the return of the potting shed.

Finally!  Today I’m sharing the transformation of the photo cottage back into a potting shed.

It’s done!

Well, as done as any room ever is at our house.  I’m always making little tweaks here and there.

As a recap, we scraped and painted the walls, then sanded and painted the floor.

Then I brought the old chippy cabinet back in.

There is a little backstory to this piece.  When we purchased our house the lower portion of this cabinet was in the carriage house, and had the very chippy paint you see on it.  I moved it out to the shed early on, and I replaced the insets in the doors with chicken wire.  The upper portion was in the kitchen.  The previous owners had built a surround around the radiator and added that top section to it to give it a hutch-like look.

Here’s some photographic evidence that I have been painting furniture for a very long time.

Yep, that’s me circa 1989.

Along with all of my other cupboards, I painted it a peach color the first time we redecorated the kitchen (don’t judge, it was the late 80’s, and hey, I was covering up mustard yellow).  The most startling thing to me about that photo (aside from my mullet-like hairstyle) is that I still use those blue plastic buckets!  Jeesh!  I have 33 year old plastic buckets.

Anyway, I later painted it white when I redecorated the kitchen again.  Eventually we ripped out that radiator surround and I decided to pair this top with the chippy cupboard in the shed.  It wasn’t until we went to put it in place that I realized it belonged there all along.  The chippy cupboard has grooves in the top and this hutch piece fits in them perfectly.

But that sort of explains why the bottom half of this hutch is in the original chippy paint, and the top half isn’t.  I suppose some people would opt to paint the bottom too, but not me.  I love that authentic chippy paint!

When I turned the shed into the photo cottage, I repainted the inside of the upper cabinet in Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg and I added vintage wallpaper to the lower shelf and inside the drawers.  You can read all about that here.  Then back in 2020 I re-painted the interior in Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.

I’m still keeping some of my pretty floral china in the top, and the bottom is perfect for storing clay pots.

Some of you might remember the primitive dollhouse I purchased at a garage sale back in May.

I ended up deciding to keep that for the potting shed, and now it resides on top of this cabinet along with a chippy green bird cage.

Opposite the hutch is the green wicker chair I revamped a few weeks back, and the first aid chest I shared last week.

I have a reading lamp on the window ledge next to the chair.

But I’m faking you out a bit with that.  I don’t have electricity in the shed.

I initially rewired this lamp intending to sell it at the shop, and then never did.  It’s still listed on my ‘available for local sale‘ page (if any of you locals need a cool lamp in a location that actually has electricity), but in the meantime the green base works perfectly in the potting shed.

The potting bench I created last month is opposite the door.

It will be a great spot for storing all of my less attractive gardening supplies like fertilizer and such.

As you can see, I’m gearing up for fall bulb planting!

Hanging on the wall to the left of that window is the pie safe that I shared earlier this summer.

I was going to bring that in to the shop, but once again, it never made it in there.  I do still have it listed on my available for local sale page though.  I would part with it as well if anyone wants to purchase it, but in the meantime it looks great in the shed.

I have this old vintage fly swatter hanging on the wall next to the pie safe.

I don’t know why I’m so drawn to this thing, but I love it.  It seems like an appropriate thing to hang in a potting shed.

On the other side of the window is a pair of bug prints (there is likely a fancier name, but I’m calling them bug prints) that I found super cheap ($10 ea.) at Michaels.

It is slightly ironic that they are hanging opposite the bug swatter.

You may have caught a few glimpses here and there of the very utilitarian rug that I have on the floor near the door.

Although I initially considered removing the rug for photos, I decided to keep it real and leave it in place.  The thing is, over the years I’ve come to realize that I am going to walk into this shed with muddy shoes.  It’s inevitable.  No matter how many times I tell myself not to do this, I will do it.  I debated going with one of those washable Ruggables, but ultimately I just couldn’t pull the trigger on a $129 rug for that spot (you already know I’m a bit of a cheapskate, right?).  So I grabbed this rug at Target.  Hopefully it will save my painted floors from some wear and tear.

And that does it.  The shed has been transformed back into a potting shed.  I think I’ll hold off on painting the exterior until next summer, but that is something on my radar.  In the meantime, what do you think?  Would you use a potting shed?  Or would you rather have a summerhouse or a photo cottage?  Leave a comment and let me know!

35 thoughts on “the return of the potting shed.

  1. I’d like to move in! It’s been great multiple times but WOW, I love it best now!! I’m inspired to do something as lovely to my very utilitarian and not beautiful shed, now, too. Thank you for sharing your vision and talents with us!!


  2. love how you put the shed ‘together’!! Peach is still a fav color of mind . The 80’s pix is so fun – I just don’t know where all these years when!!


  3. I would love a potting shed. I do a lot of gardening but I do not think Oakdale would like me to have another shed on my property😬 I could not make one as beautiful as yours though as I would not want to get it dirty!


  4. First, I hope you’re feeling better.
    I love, love, love your potting shed! I would definitely use it for that. That potting bench is so beautiful!!
    I have the ‘bones’ of a big pole barn on my property that I have dreams of closing in one day. Previous owners made it out of old telephone poles. It is roughly divided in half and I would love to make half into a potting shed. I see it with a reclaimed brick floor, metal roof and a wall or two made up of old windows.
    I would love to have painted furniture pieces in it using some of your techniques! You’re always an inspiration!!


  5. I love it!!! So cozy….While I love the idea of using this space to store all of my gardening supplies, .I would totally use it as a photo cottage.


  6. Love the whole shed! What a cool spot just to hang out. Thanks for the retro painting picture-your skills started a long time ago…


  7. Love the potting shed! It is a great reflection of your current style and it is full of pieces I would love to own! I do not garden much, but I would enjoy that potting shed. Perms were very popular in 1989 – not sure if your waves were natural but I had the long permed hair that year!


  8. Photo cottage for sure! I don’t pot plants because I cannot keep a potted plant alive. I plant plenty in the ground though. Your cottage/shed/summerhouse looks perfect!


  9. I really like how your potting shed turned out! The rug is fine – very practical, which is necessary for being able to actually use the potting shed.


  10. I love your potting shed-I am actually quite jealous you even have one. I have a small potting table in my garage. And don’t worry about your mullet-like hairstyle in ’89. We all had one! I love your posts, look forward to the next one.


  11. Love the potting shed. You have a magical decorating ability. Curious. Why not put electricity in the shed. I’m picturing a chandelier. 😊


    1. That would be fabulous, but you’ve forgotten what a cheapskate I am! I feel like it would be rather expensive to add electricity ‘just for looks’. I don’t think I’d ever have a good reason to be out there after dark. It sure would be pretty though! I may run an extension cord out there in the winter to add Christmas lights, and that would be covered by snow so not an eyesore. Maybe. We’ll see how that goes.


  12. I love your potting shed. I’ve said before that your whimisical inspiration makes me so happy. In fact, I finally found a potting bench I like and I’m putting it in the carport on the side of my house. (I don’t have a garage or a potting shed.) That way it will be protected from the rougher weather. I’m really excited to get it put together and decorated. Unfortunately, we are having our Indian Summer right now with temps up to 114! Not really conducive to working outside!


    1. Yikes! I was speaking with my mom the other day and she mentioned it was somewhere around 110 where she is. I’m sure you’re looking forward to the cooler temps that must be just around the corner.


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