Designer sheds a hit at Springfest


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  • Photo provided Winner Be Schroeder of Lords Valley, Pa. with George and Frances Delgado, owners of George's Wine & Spirits Gallery, Branchville, who designed and furnished the donated shed.




  • Photos by Scott Baker George's Wine Lounge, designed by Frances Delgado, of George's Wine & Spirits Gallery, in Branchville.




  • Made in the Shed, designed by Jeanne Sikorski, of Andover's Made in the Shade.




  • Photo Haven, designed by Cheryl Williver, owner of Stillwater's Images Everything Photography.



"We encourage people to use their outdoor living spaces in more advanced ways,"
— Springfest committeewoman Barbara Abita.

In 1996, the Springfest Garden Show started out as a 10,000 square foot exposition for landscape and garden enthusiasts. This year's edition saw record-breaking crowds of nearly 10,000 visitors over the course of the four-day event held March 13 through 16 — due in part, to the return of the Designer Sheds: Living in your Garden display.

"We encourage people to use their outdoor living spaces in more advanced ways," said Springfest committeewoman Barbara Abita. "That's really what Springfest is all about."

The designer shed trend, where an ordinary backyard shed is furnished and turned into a home away from home, started in Europe and the Springfest committee thought it would be a good time to introduce it stateside.

Abita hoped to "stimulate homeowners' imaginations" with this year's designs, which included "George's Wine Lounge," "Photo Haven," and "Made in the Shed: Potting Shed." Each shed was donated by Newton's Brodhecker Farm and designed and furnished by a local artisan.

The designs
Photo Haven was designed by Cheryl Williver, professional photographer and owner of Stillwater's Images Everything Photography.

"My office pretty much looks like this," Williver said of the Spartan design of the space. The corners were left empty for light stands, and one entire wall was left clear to have space for shoots. As the space was essentially an outdoor office, Williver painted the walls blue for an airy, outdoor feel.

George's Wine Lounge was designed by Frances Delgado, of Branchville's George's Wine & Spirits Gallery. The shed had all the warmth and charm of the downtown Branchville store, Delgado said, including a Victorian sofa, wine mini fridge and two cases of wine selected by Delgado and her husband, George — both certified sommeliers.

Made in the Shed was designed by Jeanne Sikorski, of Andover's Made in the Shade. The shed was furnished with one-of-a-kind antiques "professionally picked" by store owner Sherri Arnold.

It has "a very eclectic feel," Sikorski said of the room, which a country gardener could use as a potting shed.

The raffle

The price of admission to Springfest included a raffle ticket, and one guest went home with their favorite shed.

Lucky attendee Be Schroeder, of Lords Valley, Pa., said she was “pleasantly surprised” by the call from the Springfest committee Sunday night advising she had won the George’s Wine Lounge shed. The first-time visitor to the event has been encouraged to come to the event by a close friend for years and was finally able to fit a Sunday visit into her schedule.

Unsure if the community in which she lives will allow a shed on her property, Schroeder is “making plans now” as to what to do with her prize.

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