By Amanda Bedortha

We all need a reprieve now and then. It’s for this reason that we build forts for our children or retreat to the garage or shop to work on projects, or to a designated media room to watch the Ducks game.

But where do us ladies go for a space that is all our own? At my house at least, there is no personal space. Every room has dog bones, Legos, action figures, or the husband’s knickknacks in it.

So what’s a woman to do? The answer: Make a she shed.

Move Over Man Cave

She sheds have grown in popularity over the last few years, as demands and pressure increase at both work and home. With its simplistic design, a she shed can be easily tailored to suit a variety of needs—and its uses are endless.

Start with thinking about how you want to use your she shed. You could use this space as a yoga studio, home office, meditation spot, reading nook, craft station, art studio, or any other hobby room you can dream up. The next thing to consider is whether you are building from scratch or transforming an outbuilding already on your property.

If you already have a shed on your property, you’ll want to start by removing any items you don’t need or want and giving the space a deep cleaning. Once it’s cleaned to your liking, you can think about how you want the space to look. The simplest and most cost-effective ways to spruce up your she shed are to repaint, replace any hardware—including door handles and cabinet knobs—and to bring in new rugs or curtains.

Flea markets, vintage shops, and estate sales are great places to find antique and rustic decor to bring your space to life.

No Shed? No Problem!

It didn’t take long for big-box stores and local builders to jump on the she shed trend. Prefab she shed kits are sold through Amazon and home improvement stores, such as Jerry’s, Lowes, and Home Depot, with easy-to-follow instructions. In general, the process usually goes something like this:

  • Pick a spot on your property that is close to level. This will make it easier to lay the foundation.
  • Lay a foundation. After the foundation is set, the walls and roof go up, followed by doors and windows, and finally, trim. You can then paint and add shingles.
  • Once the exterior is complete, insulation and drywall can be put in. If you’d like your she shed to have electricity, hire a professional to install it to code.

Pay special attention to waterproofing your she shed. This is especially important in our climate, where mold and mildew grow easily. You’ll want to use a raised foundation, and mold-and-mildew-resistant paint.

How much are we talkin’?

The cost of your she shed will depend on a couple of factors: whether you are using an outbuilding on your property, buying a kit, or hiring a local builder; how much of the work you are willing to do yourself; and whether you want your she shed to have electricity or plumbing. Prefab kits can set you back anywhere from a couple thousand to $10,000-plus. If you want to spare the expense of electricity but need some extra light in your she shed, consider using French doors or installing skylights.

It’s all about personality

When it comes to decorating your she shed, there are numerous ways to give it some personality, as well as a finished, polished look. Consider adding lattice work around the skirting of your shed or a floating deck that sits on planter blocks, filling the space with patio furniture or planters. You can also use slat walls or cube shelves to keep your she shed items organized.

The great thing about a she shed is that its purpose and uses can change as your needs change. Today’s meditation retreat could be tomorrow’s pottery studio!