a small space could clutter things up and ruin the aesthetic. The solution was simple. Hide them. We tucked an espresso maker, an electric tea kettle and a wine cooler inside a cabinet. (Be sure to cut the back open behind the cooler for adequate air circulation.) In the corner, we added a Dyson fan. It doubles as a heater to keep the shed warm on crisp, fall evenings.
ONE LAST LOOK...
Here's a final recap of the transformation from ordinary to extraordinary.