If the walls in Dr. Molly O’Shea’s nearly 1-year-old she-shed could talk, they’d say, “Thanks for giving us new life in a cool place!” Each plank was painstakingly disassembled from old wooden pallets, then cleaned, sealed, and reassembled to cover the four walls of O’Shea’s sweet retreat on the property of her Mid-Century-style Beverly Hills home.
“It was a ton of work to do that,” O’Shea recalls with a laugh. “Pallet wood isn’t meant to do anything but stay together.” Her husband, Tony Gallucci, used a saw to cut the nails that were holding the pallets together. “Two nails, times three, for each piece of wood. There were hundreds of pieces of wood!” When the wood was ready to install and nail onto the walls, O’Shea — a parenting coach and pediatrician whose office is in Bloomfield Hills — says it was “like a jigsaw puzzle.” But looking at the walls now, as summer approaches, she believes the salvaged-wood look was a great idea that “adds texture and interest” to her backyard escape.
Before they could even think about assembling the shed, O’Shea says she and her husband had to bring in a “tiny bulldozer” to make the ground level, “and then we put down 10 yards of gravel and sand.” The shed itself was very basic when the couple took delivery of it last summer. Purchased online from Tuff Shed, it came in pieces that were assembled by the Tuff Shed delivery team. Then O’Shea, her husband, and a friend modified it by adding windows, insulation, electricity, the aforementioned walls, inviting furniture, and storage space.
“This space is a sanctuary for me,” says O’Shea, who is planning to launch a new podcast, Parenting with the Pros (and Cons)!, this month. “I enjoy the opportunity to be on my own to create, to read, and to explore who I am and what I want to be when I grow up. The quiet helps. I’m so lucky to have a husband who helped me achieve this goal.” With Mother’s Day around the corner, O’Shea, a mother of four, says her plans for the day include visiting her mother and mother-in-law, and then “heading to the shed to enjoy some quiet time.”
The doctor explains how her she-shed all came together and shares information on her favorite elements that make the space a true remedy for whatever life throws her way.
A Closer Look at Dr. Molly O’Shea’s She-Shed
O’Shea likes to paint with watercolors (her favorite brand is Winsor & Newton) in the shed, thanks to great natural light. “I have a lot of little palettes and I keep them in a cabinet out here, with paper.” The cabinet was discovered on Facebook Marketplace.
O’Shea found her windows on Facebook. “They were brand-new. The owners said they came in the wrong color, so they put them on Marketplace.” She and her husband cut the openings and placed the windows in carefully chosen spots that look out to the Rouge River and to O’Shea’s sprawling, sloped backyard.
The write stuff
As the official pediatrician for Goldfish Swim School, O’Shea writes content for the business on her trusty iPad Pro, and helps guide Goldfish’s holistic swim-school policy. She also writes parenting advice articles for a variety of publications. In her she-shed, she says, it’s easy to find time to write in her personal journal.
Please be seated
O’Shea found her brown leather armchair and ottoman on Facebook Marketplace. She melts into its aged, softened surface while reading everything from daily spiritual readings to cooking magazines and novels. “It’s apartment-size, petite, and perfect for this space.”
The original flooring was pressed wood, so the couple installed black interlocking-square flooring. “It’s sort of foamy,” O’Shea says.
O’Shea’s desktop is a repurposed single piece of wood that was honed, polished, and sealed. “It’s really beautiful, and larger and deeper than a normal desktop, so I can actually keep things on it, like my painting and writing supplies.”
Want to take a peek into more metro Detroit interiors? Read our other I Need My Space features here.