Photography by Marcelle Guilbeau and Janin Otwell

Need more space than your current square footage allows? A solution could be right outside your back door, thanks to the rise in accessory buildings that are so much more than your the typical detached garage or storage shed. Today, people are building pool houses, private music studios, workout spaces, greenhouses, playhouses and “she-sheds,” all to provide a place that enhances life outside the main house.

Interior designer Marcelle Guilbeau says Nashville has done a good job at defining what accessory buildings, when it comes to building codes, so people can easily turn to them a for a space solution. And the bonus act of physically leaving the main house for a new space helps you immerse yourself in whatever that building is meant for.

“It does something to your thought process; and you really feel like you’re not in the house,” Guilbeau says. “We’re seeing a lot of people building separate rooms for health —- a meditation room, a yoga room, indoor bike, rowing.”

They can also be a way to create comprehensive flow between the inside and out, a trend for those who want to take full advantage of Middle Tennessee’s mild weather. Last year Guilbeau created a shed for backyard entertaining at the Nashville Home Show, turning shipping pallets into lounger tables and a wine bar.

“It’s a great way to ‘get away’ in a way that is very cost- effective, and fun and playful,” she says.

And Guilbeau says the trend will continue for two very important reasons —– expensive real estate and assertive women.

“More and more women are asserting their need for their own space,” she says. “People really just need more space, that’’s affordable, that they can use and in a more flexible sort of way. This is just a very, very clever way to go about getting that.”