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gulf coast special magazine




Maxing Out Our Personal Spaces
Story by Sam Byrd

There’s nothing like a little time away in a private spot that makes life just a little more enjoyable. Whether it’s a tastefully decorated she shed, a wired-for-tech man cave, or a blinged-out creative zone, there’s that one reclusive spot that always feels like our personal territory to kick back, unwind and indulge our passions. Armed with that knowledge, Houston House & Home dug a little deeper to see how to bring about those wonderful locations for relaxation.

The cost of adding a freestanding structure on your lot will vary, depending on whether the interior is finished out with insulation and drywall, the number of windows, architectural details, and infrastructure such as plumbing, air-conditioning or a kitchen. Outlets like 84 Lumber, Enterprise Center, Tuff Shed, and Ulrich Barn Builders, LLC have outdoor showrooms for getting a better sense of space, as well as to help you decide how much build-out you’ll be needing and which amenities are right for you (and your pocketbook).

Brett Zamore Design, LLC has developed a zFab line of pre-fabricated housing; these are manufactured off site and then delivered and installed on your property — it’s an efficient process that minimizes cost and waste in comparision to conventional construction. The zFab 360 is perfect for creating a move-in ready creative zone, while the zFab 504 makes an attractive guest house or sustainable off-the-grid getaway.

Johnna Schmidt, owner of Elizabeth Cole, LLC, shares the appeal of a she shed located away from the house and in a separate spot. “The beauty of a she shed is that it’s singular and it’s hers. It’s not anyone else’s space,” she says.

When tasked with developing a she shed or creative zone for a client, she mentions the importance of looking at the desired function, which can vary wildly between customers. For example, Schmidt describes her own idea of the perfect respite. “Mine would have a bed and TV to escape and    not be interrupted. Others might have a Do-It-Yourself shed that she could get dirty. Some like them to   do their arts and crafts like sewing. Others want to hide their wine away from visitors inside the house,” she adds.

Valerie  Etter, project manager with Elizabeth Cole Interior Design, mentions there are easy  tricks to make the creative space a hit. Throw pillows, faux flowers and vases, chairs with tailored cushions and movable storage items all add value to the space while making it both beautiful and functional. Last, but not least, don't forget the flameless candles. Zachary from State Farm will thank  you. “By adding in flameless candles, we won’t risk burning down our she shed and spending countless hours on the phone with our insurance company,” Etter adds.

One look at the idea blog at Ulrich Barn Builders, LLC and you’ll be inspired, too. From photography and artist studios to knitting enclaves and model train displays — even a fancy chicken coop — it’s amazing to see the creativity of fellow Texans.

Brett Zamore, AIA, founding principal of Brett Zamore Design, LLC, has suggestions for customizing a man cave — whether building out a new space or retrofitting an existing room within the house.

“Bring in the things that connect with your manliness. Line the walls with cedar, bring in the  rugs, new lighting, comfy couch, La-Z-Boy® recliner, large TV with gaming devices, drum set and  guitar with amp. If the room is large you can add a pool table and also a dart board and small mini-bar    or add a small refrigerator or kegerator. You can even soundproof the room installing acoustical finishes on the ceiling or on the wall.”

However you get there, creating a cozy hideaway is worth the effort and expense. It can provide countless hours each week for slowing down and doing the things that really make life worth living.



84 Lumber
281-213-3062, 22770 Northwest Lake
281-481-8415, 11203 Galveston

Brett Zamore Design, LLC
zFab 360
713-623-1926, 1501 Laird

Elizabeth Cole, LLC
713-366-7900, 9000 Hempstead, Suite 366

Enterprise Center
979-542-4330, 3331 East Austin, Giddings

Tuff Shed
713-896-8110, 7935 Wright
713-896-8840, 11526 Harwin
281-845-2508, 501 Gulf Freeway, League City
936-266-0245, 19419 North Freeway, Spring
936-648-0670, 16231 FM 3083, Conroe
281-608-2808, 4662 NE I-10 Frontage, Sealy

Ulrich Barn Builders, LLC
817-409-3253, showrooms in Cleburne, Fort Worth, Tyler and Venus,

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