The story of The Magic Shed...

Sometimes decorating a house requires a little magic.
Longtime readers of my blog might remember me mentioning The Magic Shed in passing, with a note that one day I would explain. Since I’ve moved from California back to the Carolinas and am living once again in my fab old home that goes with the shed, now seems an appropriate time.
Below is my little breakfast nook, located right off the kitchen. Years ago, a previous owner enclosed the back porch to create a laundry/mudroom and I believe added this little space at the same time. It’s cozy and warm and bright ~ perfect for a breakfast nook.
The space is long and narrow, though, so a typical table won't work. I thought a door might be the answer after seeing a table created from one in a magazine.
This is where The Magic Shed comes in.

The Magic Shed was just a shed for all I knew when I bought this house nearly eight years ago. The shed was built to coordinate with the house and is about the same age (nearly 60 years old). As I was getting settled for the first time in the house, I noticed the shed was full of stuff ~ I’m sure some of it has been in there since the day it was finished. I spent some time rooting around to see what was what and that’s when I discovered an old door.
We brought the door inside and it was a perfect fit for the breakfast nook. My friends and I attached four legs to it and made it into a table. We then made benches to go on either side and I had a glass topper cut to create a level surface. It turned out beautifully and the table is one of those things that everyone who comes to the house loves.
But back to The Magic Shed.
I love yellow and red in the kitchen and since the walls in the breakfast nook were yellow, I knew I wanted to paint the table red. When I saw the door in the shed, it was leaning against a wall and the visible side was white. Once it was out of the shed and I saw the other side, I was surprised to see it was already the exact red that I wanted to paint it. I took it as a sign that it was meant to be and sure enough, it was. I noticed the red on the door matched the red of my front steps and I realized this must have been the old front door to the house. It had been out there for years, just waiting for a new lease on life.
The door that became a table was the first of several fabulous finds in my shed. When I needed a bookcase for the hall that was oddly narrow in depth, I found one in the shed ~ old and dusty and in need of paint, but a perfect fit. When I decided I wanted something different than the mirror I had over the mantle in the living room, my shed once again provided. Among a bunch of stuff propped against one wall was an old, large watercolor painting, matted and framed and ready for hanging. I cleaned off years of dust and discovered it was perfect for the room. I couldn’t believe it. So over the fireplace it went.
It was then that one of my friends said the shed had to be magical and thus it became known as The Magic Shed. Everyone calls it that, even men who are skeptical of such things. The Magic Shed has provided so many times that people really do believe it is magical ~ it’s as though there's some sort of weird and wonderful alchemy that occurs from the blend of items that have been put out there over the years. I’m not sure how it seems to know what we’re going to need next, but it does. Friends call and ask if they can root around in The Magic Shed because they think they might find what they’re looking for in there ~ usually an old tool or something for an old house ~ and to this day, they always have. Just last weekend I went digging in there and came out with what I needed. Over the years I’ve made sure to add items to the mix, not just take things out. I think it has to be replenished to keep creating its magic.
Earlier this month, a couple of friends helped me clear it out. Oddly enough, I was tentative to do anything to it but it really did need a little TLC. We were careful to only throw away items that were truly trash while we straightened up. Anything we weren’t sure of or that looked like something someone could use one day stayed put. Once it was cleaned up a bit, I had room to put some other things out there. I even swept the floor, something that hasn’t been done in years and years.
I just hope I didn’t sweep out any of the magic.

I am linking to:

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully


  1. I love the story of the magic shed! I grew up in the south and, though no magic shed was about, that breakfast room certainly was. Even though it was called a breakfast room, we had lunch there as well. And the kitchen was yellow and red!! Such a nice memory for me reading your blog this morning.


  2. Eileen, I'd so love to have a magical shed or room where I could find treasures to help decorate my home! I understand the clean-up, though- I tend to be so messy that I'm unable to find things. LOL Thanks for visiting today.
    :-) Sue

  3. Hi Eileen,

    I very much enjoyed reading about your magical shed. Your breakfast nook is lovely, especially with those Longaberger baskets! I can spot them anywhere :-)

  4. O, I adore your sweet breakfast room....
    and I think it ought to be a LAW that every house have a Magic Shed. !!
    xo bj
    I am linking in BOTH places, to follow.:)

  5. Eileen, thanks for visiting my blog and I just had to come over to yours. I'm so glad I did!
    The story of the magic shed is interesting and provided a very unique table top.
    I'll enjoy exploring your 2 blogs.

  6. How fantastic! I wish I had one of those, even empty. I could fill it right up with magical treasures.

  7. Love this story - wonderful to find the door in just the right color! I grew up in California and my Dad retired to SC - small world. I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,


  8. Such a fun story. You have to have a little magic on a weekly basis!

  9. I got quite caught up in this wonderful story! I was reminded of Mary Poppins who kept pulling item after item out of her carpet bag. Thanks for sending me the link. It all sounds like magic to me. :)


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