She Builds She-Sheds by the Seashore

Jane Coslick on building her clients a room of their own


Photography by BEAU KESTER

Holley Jaakkola unified a warren of rooms and added salvaged church windows to a 50-year-old structure adjacent to her home on Isle of Hope, creating a one- of-a-kind she-shed for her flower and garden design business.

I WAS BORN IN SAVANNAH, and I have been creating simple little getaways (or “she-sheds”, as they’ve come to be called) for myself and many of my clients since the early 1990s. As a child I shared a bedroom with my older sister, so I value my space more than most, and when you design cottages, space is always at a premium. I moved to Tybee in 1992 from Isle of Hope, where I had been involved in restoration and preservation work. Right away I began saving Tybee cottages from demolition, and to date I’ve restored 89 structures on the island for myself or my clients. Preservation is my passion, and trying to protect the essence of Tybee Island is my focus. Nowadays almost everyone loves a cottage. Many of the older homes on Tybee and in Savannah have existing small outbuildings, and if they’re in a nice location with a pleasant view, I recommend transforming them into fun escapes that complement the home and property. Adding a small shed expands useful living space, and they can be used in a multitude of ways: as yoga retreats, art studios, work stations, or just as a place to watch the world go by. I love a tin roof and white walls, and I often add old window sashes and a small pair of French doors, or a custom door with colorful cutouts, to make she-sheds more open and inviting. I always try to include a special chandelier and great fabrics for that touch of magic, and landscaping and a tiny porch are the final flourishes. At this unusual moment, when we’re spending so much time at home, the she-shed can make the “in this together” element feel not quite so crowded. 


Jane Coslick’s personal she-shed on Tybee Island was originally designed as storage for bikes and kayaks — now, it’s a perfect place to plan her next cottage restoration projects.
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