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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Garden Shed Summer View Part One

Monday, September 18, 2017

{Disclosure: This post contains photos of items that are for sale in the Botanic Bleu shop on Square.} 

Garden Shed Summer View

Interior - Part 1 

Before summer slips away on September 22, take a look at how the French-inspired garden shed looked inside this summer. Usually the only time you get to see inside the garden shed is around Christmas when it is filled to the rafters with French Country Christmas inspiration for shoppers. 

Once the winter holidays are over each year, the garden shed takes on a relaxed atmosphere. There are always a few Christmas-y things hanging out in the shed all year since this is the best place to store them, but the space has more of a garden house feel than a Christmas shop feel. 

Originally the shed was planned to be a garden shed for potting plants, storing gardening supplies and tools, and overwintering tender plants. The early years of the shed's life were truly rustic ones in which the shed was only a plywood shell with a concrete floor filled with a haphazard collection of gardening tools. 

The design of the garden shed changed dramatically when the French Country Christmas market was conceived six years ago. In two months the shed was upgraded to host the first French Country Christmas event. Three years ago the exterior was clad with Texas limestone, and the structure completed the final step from a basic rustic shed to an elegant garden house. 

Furniture appropriate for a French-inspired garden house now fills the little building. This summer, the waxed pine hutch held boxwood wreaths and pieces of Botanic Blue china. During the Christmas holidays the hutch is packed with seasonal gifts. 

The wall opposite the front French doors has a butcher block counter top from Ikea, a sink from Home Depot, and an under-counter set of four drawers from Home Depot's in-stock unfinished cabinet line. All of the walls have one-inch thick by six-inch wide bead boards painted a pale blue. 

The space underneath the sink is open with one rustic reclaimed wood shelf. Crown-shaped white iron hooks hold a left-over piece of copper pipe that is a curtain rod for pretty towels used to hide the clutter under the counter. 

Crown molding caps the walls. The ceiling is made of 4 feet by 8 feet plywood sheets grooved to imitate bead board. A single coat of white paint gives the ceiling a rustic white washed finish. 

The Chicago Brass kitchen sink faucet came from my kitchen sink in the house. The faucet had developed a leak which the plumber, who installed a new kitchen sink in the house, deemed not worth repairing. Fortunately, the handy man who installed the sink and faucet in the garden shed was willing to work on the faucet to repair the leaky parts. 

I think my begging and pleading convinced the handy man to make the repairs. I'm not going to tell how much the faucet set originally cost. It did not come from Ikea or Home Depot's in-stock low-end faucet lines. Just know, I have loved that faucet from the first time I laid eyes on it, and still love it thirty years later. That's my personality... loyal no matter what flaws develop. 

The copper sink was a real find online from Home Depot. The bar sink was on sale for a close-out price less than a comparable stainless steel one. No question about which one to buy... copper sink? or stainless steel sink? I like all the green water spots in the copper and do not scrub them to remove them. 

The posts were a pair of unfinished stair rail posts bought by my sister when she visited several years ago, but left here. They kicked around my garage, then the rustic garden shed, for several years. You know the rule... abandoned property after five years belongs to the caretaker. That became a rule with these posts if it wasn't a rule before. I think she no longer remembered she left them. 

During the French Country Christmas event, the copper pipe/curtain rod holds kitchen towels with holiday designs. This summer, lavender towels and a vintage grain sack give the garden shed a fresh summery look. 

I painted the base of the butcher block counter with Valspar paint in 3 shades of blues beginning with a dark navy as the first coat. Then I used a lighter blue from the same color card, wiping off some of the paint as I painted to reveal the dark navy first coat. Then I did the same thing with an even lighter blue on the same color card. I let each coat dry before applying the next one. 

The inexpensive drawers were painted the same way. At one time, I planned to paint the names of herbs on the drawers (mint, rosemary, lavender, beebalm), but decided I like the way they look without the lettering. 

Rustic wrought iron drawer pulls were half-price and add a little French floral look. 

Garden Shed Summer View Part One was about structural design, but Garden Shed Summer View Part Two will show more of what is inside. 

Stop by later this week to see how the garden shed lives during the summer when it is taking a break from Christmas. 

Fall officially arrives later this week which means Texas bloggers will be throwing open their doors and welcoming visitors to tour their homes all decked out with Fall decor. Mark your calendars for Fall inspiration October 2-6, 2017. 

Pumpkins have finally arrived in North Texas! 

Here's a little preview of my Fall home tour. Later, I will also be posting about how to create similar Fall magic in your house... with design tips and on a budget. 

Lots going on at Botanic Bleu... many projects in the works coming your way. And, I'm working hard on improving photos for all those projects. My passion is to create beautiful images PLUS content worth reading. 


Read more about the garden shed and its evolution. 


  1. Love seeing your shed with her summer attire and can't wait to see what additions you make for Fall. Are you still posting daily? If so, I'm not receiving them, AND I MISS THEM! ❤️

  2. I love it. I don't think I would want to leave it. Just love the colors you chose.

  3. Oh, Judith, I LOVE your shed! I wasn't aware of this space of yours, and I am just in love.

  4. What a delight, Judith. Your shed is so lovely. I love the french towels hung under the sink. I've always wondered how you could display them and the entire design show so beautifully.

    So much eye candy...I wouldn't get much work done there.
    You are so blessed to have this space.

  5. Your wee shed is truly a delight. I love seeing it decorated for summer. It's a completely different look but just as charming.
    Have a wonderful week!

  6. So pretty, I think I could live in your garden shed! Love the copper sink ( what a great find )and your attention to detail is really outstanding.

    I'm also swooning at the sight of those French towels. :-)

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  7. I adore you little house. I love the birds and the boxwood wreaths. Thanks for sharing.


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