A peek inside Hilary Barry’s DIY luxury ‘she shed’


She might not have built it, but mate of the nation Hilary Barry certainly painted a dreamy-looking she shed. Now she’s invited the country to take a look.

During lockdown, the Seven Sharp co-host said she wanted to have a go at building a “bubble within a bubble”, or as fellow co-host Jeremy Wells termed it, a “lady cave”.

“But that didn’t sound right,” Barry said ahead of the grand unveiling on the Wednesday night show.

Hilary Barry with the she shed she is painting

Stuff-co-nz

Hilary Barry with the she shed she is painting

When viewers got in touch to tell her about she sheds – and rules around consents for buildings up to 30sqm changed – an idea started to build.

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“I do have to concede, I did not erect the she shed; I painted and decorated it.”

Barry went full The BlockNZ on the decorating however, saying she was keen on a duck-egg blue for the walls, with a darker contrasting colour for the trim and sills.

TVNZ's Hilary Barry goes full The BlockNZ on a she shed.

Stuff-co-nz

TVNZ’s Hilary Barry goes full The BlockNZ on a she shed.

“I quite liked that one because has a little bit of a golden hue to it, a slightly yellowy hue – listen to me, I sound like one of the experts from The Block, I don’t know what I’m talking about,” she said.

“I spent most of the time trying to paint it without getting wet.”

During lockdown, Barry had also tried backyard “glamping” after a psychologist who came on the show suggested “trying to find a bubble within your bubble” if you needed a little space.

TVNZ presenter Hilary Barry in #FormalFriday atire for "lockdown glamping".

Stuff-co-nz

TVNZ presenter Hilary Barry in #FormalFriday atire for “lockdown glamping”.

“So I put up a tent and I zhooshed it all up, that was step one. Then Jeremy was giving me a bit of grief about how I should build a Lady Cave, because men have their caves.”

And the rest is DIY and evening telly history.

Hilary Barry shows Jeremy Wells around her she shed on Seven Sharp.

SEVEN SHARP/TVNZ

Hilary Barry shows Jeremy Wells around her she shed on Seven Sharp.

During the segment on Wednesday night, Barry was shown slapping on the paint saying she “wanted a cottage feel”.

Co-host Jeremy Wells was one of the shed’s first guests, bringing a house-warming gift of a foot spa. Unfortunately, Barry won’t be using it in the she shed, as she hasn’t got any power or plumbing in there yet.

Inside were a couple of garden chairs, and a bistro chair and table set. On the wall was “Susan Devoy’s world champion squash raquet… broken”. On the table, books by Hillary Clinton and Marilyn Waring, as well as a feminist theory book.

Hilary Barry shows off her racket skills with "Susan Devoy's world championship squash racket".

SEVEN SHARP/TVNZ

Hilary Barry shows off her racket skills with “Susan Devoy’s world championship squash racket”.

“No family photos, because I come in here to get away from them. It’s just for me to get away from everyone, a bit of serenity, just be and listen.”

Wells then suggested a fire in the corner fuelled by burning bras, at which point Barry kicked him out.

Jeremy Wells and Hilary Barry enjoy the peace and calm of the she shed.

SEVEN SHARP/TVNZ

Jeremy Wells and Hilary Barry enjoy the peace and calm of the she shed.

“He’s the only man that’s allowed to stay in here,” she said, pointing to a picture of Michael Buble.

Talking to Stuff earlier in the day, Barry said the sheds were “good value” if you want a little extra space, cheaper than building an extra room.

Hilary Barry and co-host Jeremy Wells have been talking about she sheds since April.

Stuff-co-nz

Hilary Barry and co-host Jeremy Wells have been talking about she sheds since April.

“I have spent some time in it and it’s very cosy.

“I probably lit far too many scented candles and that became a little bit overwhelming because the perfumes all mixed and it was a bit much. So I’ll light fewer candles next time.”

Inside the she shed Hilary made.

Stuff-co-nz

Inside the she shed Hilary made.

Barry gave viewers a little teaser ahead of the tour on her Instagram page on Wednesday morning, sharing three images of the shed, including one of her painting the eaves that neat, dove grey colour.

Back in April, she told Wells on Seven Sharp her shed was “going to be spectacular.”

“I haven’t told Mr B yet, he’s going to lose a bit of back lawn. I’ve made plans I’ve been drawing them up. It’s going to have a bath in it. I might need a fridge, just to store the bubbles and Chardonnay and stuff like that.”

When Wells suggested she’d need a wine cellar, candles and essential oils, she agreed saying “it’ll be beautiful”, but when he asked if he could come over to see it, it was a different story.

“No you can’t. It’ll just be for me.”