The men and women of eastern Pennsylvania custom home builder Rotelle Studio(e) duked it out in the backyard in the ultimate battle of the sheds. The He vs. She Shed design competition was inspired by the growing popularity of tiny houses and the reimagined shed as the new backyard getaway.
“Outdoor space has been hot for some time; it’s a less expensive way to make your house larger. The shed component is an extension of that — giving you a unique getaway to spend time on hobbies or with friends,” says Peter Rotelle, president and owner of Rotelle Studio(e).
The competition not only showcased the custom company’s expertise and creative design talents, but proved to be a team building exercise that brought Rotelle staff closer together.
The He Shed team was led by Rotelle, who worked with Chief Operating Officer Anthony Holowsko, and Senior Project Manager Ken Zimmerman. Using raw lumber, the men constructed the ultimate backyard man cave. The team used repurposed antiques, including a wall lighting fixture made from car headlights and a coffee and bar station made from an old tool chest.
“What steals the show is the wall that drops like a tailgate and turns into a rear deck that has a grill that swings out adding an additional 100 square feet of living space. It’s simply spectacular to say the least,” Rotelle says.
The She Shed team was led by Chief Designer Renée Pratt, who worked with Chief Architect Heather Ryan, and Design Consultant Emily Wisler. The She Shed’s signature wow factor is a retractable roof that opens up to allow a lot of light and air into the chicly designed space, and when open provides cover over a side deck.
“The She Shed has the most outlandish feature of all, a roof that opens up to the sky with a garage door opener. It doesn’t get any cooler than that,” Rotelle says.
Clever built-ins allow for discreet wall storage, and the serving counter hides a cooler. Completing the She Shed is a hammock-like day bed suspended from a sturdy crossbeam.
Both teams were challenged to create a space that feels stylish and luxurious, yet spacious and comfortable. “The most important design feature is trying to utilize all of the space and to make the space feel larger than it actually is,” says Rotelle, who understands the importance of creating outside living space, using a lot of windows and drawing inspiration from boats and planes.
“The tiny house craze is extremely appealing, however the reality of living in one is an entirely different story,” explains Rotelle. “They are very quaint, ship-shape and highly appointed but when it comes to 365-livability, it’s may not be practical for everyone. This competition was a demonstration of how on a limited basis, you can have a tiny house, shed or cottage and accomplish the intimacy of the units.”
Online voting ended on Oct. 7, and the She Shed won the competition by 182 votes. Voters were automatically entered into a raffle to win the She Shed. Realtor Meredith Jacks of Styer Real Estate in South Coventry, Pa. will take home the She Shed.
The He Shed fetched $11,011 in its online auction. The winning bid was placed by Rotelle, who will be installing the He Shed at his 45-acre campground Simply Rustic. The check was written to Ashley Addiction Treatment.
Photos courtesy of Rotelle Studio