Yes, she sells She Sheds at the home show. But in Laura Fruehling’s defense, she didn’t come up with the name.
“That name was presented to me. They said what would you do with a shed?” recalled the longtime interior designer from Ohio.
“We came up with the name,” said John DeSantis, director of the Duquesne Light Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show.
Inspiration came from past home shows, when women’s reaction to the sports-oriented Fan Cave (rhymes with Man Cave) was: “I want one!”
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This year, they get five, all built by Amish craftsmen from Ohio and displayed on the second floor of the convention center. Twin Oaks Barns built Empty Nest, which Fruehling decorated with custom-made furniture, and Organic Garden, a potting shed and greenhouse in one. Weaver Barns built Book Club and Patio Pavilion — spaces for reading, sipping wine and outdoor entertaining, respectively. Alpine Structures whipped up a baby blue Baker’s Hut complete with a working oven that will turn out cookies and other treats during the 10-day show.
Fruehling doesn’t see her shed, which was her hideaway when her grown children came home for Christmas, as just a feminine version of a Man Cave. She calls it an artistic take on another hot trend, the tiny house.
“It could be lived in. It’s a realistic option for a second home,” said Fruehling, the owner of Acorn Hook.
Her 22-by-10-foot prototype is shown at the home show with a wood stove, sink and toilet (but no plumbing). With 200 square feet of living space, its base price would be $7,000, not including furniture, insulation, electric or plumbing.
The designer is especially proud of the furnishings, which include old pallets used as a room divider and wine rack, a table with burled cypress as a base and marbleized concrete on top, and a glass-topped cypress log whose artistic, gnarled appearance was created by a fungus. It is laid on its side and acts as a beautiful dining table.
All five She Sheds made their debut last month at Cleveland’s Home Show, but Fruehling promises this version will be even better. She will be accompanied by her daughter and son-in-law, Lenzil and Asa Hoaglund of Moon, and her sons Beriton and Brighton. Were they the reason she escaped to her She Shed at Christmastime?
Well, yes, but only for a while. It doesn’t have a shower.