It was bound to happen. Men have enjoyed their “man caves” for years, creating individualized spaces for relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoying friends. It’s only natural, then, that women would want their own spaces, too. The result is the “she shed”—the latest home fashion trend that offers a plethora of creative decorating possibilities.
If the idea of a she shed appeals to you, then read on. But don’t be constricted by the suggestions below. Use your imagination to create the space—the sanctuary—that speaks to your tastes, preferences, and needs.
Start with the Shed
In theory, you’ll need a shed and somewhere to place it, such as in a garden, side yard or back lawn. (The more secluded the spot, the better!) You can convert an already existing shed or purchase a ready-made shed or shed kit. Regardless, make sure the shed is large enough to suit the way you want to use it.
Will you be using your she shed for reading and relaxation? Then a small shed might do—one just large enough to hold an easy chair or chaise lounge, an end table and a lamp. Will you also be using the shed to create crafts or pursue a hobby? Then select a unit that can accommodate a work desk or table, shelving and additional storage. Will you be using the shed to entertain? Then choose a roomy shed that can hold additional seating and maybe a small bar and refrigerator, too. If you’re working with an existing shed and need more space, consider adding another room or expanding the existing footprint.
If you don’t have the property or finances for a shed, then find a place within your home that you can use as a “she nook.” This might be a spare bedroom, a section of the garage, or a corner of your living room, den or office. As with the shed, consider how you will use the space before establishing the footage and, if needed, use a room divider to section it off and add privacy.
If your shed is visible from the street, you might want to paint it to match your home’s exterior. (Note: Homeowner associations often have regulations that require this approach.) But if the shed is tucked away, you might select a more creative color scheme. Again, think about how you intend to use the shed. If your shed will be used for tranquil pursuits, then consider a soft palette—creams, pastels, earth tones, and so on—both inside and out. If your shed will be used mostly for entertaining, then you might opt for a bolder palette of “party colors”—if not for the entire shed then for the trim, front door, eaves or and maybe an accent wall within the space.
Don’t Skimp on the Frills
Once your shed is painted, it’s time to decorate it. You have only yourself to please, so go as feminine and frilly as you desire. Here are a few ideas:
- Consider wallpaper. She sheds are a perfect place for wallcoverings. Choose a pattern in a scale that suits the size of your space and with images and colors that enhance the mood you want to create. Don’t worry that a pattern is too wild. Whether you select peacocks, peonies or pinstripes, make sure that the wallpaper “speaks” to you and makes you happy.
- Cover the windows. To soften the space and provide a little privacy, install curtains, roller shades, blinds or a similar type of window treatment. If your shed is large enough, you might be able to use floor-length draperies; but in general, smaller treatments work best. If you want privacy during the day but don’t want to block the sunlight, opt for sun-filtering shades or sheers.
- Choose furniture to scale. Select furniture pieces in sizes that fit within the given space. Small-scale pieces are ideal, but make sure they are comfortable, too. A growing number of furniture manufacturers are making “apartment-size” chairs, sofas and other pieces. If you can find them, these scaled-down pieces are perfect for she-shed spaces.
- Accessorize to your heart’s content. Whatever you do, don’t forget the accessories! This is where you can truly individualize your she shed. Again, think of the mood you want to create. To cozy-up a space, decorate it with area rugs, soft fabrics, and piles of pillows. To make it feel luxurious, add velvety fabrics, tapered candles, and crystal chandeliers. To make it feel welcoming, add a small coffee or cocktail bar (either inside or out), a couple of stools and a tray of mugs or wine glasses.
Decorate the Outside, Too
Don’t neglect the area immediately outside of your she shed. If you have the room, you might include a small porch, patio, outdoor furniture, potted flowers, window boxes, a grill or firepit, or pavers leading to your front door. Remember, this is your space, so you can determine where it begins and ends!