Your Guide to Building Your Ideal She Shed
We all need a getaway and to have space to ourselves. One of the problems with the hustle and bustle of everyday life is that we may begin to associate times when we get away from it all with vacation time. Unfortunately, most of us can’t have daily vacations.
We can, however, make a retreat space in our own homes to relax, unwind, and work on the things that make our lives enjoyable. She sheds offer the woman of the house exactly this designated space for retreating and being herself.
Your ideal she shed is exactly what you need it to be, whether you need a space for complete femininity, a place for exercise or hobbies, or somewhere to host gatherings of your favorite people.
There are many options for putting together your she shed, and it’s completely up to your lifestyle and preferences as to what will suit your life the best. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
What Exactly Is A She Shed?
The she shed is a term for a female-centric man cave. While it may share many characteristics with the man cave, such as offering a gathering spot for friends, the she shed is most often specifically designed for more feminine interests. Of course, this all depends on the woman that’s building the shed.
The most common form of a she shed is a literal outbuilding not connected to the home. This is beneficial because it allows one to step away from everyday expectations and enjoy a relaxing retreat. However, it’s not feasible for all homes, so a she shed can exist wherever there’s space for it.
This is a space for stepping out and enjoying a little separation from the rest of the home. It can be a place for rest, relaxation, gathering, enjoying personal activities, and a studio for practicing hobbies.
Benefits Of Having Your Own She Shed
Women juggle many roles at home and in society. Most women will frequently feel the need to get some alone time throughout the day, whether it’s from work pressures or from familial responsibilities.
Home spaces can exert many demands on women in popular society, from work to the family. These demands can drain someone’s energy and exhaust them. It can be very helpful, therefore, to have a space of one’s own to enjoy a moment to retreat and recharge.
A she shed offers:
- An escape from the stress of the modern world.
- Time away from home and family demands.
- A separation between homemaker responsibilities and personal time.
- Somewhere to focus and work on a hobby or skill.
- A place decorated to resonate with someone’s unique sensibilities and identity.
- A place to enjoy personal interests.
- Time alone to improve mental health and relationships with your friends and family.
What To Consider Before Building A She Shed?
Your first question to ask yourself is how you will use your she shed. In other words, what will help you to relax and unwind at the end of the day?
Some may require a hobby space, while others might prefer their own personal spa. Your she shed can be anything: a retreat, a yoga studio, an exercise space, an entertainment area, or quiet reading room.
Additionally, do you already have a structure or will you need to build one?
Most she sheds get started through a simple conversion, such as cleaning out your underutilized backyard shed and converting it into a liveable space. If, however, you don’t already have a viable backyard structure, you may have to consider other options. You might clear a space in the backyard to build your own new shed or you might convert a room in the house to be your she shed.
Planning And Designing A She Shed
Keep in mind that every she shed will be a little different, depending on your intended purpose. The furniture that you use to outfit the space, therefore, will depend on how you want to use it.
When considering how you will use the she shed, ask yourself:
- When and how will you use the she shed?
- Will there be special rules for using the space?
- Will you entertain guests there?
- Do you want it to be tailored to a specific activity or hobby?
- What mood should you feel while in the space? For example, do you need it to be quiet and tranquil or bright and exciting?
Define The Purpose Of Your She Shed
What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind? We are often wishing we had more space for certain activities. What you would do if you had the space and proper atmosphere set up for it?
Defining a purpose for your she shed will help you to narrow down what needs to be in that space. Your purpose will help you make sure that the space is exactly what you need it to be when you spend time there.
While relaxation is one of the main associations with the she shed, there’s a lot to be said about making the space a special outlet space for you to release pent up energy. This could mean that it’s an exercise space or somewhere to enjoy some social time with your friends.
Here are a few other ways to think about your she shed:
- Hobbies – Practice and production become much easier when you have a studio space for your hobby. This will allow you to continue and make progress on ongoing projects without having to clear the space. This might be a sewing room, a gardening and potting space, a place to mold clay and throw pots, an art or photography studio, or any number of other hobbies that you might enjoy.
- A Social Space – Who doesn’t want a space to spend time with and talk to their friends away from prying ears? Interpersonal relationships are very important to how we live and cope with obstacles in our lives and daily routines. In your she shed, you can have the conversations that matter with your friends. This can be a good space for fun and play too where you host parties or throw girls’ nights.
- Exercise and Physical Activities – Not everyone wants to exercise in public. It can be very motivational to have an at-home space where you feel comfortable exercising in your own she shed gym. Set it up for weight lifting, add in a cardio machine, or make an open space for a dancing or yoga studio.
- A Gaming Space – More and more women are embracing their own personal enjoyment of games and gaming space. This can be anything from sports, to video games, and tabletop games or darts as well. A she shed can be a great space for both solitary and social gaming, where you can enjoy some of your favorite hobbies.
Choosing A Location
Many find the outdoor shed location to be ideal because it offers a lot of separation from the rest of the house for a full retreat. However, not every home will have the backyard or garden space to construct a sizable shed to spend time in. Additionally, some people may find it more convenient to have an indoor she shed space that they can enter without having to leave the house.
Your she shed can occupy a variety of places around your home as long as it’s free or some place you can convert. It’s all about evaluating the spaces that you have to find the best location for your personal space. Ultimately, the best place for it will be wherever you can place it. It can occupy a spare room, a storage room, a basement, a garage space, or any other place that you can think of.
An Outdoor Shed
An outdoor shed is connected to the therapeutic scenes of a backyard. It can be surrounded by plants and flowers, and offers its own freestanding little room, which provides a separation from the rest of the house. However, it’s important to keep in mind that constructing a new shed and even finishing an older outdoor building can be an expensive renovation project.
Outdoor sheds require weatherproofing, mold-proofing, groundwater protection, electrical connections, and in some cases plumbing connections as well. Additionally, if you intend to outfit your she shed with modern technologies, you will need to boost your WiFi for downloading and streaming. Each of these utilities will not only increase the quality of your she shed, but they will also make its construction more costly.
Since your outdoor she shed will not be connected with centralized climate control, it’s important to consider how you will make it a comfortable temperature during the different seasons. You might need a heater during the winter and a fan during the warmer months. If you have a lot of electronics in your she shed, good ventilation and cooling fans are an important consideration to keep your equipment from overheating. If you have long winters and enjoy a cozy cabin environment, you might consider installing a stove or small fireplace to keep you warm.
Not all she sheds are large outdoor constructions. Some are small, taking up just the space they need. Some she sheds don’t even have or need doors. Many are also smaller, lower-tech cottages that offer a space to get away and unplug, which allows them to be a little less expensive. It’s all up to how you intend to use the space.
A Spare Room
Converting a spare room refers to using a room in your home to create a personal she shed space, whether it’s finished or unfinished. Some might consider converting a garage space. However, this is not a popular option for the average she shed, since it doesn’t not allow as much privacy as using a spare room. Many have considered finishing an attic or basement space.
The spare room she shed offers one of the easiest and least expensive conversions to make your own personal space. A finished spare room will have easy access to your home’s electrical grid, meaning easier use and set up for technology.
In general, you might need to repaint or wallpaper, add furniture, and decorate with whatever other items you need for your she shed’s theme and purpose.
However, spare rooms don’t give you as much separation from the rest of the home as an external building. This means that your alone time or personal space could face more interruptions. In this case, it can be important to set some ground rules for how you intend to use the space and what kind of privacy you need.
Choosing A Theme
Your she shed can follow a theme to help you enjoy your space, express your creativity and identity, and keep all your favorite things around you.
Keep in mind that not all shed designs will fit all themes. Different shed sizes and styles will be better suited to the different kinds of themes and purposes. At the same time, spaces are very flexible and small renovation efforts can go a long way toward shaping a room into the space that you need it to be.
The majority of she sheds are designed to allow more tranquil activities, such as reading, relaxing, and meditating. Nonetheless, you need to shape the theme of your she shed around what helps you to express your identity, pleasure, and whatever makes your day better.
Ideas for a Quiet Retreat:
- Sunroom and Morning Tea – A sunroom she shed can help you to start your day right in a bright and tranquil space. Outfit it as a space to drink your coffee and tea while you get in your early morning reading before beginning your busy day. Add a porch onto the shed with some patio furniture to enjoy nice weather days.
- Your Library Shed – Reading is a great getaway, but it can be difficult to focus on when you have a thousand other demands on you throughout the rest of the home. Make your she shed a space to get away and escape with a good book, rain or shine. Outfit it with a comfortable couch and reading chairs, and add a desk or small writing table for journaling or writing.
- A Studio Retreat – Sometimes what you need is an open, clean, and versatile space that you can go to for all your various activities. Your studio retreat can transition easily from yoga and meditation studio, to art studio, to reading room, to personal spa. The key is to use plenty of closed or aesthetic storage to hide away the different elements of each activity. Keep this storage well-organized so that you can pull it out when you’re ready to use it. With an open and flexible floor plan, this space can work for everything.
- Chalet She Shed – Make your she shed a staycation getaway with a chalet style build to help you feel breezy in the summer and cozy in the winter. Make it your ideal staycation space, outfitting it with all the amenities that you would look forward to every time that you go on vacation. This could include your favorite vacation page-turning reading material, family board games, and anything else that helps you to relax.
Ideas for a Working Shed:
- Your Hobby Shed – Make your she shed a space to permanently set up your hobby and crafts. Thematically, it should reflect all the things that make you personally feel big, strong, and inspired. Inspiration is one key to helping us be productive and compete projects, but it can also help us feel that we are part of a supportive community. Use inspiration boards that make you feel good and keep you moving forward with your hobbies.
- Gardening and Potting Shed – Your she shed doesn’t have to be a great departure from the shed’s original purpose for gardening. A potting shed helps to give avid gardeners an aesthetic and organized space for potting and taking care of their plants. Embrace the luxury of clean organization by keeping everything you need in one place. You might designate spaces for potting and organize your tools, as well as setting aside areas for sprouting seeds.
- Baker’s Heaven – Just as stressed homemakers can use a room of their own, stressed bakers can use a kitchen of their own. When the home kitchen is occupied with dinner plans and meal prep, it can be helpful to have another clear space to work on your more intricate baking projects. Give yourself the space to improve your baking skills without pressure and nail those French macaroons for your she shed girls’ tea party.
- Home Office – While it may sound like all work and no play, a home office can be liberating for many women. Some women are looking for a space of their own to think without interruptions. Others might be working to open or run a company of their own. Most home offices will require a fully finished room, which makes this a good option for a spare room. In shed form, it will need electricity and access to WiFi. The ideal furniture would be a desk and comfortable work chair, as well as whatever you need to get the job done.
Ideas for a Social Shed:
- A Social Shed – Your she shed can be your ideal feminine hangout space where you can enjoy sitting on the porch, sipping a cold beverage, and talking with friends. Set it up with comfortable chairs, get yourself a minifridge or hot plate to make snacks and beverages, and add in a blender for frozen cocktails and smoothies. Furnish the shed with open seating, and deck it out with all your favorite amenities to help you and your guests unwind.
- Media or Game Room – Your she shed should reflect your aesthetic and favorite things. For some this could be media, pop culture, and gaming culture. Decorate with your favorite movie posters, figurines, and memorabilia. Set up a media and entertainment zone for you to enjoy your media and have friends for a movie night. Make it a small, intimate entertainment room by installing a tv and outfitting it with comfortable seating.
- Outdoor Bar – Installing a patio and bar to the outside of your shed allows you to make an excellent outdoor bar. Install a kegerator, set up a cooking space, keep it stocked with wine, and liquor, and make sure those seats are comfortable for all the conversations and time that you will be spending out there.
- Backyard Coffee Shop – Some people like their homes to be the center of gatherings. The salon-style she shed will make your space the place that all your friends turn to when they need somewhere to go. Turn your she shed into a backyard coffee shop, salon, or gathering place where your friends can retreat, host gatherings, and find a comfortable space.
Setting Aside A Budget
Designing a she shed can cost anywhere from $900-$10,000 depending on your purpose, design, renovation, and decoration costs. Consider whether you will have to build a new shed or building, whether you will need to renovate or finish another space in your home, or whether you’re converting an existing shed.
Budget and costs will also depend heavily on the size of your she shed, as well as any finishing or adjustments that you will need to do. Sheds need to be weather-proofed, insulated, and outfitted with wiring and in some cases plumbing.
Generally speaking, converting a finished room in your home into a she shed space can average around $900. If you have an existing outdoor building structure to convert, it can cost upward of $2,500. The cost increases from there if you need to purchase or construct a new shed, and even more to run utility connections and finish and waterproof the shed.
Choosing Paint And Materials
Most outbuildings and existing sheds are only weatherproofed on the exterior. To create a liveable space from your shed, you will need to waterproof it inside and out. If you intend to paint the outside, you will need to use special exterior waterproof paint.
Additionally, when it comes to weatherproofing, it’s important that the shed has some form of foundation to help elevate it from the ground so that groundwater does not ruin the interior.
Best Materials For A She Shed
No matter the size of your she shed, if it’s a distinct building from the rest of your home, you will likely want to decorate and differentiate the outside to make it feel like its own little home.
You can also make your she shed a distinctive garden structure by covering it with brick or siding and shingling the roof according to your favorite designs. Use contrasting colors between the room and the shed itself, and pick a color scheme that complements not only your home and the rest of your outside, but also your theme and the vibe that you want from your retreat space.
When it comes to painting the outside of the she shed, most people opt for distinctive colors, as well as a favorite color that they wouldn’t normally be able to use on their home. You can pick from calming, lighter colors, or feminine shades that give it a cute cottage appearance.
If you can’t decide on an exterior paint color yet, there’s nothing wrong with painting it white. Then, when inspiration strikes, you can paint it again with a new color that you choose. Accent the white by painting the door and trim with a different color, such as a light blue or bright peach color.
Your shed might begin with a lack-luster flooring, such as concrete. However, this is certainly something that you can make your own by installing wood, vinyl, or even carpet. Rugs are also a good option to help you brighten up a space. Just make sure that you have everything weather-proofed and be aware of how different weather will react with the interiors that you choose.
Paint and Color Combinations
Painting is both a practical and decorative consideration. When painting the interior of your she shed, you should take the necessary weather-proofing precautions by treating the interior with mold-proof paint. After that point, you can indulge your senses by choosing a paint color that will give your she shed the atmosphere that you want.
- Pastel Elegance to Feel Calm and Feminine – Is the rest of your home a pink-free zone? Put it in your she shed. Soft pastels can help you to feel tranquil and feminine. Pink isn’t the only soft color that you can use, either. Depending on your personal style, consider a minty green, a soft lavender, or a light blue. The good thing about lighter colors and pastels is their ability to reflect and redistribute light, thus brightening the whole space.
- Bright Colors to Brighten Your Mood – When combined with good lighting, vibrant colors can help to improve your mood. In a brightly colored room, you can feel immediate relief, whether it’s red, green, a warm orange, or any other color that makes you feel good and energetic. For some, there is such a thing as too much color, meaning that if you have brightly colored walls, you might want to tone down the colors in your furniture. Remember that it’s hard to go wrong with painting your furniture white or black, since these colors will help to tone down an overly vibrant room.
- Luxury Lounge Tones with Metallic Accents – Like to live in luxury? Deck out your she shed with shining metalics and black accents. Adds some rich vibrancy with saturated reds as well. Don’t allow it to get too dark, though. Make sure to invite as much natural lighting as possible, as well as lamps and other lighting sources located throughout the space.
Building A She Shed On A Budget
Building a shed from scratch can be a long project. While completely DIY may sound like the thriftier option, unless you’re a carpenter and already have all the tools, it can actually be more costly than using a kit. We recommend a combination of purchasing a pre-built building and DIYing smaller things to save your budget, such as installing your own shelving and creating your own decorations and textiles.
Ready-made sheds tend to be the more budget-friendly option. You will find some that are already designed to be outdoor living spaces, making the conversion much easier on you. Larger sheds will cost more than smaller sheds, but the size should always reflect your needs and theme.
If you’re sweating the cost of running electricity to your she shed, this is something you can forego until your budget bounces back. Instead, use battery-powered lamps to illuminate the space and solar-powered outdoor lighting.
Get thrifty and repurpose your furniture. If you’re on a tight budget for your she shed, start with what you have and what you might find second-hand, whether it’s furniture or tech equipment. Remember than you can always upgrade as your budget opens up again.
For decorations, search out unique decor in antique stores and flea markets. Also, try out a few DIY solutions to some of your favorite decorations. You might be surprised at everything you can get done on your own. Doing it yourself can make the space feel much more special and personal.
Mistakes To Avoid When Building A She Shed
- Do not build directly on the ground. The she shed needs protection from ground-water and therefore should have some form of foundation.
- Don’t forget to weatherproof it inside and out. Most pre-built sheds are only waterproofed on the outside. However, since you intend to furnish the space, it needs waterproofing on the inside to help avoid flooding and mold problems.
- Don’t neglect insulation. Insulation will help your she shed hold in heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Ultimately, an insulated she shed will be much more comfortable to step into on a whim than one that can’t hold its climate control.
- Don’t skimp on the lighting. How a space is lit is an important determiner in how it affects our moods. If a space feels poorly lit, you might not enjoy spending time inside of it. Lighting is a good investment for the she shed, since it can really make or break the atmosphere, so consider making it your own, whether that means installing dimmers, experimenting with different colors, fairy or string lighting, or other inventive ways of creating an atmosphere.
Bringing Your She Shed To Another Level
Taking your she shed to the next level is all about honoring your personal vision for the space where you want to spend your time. Some women like to integrate their she shed and theme into the environment, making it a part of the garden flower beds and trailing vines. Others find a shed with interesting structural details, such as windows, a-frames, arches, and some will even add a loft.
Installing Windows and Skylights
Windows, open doorways, and skylights are all ways to bring natural light into your shed space. Natural light has its practical as well as aesthetic purposes. It helps to reduce the risk of mold or mildew growing in dark and unventilated spaces.
Windows allow for fresh air flow through the shed space. Additionally, they offer you the versatility of installing drapes that can give you privacy and hold in warmth in the winter.
In some cases, shed windows aren’t a feasible option. This might be because you are using the walls of the shed for storage and it’s not feasible to replace them with a window.
Skylights offer an attractive replacement for shed windows. Just as with windows, opening the skylights can help you to ventilate the shed, removing any fumes or odors while bringing in fresh air. Skylights also allow you to reduce electricity use on lighting, and they can also help to keep the shed warm during the cooler months.
Skylights that you can open are for most people the ideal. However, they may often come a premium prices. The least expensive skylights tend to be fixed skylights, which are unable to open and therefore do not provide the ventilation benefits of opening skylights and windows. All the same, they do help to bring in natural light that can make your she shed feel bigger, brighter, and more beautiful.
In the absence of windows and skylights, your shed should at least have a vent for air circulation and ventilation, particularly if you plan to use it for hobbies that create fumes, such as art and painting or a photography darkroom.
French doors are one way of creating an inviting entryway for your shed. In some cases, you will be inviting friends to come visit you and feel comfortable in this personal space that you’ve set up. However, more importantly, you’re also inviting yourself into this special place every time you need to spend some alone time there.
French doors introduce style and natural light. This is in contrast to most garden shed doors which are often solid for the sake of security and protecting valuable equipment that you may be keeping inside the shed.
The easiest way to add French doors into your design is from the beginning when you are picking a prefab shed or speaking to a builder about the shed’s design. Nonetheless, these can be installed on existing sheds by simply replacing the current door.
- Solar Paneled She Shed – Want electricity and power for your she shed but don’t want to have to run electricity to it. Consider installing a solar panel on your roof to give your shed its own unique power source. This is a good option for someone whose she shed is far removed from their home or who wants to introduce a green power source.
Solar panels can be expensive at the outset, so it’s important to think about how much power you will need to use on average. If you just need to run the lights, you can get away with a $100-$200 setup. However, for those who need to run more electronics, the cost of a solar panel kit that offers the right amount of power can get into the $1000s.
- Upcycle and DIY Furniture and Shelving – Many she sheds aspire to a calm rustic appearance. One way to achieve this style without breaking your budget is to upcycle old furniture that you find in thrift and second-hand shops. You can also create shelving from reclaimed material, including your own floating shelving to maximize space.
She sheds often have an unapologetically feminine decoration sense. Of course, this all depends on the person and their individual tastes. Here are some decoration ideas to get you started thinking about how you want your she shed to look.
- Decorate around the shed with flower beds.
- Make a grand entrance with potted plants.
- Make sure to have some outdoor lighting that is cute and inviting. Make a pathway to your garden shed and use lanterns to brighten the entrance of the she shed at night.
- Indoor lighting should come from all levels. Ceiling lights can help to illuminate the entire space. Additional lamp light can go a long way toward making the setting feel more cozy.
- Use a rug to add in bright and vibrant colors, textures, and patterns. The rug will also trap warmth into your shed, providing insulation and soundproofing.
Ultimately, the items and furniture that you use to decorate your she shed should be meaningful and enjoyable to you.
Storage and Organization
The most important things to store in your shed are those things that help the she shed to serve its purpose. You might need to store your craft or gardening supplies. If you’re building a reader’s nook, you’ll also want to put up a few bookshelves. Don’t forget storage for those things that make the space cozy, such as throw blankets and extra pillows.
Additionally, you might want special storage or a mini-fridge for snacks and food, as well as drinks and wine.
Remember that your she shed storage isn’t meant to be storage for the rest of the house. Ideally, that should go somewhere else within the home.
Some tips may include:
- Try to find multi-use furniture that also holds storage. This might include coffee tables that have drawer storage below them or counters with cabinets.
- Use wall storage all the way to the top, particularly for a hobby or crafting room. Wall and floating shelving can help you optimize space and organization. Create as many compartments as you need to give everything a proper space.
- If you want to squeeze a little extra storage space from your she shed, opt for a shed design with a pitched roof and create a small attic or loft space.
She sheds offer a getaway from the rest of the home to take time to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate, doing those things that make you happy with minimal interruptions. It can be as crafty, as feminine, or as social as you need it to be to give you a space where you can be yourself.