Just as the term man cave was coined to mean the perfect “male‑only” place for guys to get together, indulge in their favorite hobby, watch some sports on TV, play a little pool all the while enjoying a cool beverage, women have come to carve out an area exclusively for them – the she shed.
Both places are types of retreats from the everyday world, and as such, don’t have the decorating constraints of the main family area.
Men typically choose the garage, basement or an unused room in the house for their special space, while women seem to want to get away a distance from their everyday worlds.
Once thought of as a short‑term craze, these female sanctuaries are most likely here to stay!
The perfect spot might already be right in your backyard ‑ that old, hardly used garage, your run‑down potting shed, or even that abandoned playhouse of your kids.
Picturing the relaxing hours you could spend working on art projects, writing, gardening, reading or sharing a glass of Chardonnay with a friend may be just the motivation you need to do a massive cleanup.
No existing structure that you can use? No problem! There are numerous easy‑to‑build or prefab kits for the she shed of your dreams. Follow the steps from the manufacturers to properly erect your structure.
Whichever way you go about setting yours up, remember getting there is half the fun.
And it could be a great project for your spouse or other family members to help you with. For ideas and some guidelines, read on.
ONE NOTE OF CAUTION: before you get started, check with your municipality for any restrictions and whether or not you’ll need permits.
If you have the building you want to use, then clean it out!
The first thing to do is take inventory of the contents of your shed or small garage. Often, this structure has been used for auxiliary storage, such as seasonal articles. However, just like the regular cleaning out of clothes closets, taking a good hard look at the contents of your potential hideaway may be a little traumatic, but you’ll feel so much better in the long run.
Which of the following describes your situation?
- You have a garage attached to the house as well as a shed. Is there a way to better reorganize your storage space so that you only keep what is absolutely necessary and you still use?
- You only have a shed or small garage located in the in the back of your yard. Is there enough space in your basement to store what you really want to keep?
Once you have a clear picture of the situation and still want to proceed with your project, you’ll have to sort out:
- which things you absolutely want to keep,
- which things you can sell in a garage sale,
- those things you can give to charity to be reused.
Draw up a transformation plan!
As excited as you are to get started, it is wise to do some planning up front. Or at least take small steps and see how things go. As they say, if you want a successful project, put 90% of your energy into planning and 10% into execution.
Try to picture what your final result will look like. Use your imagination and whatever you can dream up. But don’t worry ‑ if your dreaming gets a little out of hand, there will be a family member or friend who’ll bring you back to earth by reminding you of how much it will cost. But to get started, dreaming is free!
Once all your dreaming is done, it is time to establish a budget. Do some research and be realistic. Then take a sketch of your she shed with your estimated costs, write on it an end date for the project, and put it on the fridge. And keep a little wiggle room in your budget, normally around 10% of the project total, for those little extras and unexpected problems!
1. Determine the dimensions of the building you will be using:
- the height, width and depth, the location of beams or any other obstacles you need to account for during the transformation (ex.: wood or gas heating ducts).
- if you have a mini garage, based on the type of construction, is there useable storage space on the roof trusses?
- other details: are electricity and plumbing needed for your project? If they are already there, are there modifications that should be made?
2. Now is the time to examine the existing structure:
- foundation (on concrete piers with lumber or a concrete slab): is it adequate for your plans?
- insulation: how many seasons will you be using your she shed?
- roof: is it in good shape?
Now, with a clear plan and a more precise budget, you are ready to begin…
An inviting place of your own
Whatever reason you have for transforming your old garage or playhouse into your oasis, here are some ideas and tips to personalize it to your liking.
1. What would satisfy you in terms of style?
Do you envision an idyllic, Victorian cottage or a more contemporary, windowed artist studio? Your main house may influence your choice of architecture for this cozy backyard hideaway as well as the furnishing you will decorate it with.
2. Lighten, brighten and choose some color
Would more, larger windows or even a skylight give you the natural light you crave? What’s more, a fresh coat of paint, inside and out, can do lots in transforming an overlooked outbuilding into a welcoming feminine refuge.
White or pastels are very chic, and you can make it unique with coordinated window and door frames.
3. Deck out your refuge without breaking the bank
See what furnishing you may have around the house or even possibly in your aunt’s attic.
Check out flea markets or antique shops.
Be eclectic. Repurpose old items with an inventive eye.
4. Don’t forget to beautify the outside
A small deck, porch or patio could be added with some comfy chairs.
Start planting some perennials around the sides or even a garden.
You don’t need to have everything done the first year – it can be an ongoing labor of love!
5. The underlying sentiment is… paradise
Make your getaway reflect YOU, whether it be a seaside theme, shabby chic barn siding and lace, or a gardener’s haven.
Can you fit a small sofa?
A writing desk?
Whatever makes you happy and relaxed.
Pinterest: an endless source of ideas
Have you thought of adding an all‑glass garage door?
Whatever size of shed or mini garage you are working with, and whether or not it already has or you want to add a small garage door, be aware that Garaga has all‑glass garage doors (also called panoramic doors) that will let in every ray of sunshine and daylight. On warm days you can open the door but then once cool or inclement weather arrives, it can be easily closed.
To complement its extruded aluminum California door, Garaga offers different aluminum frame colors and layouts, and many, many different types of glass: Clear, or for more privacy, Satin Grey, Satin Black, or Bronze or Blue tinted. 😍👌
As for size, this door can be as small as 4 feet wide by 6 ½ feet high.
Would a sectional garage door look great and be useful on your Lady Shack?
If you live in the area of Saut Ste.Marie, don’t delay to contact us toll‑free at 1‑877‑794‑4223. We will give you a thorough explanation of the space you’ll need to install a garage door in your she shed and the sizes that are available. You can even install an electric door opener if you have the necessary clearance.
If it would be helpful, we can send you a quotation by email. You can also come and meet us at our showroom. If you decide to change an already existing garage door, try using our design centre to choose the style that suits you best. As well, refer to our image gallery for lots of good ideas.