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Omaha Magazine

Spaces: Denise Meyers' She Shed by the Red Brick Ranch

Apr 28, 2022 05:09PM ● By Hannah Amrollahi
Denise Meyers stands on shed porch

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

Tucked behind a swooping privacy wall off her house’s facade, Denise Meyers’ “she shed” offers the prerequisite peace and seclusion required for a retreat. The Meyer family’s red brick ranch on a Skylark-Cryer neighborhood corner lot is already angled and landscaped to have a concealed exterior. Denise maintained this aesthetic in her home’s addition. 

“I always wanted [a private space],” Denise said, “I just didn’t know what to do.” It was another home improvement project that gave her a lightbulb moment.

When Denise and husband Jon renovated their primary bedroom and bath, they added a side entrance to the home and concrete paths up to the deck. This made it easier for Lois Mellend, Denise’s mother, to access the yard. It was then Denise realized she had the perfect space for her she shed. The Meyers put one of their cars into storage, divided the garage space, re-fitted the door, and drywalled a portion of the interior to create the new, private room.     

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

   Outside, the she shed’s red siding blends seamlessly with the home’s brick exterior across the walkway. Inside, the redesign creates a separate, well-insulated room inaccessible from the rest of the garage and unconnected to the main house. Here, Denise can have a glass of wine, listen to her favorite music (she’s partial to James Taylor and Carole King), and entertain friends.

“To bring everything that is so peaceful to you into your space…,” Denise explained, “it’s special to me.” 

White walls and furniture and soft brown tones in the wood accent wall create a neutral, tranquil space, while eclectic and vintage decor add a farmstead charm to the room. Most notable, a ladder for blankets and hats, wine barrels holding up a table, dried flowers, and wine crate shelving. 

“She had all this stuff, and I said you’re not going to fit all that in there,” Jon confessed. “She did, and it looks great.” 

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

The retreat’s furniture is arranged to give the illusion of a larger space rather than a small, overcrowded room. Two strategically placed mirrors, a small throw rug, and light-colored, low-profile furniture achieve an open affect. Warm, soft lighting from a column lamp, along with natural light from windows, provide the cozy “hygge” atmosphere for which Denise’s Norwegian heritage is famous.

“I have a lot of my family things in here,” Denise said. “Things come from different times and places in my life.”

A rocking chair in the corner belonged to Denise’s grandfather and carries memories of them sitting together like she does with her 10 grandchildren now. A wide-brimmed farm hat can be seen atop her lawn-mower-riding mother in a framed picture on display. A crock from the basement of the North Dakota farm Denise grew up on holds a healthy fern rather than sauerkraut, as it once did. Smaller mementos are exhibited on the shelves and tables throughout the room, evoking yet more sweet recollections.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

“I love my time out here,” Denise said. “My grandkids love to come out here, read, and just hang.”

While Denise’s she shed is full of memorabilia for reminising, several seating options create an inviting space to receive guests and make new memories. A wooden pergola and windows overlooking the lawn connect the private and yard areas, while an outdoor sitting area and nearby fire pit expand the relaxing communal space. Paved walkways from the new side door and deck make the shed easy to reach in snowy and icy weather. 

Jon is entirely supportive of his wife’s retreat.

“It’s her Superman space,” he said. “A place to get away—it’s therapeutic. It’s good.” 

This article originally appeared in the May 2022 issue of Omaha Home. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.