How The She-Shed Personal Escape Trend Can Help You Unwind

For years, we have heard the term "mancave," where men would retreat to watch football, play poker, or be away from their families. But, in recent years, thanks to that popular State Farm commercial, women have been finding their retreat and crafting a safe space. But according to The CE Shop, a she-shed isn't just a joke created by an insurance company. 

According to House Home and More, it is usually a structure placed in the backyard that does not connect to the main house. But, overall, a she-shed can be whatever you want it to be. The first woman to coin the term was named Sandra Foster. She spoke with Today in 2015 to tell them how she created a space outside of her home in New York's Catskills mountains to help her marriage, and her get away from life's stresses. Since then, women from all over the country have followed suit. If you are looking for a space to call all your own, here's how a she-shed can help you, too.

Benefits of a she-shed

A she-shed is, at its core, a place for women to escape. But beyond having a location outside your home to go to, there are more benefits of personal space than you may think. According to The Spruce, a she-shed is a great place for women to discover their passions or to find a new hobby. Having your own interests not only helps you unwind but can also help you feel more confident in yourself. And that confidence will carry with you when you re-enter your main home, making your days more constructive and helping you complete your daily tasks.

The rise of custom personal spaces occurred after the pandemic stopped our ability to travel but only intensified our need to escape, per House Home and More. So while a private escape is most beneficial as a place to unwind and leave your daily life behind, it can also be used in many different ways.

Different uses for a she-shed

Women created these sheds as a place to get away. But as they have become more popular, their uses have become endless. According to The Spruce, a she-shed can be used as a mini herb garden, which can be easily created by hanging up sewing pockets onto one of the walls (plus, it also acts as decor) or as a potting hut for those who love gardening. Some people have gone as far as to make their she-sheds a small vacation home, complete with everything you may need to stay the night. Other uses include a sewing room, a reading nook, a workspace, or even a home gym.

According to She Shed Living, the most popular way women use their shed is as a place to make art, incorporating a lot of windows for natural light and sparse furniture to create more space. Women use their private escapes primarily for DIYing, writing, working on their home business, gardening, meditation, and yoga, which can do wonders for your body.

Must-have features for the space

No matter what you are using your space for, there are some must-have features all she-sheds need. If you already have a shack in your backyard, the first thing to do is make sure the structure is in good shape, per Family Handyman. Sheds often have cracks which can lead to bugs, dust, and more. Seal those up and ensure the walls are in good working order. Afterward, you may consider installing insulation to ensure you are super comfortable in your space all year round (depending on where you live, you may also need to add air conditioning and/or heat). Once the frame is solid, it's time to start decorating. A fresh coat of paint on the inside and outside will instantly refresh the area and inspire you to continue decorating. Once the paint is dry, you can add windows, light fixtures, and decor to make the area feel like an oasis.

And don't skimp on the outside. Today recommends adding fresh plants, window boxes, or even globe lights to make the outside as welcoming as the inside.

How to create a she-shed from scratch

If you don't already have a structure on your property that can work as a she-shed, don't fret. While you may have much more work ahead of you, getting your own is still possible. According to House Home and More, those on a budget should consider going DIY, whether DIYing a current structure or creating an entirely new one. If you are hoping to do a rebuild, this can save you a lot of money and time, as the majority of the work will be fixing, refurbishing, and decorating. Lawn Starter recommends buying a prefabricated kit if you can't find a preexisting option. These kits are easy to install and often cheaper than buying all the materials on your own.

If the idea of creating your shed from scratch sends you running, there are other options. Your local handyman or Home Depot can help you create the area of your dreams. Many big box stores offer installation services if you buy a pre-made shed from their stores, saving you a bit of money and a lot of time.

How much a she-shed costs

When it comes to the overall cost of a she-shed, going the DIY route will cost you anywhere from $1,767 to $9,567 per Lawn Starter. A premade kit costs between $1,500 and $5,000, depending on the size you choose as well as the materials. Once you factor in design, that number will rise. On average, you can expect to spend about $3,634 on a build. You can also get one professionally done if you are not the DIY type. A professional installation could cost over $11,000.

But once the actual framework is done, how you decorate is crucial to making a relaxing place to unwind. If you are trying to stick to a budget, Home and Gardens recommends reusing and refurbishing items you already have in your home. They also recommend incorporating wallpaper that speaks to you, adding mirrors to make the space feel more significant, and putting up curtains and light fixtures.

How to incorporate aspects of a she-shed without a shed

Daydreaming about a she-shed but don't have the budget, the time, or the room to create one? Consider adding elements of a private escape to an area within your home. While a she-shed is technically a structure not connected to your home, hence the "shed," their true purpose is to create a place to relax and unwind that is truly your own. The first step is to find the spot. This can be an entire room or just a corner of your home. Budding Optimist recommends keeping the area neutral to allow yourself to feel calm while in it, painting, or using decor items in colors like dusty pink, gray-blue, light green, or ivory. They also recommend adding natural elements to the room, like wood pieces or plants, adding simple art to the walls, and adding a soft, yellow light to improve calmness and reduce tension.

But no matter how you decorate, the best thing you can do to help unwind is to get rid of the clutter, per Veranda. Before you can enjoy your space, get rid of items you no longer need and ensure the area is clutter-free. Whether you have a full outdoor shed or just a corner reading nook, creating an area to promote serenity and help unwind is a must for every woman.