Q & A with Erika Kotite, author of She Sheds

By Shelley Pierce | December 3, 2017
Image by The Quarto Group
by Shelley Pierce
December 3, 2017

Erika Kotite is an editor, writer, and content developer in both print and digital media. She was editor-in-chief of Romantic Homes and Victorian Homes for many years, bringing that experience to producing books for Sterling, Quarry, and Walter Foster. Some of her titles include, Felt Fashion: Couture Projects from Apparel to Accessories, Blogging for Bliss, and The Daily Book of Photography. Currently, Erika leads the Beauty Group at Bobit Business Media, overseeing multiple sites for nail artists and salon owners. Erika lives in Huntington Beach, California with her husband and three children.

In her latest book, “She Sheds: A Room of Your Own“, Kotite provides the instruction and inspiration to create your very own hideaway for relaxing, crafting, reading, or just to have a private place just for youRead on to learn more and enter below to win one of 3 copies from The Quarto Group.

1. Would you agree with the sentiment that “She Sheds” simply man caves for women? Why or why not?

She sheds have been paired (and compared) with man caves for a few years now. It’s too irresistible not to! Man caves and she sheds are related in that they provide a private, enjoyable space for the people who create them. However, she sheds are very different spaces in a few ways. First, they are almost always standalone structures in the backyard. They have a wonderful pedigree that includes potting sheds and artist’s studios. Second, they are light-filled and feminine, reflecting the design aesthetic of their owners.

2. How does this book help us determine our shed style and make it a reality?

The book helps women find their desired style by showcasing a number of she shed designs — rustic, bohemian, modern, shabby/romantic, cottage and Victorian. It also has chapters that separate she sheds by their purpose – for artists, gardeners, dreamers, etc. It is a feast for the eyes with lots of large photos and details, but it also contains a lot of practical information about what is involved in building a she shed. Chapter 7 relates my own experience building a she shed from a kit for my sister-in-law. Very eye-opening and honest, with lots of tips based on what we learned.

3. What are some features that could be incorporated into a she shed for a gardener?

She sheds for gardeners should have the following: generous surface space for potting, lots of natural light and a comfortable place to sit. You might consider a partial wall to block off an area for the storage you will no doubt need. Think of your shed not as a utilitarian space to be hidden away; it should be incorporated into your landscape design. That’s the real joy of a she shed.

4. What are some great ways to take a shed from ordinary to oh-so-cute?
The hands-down BEST thing to do for a she shed to make it oh-so-cute is find and install the best and biggest windows you can find. Wonderful doors, whether French or Dutch or farm-style, should be highlighted with your favorite paint color. I think that sheds with a bit of roof overhang (so that you have rafters) tend to look really good, as if they are a permanent outbuilding. For gardeners, it’s the perfect place to exercise your landscaping skills, using containers, raised planters, pathways and such to anchor the space within your garden.

5. Do you have any tips or advice for those wanting to create their very own She Shed?

My best advice for creating a she shed you’ll love for a very long time is to take your time building it. Give yourself time to find interesting architectural pieces, scrounge around for salvaged lumber and windows, keep an eye out for cool throwaway doors, shutters and textiles you can snag for free, plan the interior so that it fits everything you want to have, test a few paint colors. It will be time well spent AND it often makes the building materials more affordable to boot!

Win one of three copies of “She Sheds: A Room Of Your Own“!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Sunday, December 10, 2017 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:

If you built a She Shed, what would you use it for?

Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)

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