Every mom should have a peaceful sanctuary to retreat to at the end of a long day—a mini library, a cozy yoga studio, a sewing room.
But, on the other hand, hard-working dads also deserve a little “me” time, whether that’s kicking back in a comfy recliner to watch the latest “Game of Thrones” episode or tinkering at a workbench.
This is the ultimate home renovation dilemma: To create a she shed for Mom, or a man cave for Dad?
Considering all the extra work most moms do (I mean, seriously, who else would remember to buy more toilet paper before a total bathroom crisis happens?), converting that dusty backyard shed into a dedicated she shed might just be the best way to show your appreciation for all she does.
Unless Dad takes the kids out for the evening, working moms rarely have a moment alone. If they do, it’s likely in the car on the way to the store to pick up supplies for a last-minute school project.
“Basically, a she shed is a place for a woman to call her own,” said Greg Greene, the owner of Greene Construction in Newburyport, Massachusetts. “Everyone talks about man caves like the entire home belongs to a woman and therefore the man needs at least one room he can do whatever he wants with, but we all know that’s not true. If a woman has children, it’s unlikely that she really has one place she can call her own and have quiet time in.”
No matter which option you choose, before you start the project, give Closetbox a call. Their team of experts will pick up the items you need to move into storage to design the ultimate she shed or man cave, carefully transport them to a private vault, then return them to your home when you need them.
Designing a she shed
So, what goes into designing the perfect she shed?
Anything that will make a busy mom happy, says Greene.
It all depends on her hobbies. For the right-brained, artistic mom, a she shed is a workshop for painting, craft projects, scrapbooking and more.
For the mom who just needs a place to sit down for more than 30 seconds, a she shed can become her oasis.
“It’s going to be a cozy place to curl up and read,” Greene suggests. “She can have bookshelves created that she can decorate with books, photos and art.” Add a daybed or a built-in window nook and your she shed is complete.
What about a mini-yoga studio? Create the perfect meditation space by painting the inside of the shed with soothing colors, then adding some comfy rugs and lots of pillows.
For other mothers, a she shed won’t look all that different from a traditional shed, Green pointed out. A deep cleaning to remove some of the cobwebs and some new shelves can transform the space into a gardening workshop she’ll actually want to spend time in.
Before you break out the paint and furniture, be sure to give your shed a deep cleaning, then stash your shed belongings in storage with Closetbox. You want to start with a clean slate.
And don’t forget the outside of the shed, either. Use funky stones or bricks to create a welcoming path that leads to the shed’s front door. Plant flowers and some all-season shrubs along the sides of the shed, too.
If you don’t already have a shed in your backyard, spend a few days observing the yard before you build one, says Peter Harvey, owner of Summerwood, which creates prefabricated kits for sheds and other small buildings (like the one pictured below).
“The way the sunlight makes its way across the yard is important, as it will alter the temperature of your she shed, which can heat up quickly,” Harvey says. “It’s suggested that the building is place in such a way that sunrises and sunsets can be enjoyed. Noise levels from various sources, like your neighbors yard, and proximity to your home are also factors.”
Creating the ultimate man cave
If you need to keep your shed as-is, don’t worry. You can still put together an ideal man cave for dad. And hey, maybe the rest of the family can use it every now and then, too.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a man who wouldn’t love to have his own man cave,” said Jeffrey Weldler, an interior decorating expert at Vant Wall Panels. “It’s the ultimate male dream, as it is a place to escape from everyday life, have a guy’s night to watch the game, or get the family together for movie night.”
First, decide on the right space for your man cave. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars finishing the basement—your man cave can be as simple as an extra bedroom. Plus, smaller often means cozier.
“Don’t feel like you have to have the perfect area, just make do with the space you have,” Weldler says.
And, when you finally decide what you want to do with that extra bedroom where you’ve been tossing random objects, give the folks at Closetbox a call to come pick up and store those odds and ends until you need them.
You also don’t need to spend a fortune outfitting your man cave, either. Weldler suggests find building materials on Craigslist or at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
You can also score cheap “oops” paint at Home Depot and Lowe’s. This is paint that people have returned because the color wasn’t exactly what they wanted.
Make sure your man cave is ready to host guests by incorporating fun, interactive pieces into the space, such as a pool table, a bar or a dart board. For the gentleman with a more refined palate, consider adding a wine fridge instead, suggests Larry Greene of Case Design/Remodeling in Indianapolis.
“The perfect man cave is going to differ for every guy, but there are certainly some elements that are necessities,” Greene said. “The vibe should be comfortable, relaxed and cool-looking.”