From backyard shed to poolside haven

A colorful hideaway

remodeled backyard shed
Photo: Christina Schmidhofer

"This is a great place to gather during a party or use as a retreat," says interior designer-contractor Francesca Harris, who transformed this backyard shed into a relaxing hideaway.

Harris's clients wanted to renovate the aging shed by making it more attractive and functional.

Harris addressed practical considerations first, reroofing the structure, then reinstalling the original tiles. She replaced unattractive windows on two sides with pivoting shutters.

Harris removed a small single door and added large hinged shutters, opening up the entire front of the shed to the pool and garden.

Inside, a raised platform holds a cushy foam mattress topped with a featherbed. A mirror behind this daybed reflects the light and surrounding landscape.

Candle sconces on either side of the mirror add drama at night. Harris created two decorative schemes. The everyday look ― for the family and their pets ― uses heavy-duty terry-cloth sheets and pillow covers.

The party look features a brightly colored quilt and pillow shams pieced together from Indian saris. For chilly nights, Harris made blankets of saris lined with pashmina shawls, which add warmth and color. Being in this space when it's all decked out for a party is "like taking an exotic vacation," she says.

DESIGN: Francesca Harris, FHIG Inc., Corte Madera, CA (415/927-0277)

More backyard living spaces: Great garden sheds and cottages

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