SHEDS WITH FLAIR
‘She sheds’ offer sanctuary
We all want our own little cosy nooks at home — but sometimes our homes are a bit too busy to afford much peace and quiet.
For years, therefore, men have turned to their man caves (i.e., basements, garages, and other areas of the home where they can build things, fix things, and hide out). Now women are creating their own unique spaces, calling them “she sheds” — utility sheds that are completely transformed into a myriad of functional areas, including yoga studios, lounges, and more.
“They’d had enough years of husbands going into their garages, and women didn’t have their own thing, so they decided: ‘I want my own space’,” said John Hickey, senior designer of Summerwood Products, a company that has been doing she sheds for 20 years — “when it wasn’t even a trend,” he said.
Natalia David, trend and design manager at The Home Depot Canada, agreed.
“She sheds are the new man cave for the modern woman who’s looking for a place to disconnect from their fast-paced life,” David explained. “It provides them with a place to think, be creative, or to read in quiet.
“She sheds are not a new concept, but certainly — with increased shareable content online, and more women embracing the idea — more creative ways to design them have emerged. It’s a unique way of showcasing not only (women’s) style, but their passions as well.”
Hickey has seen she sheds for just about every hobby — from sewing rooms and jewelry-making studios, to home offices, music studios and other workshops. The most elaborate she-shed order came from a writer in Hawaii who lived in an incredibly remote location — so remote, in fact, that the shed had to be flown in pieces by helicopter, and those who would build and assemble it rode in on horseback.
“I got a call several weeks after it had been installed, and the owner was in tears. I thought: Oh no, what’s wrong,” Hickey said. “It turns out she was crying because she was so happy — she said she could see seven waterfalls from her she-shed writing studio.”
She sheds can be made with all the modern amenities one would find at home, including electricity and plumbing, and they are being designed with the same attention to detail as home interiors.
“Women are taking as much care as they do in decorating their main house — incorporating custom cabinetry, wallpaper, decorative lighting and accessories,” David said.
“They are also a perfect DIY project and a great excuse to bring out your power tools.”
While the trend has evolved primarily with the ladies, this is not a girls-only club; men love taking sheds and converting them into their own personalized spaces as well. Set up as a cool makeshift bar, a place to hone their crafting skills, or as an area in which to display their most prized possessions (such as sports memorabilia and more), a she shed can just as easily be a he shed, or man cave.
“The great thing about these spaces is that rarely are two of them ever the same,” Hickey said.
Looking for your own private space away from the house? A “she” (or “he”) shed may be just what you need to cultivate a hobby, get some R&R time, or just plain enjoy a getaway spot — without actually leaving home.