beautifully landscaped backyard with small wooden shed, fence and pathway

By Andrea Papagianis-Camacho

It’s the year of the shed.

Sports memorabilia, pool tables, at screens and bars have long been staples of the pigskin retreats and poker hideaways dubbed man caves—a concept born out of the assumption that women control the home.

But a charming backyard trend has ladies staking claim on a haven of their own.

The man cave’s counter christened “she shed” is sweeping across social media, home improvement stores and cable networks as part of the larger, small-space movement to create a pressure-free zone and low-maintenance escape. It’s safe to say: Tiny houses, treehouses and sheds are everywhere.

Pinterest boards and Houzz design albums are lled with inspirational images of whimsical garden art studios and modern yoga retreats. The Today Show and Country Living have how-to-build-a-she-shed guides and top she-shed lists, while FYI has He Shed She Shed, a battle of the sexes show- down series centered on outdoor living space projects.

Lowe’s Home Improvement even offers step-by-step instructions—from shed foundation and French door installations to paint and design tips—on how to turn a regular storage shed into a stylish space. These online tutorials can also be tailored to build a business “shedquarters” or “pub-shed” for a backyard brew.

Whether its breathing new life into an under-utilized outdoor structure, starting from scratch or repurposing a room, shed or no shed, here are a few ideas that will bring personality and function to a fun little hideaway.

  • Crafty Cottage: An ideal start to an art studio. Create an enchanting space to invigorate artistic work. Install French doors for natural light, window boxes for color and to connect with nature.
  • Yoga Oasis: Create a Zen-inspired space for yoga practice, reflection and meditation. Start with a neutral base and incorporate clean, simple furniture and earth-toned fabrics. Keep artwork minimal and consider installing a water feature—a small, serene fountain or privacy pond to protect the sanctuary.
  • Backyard Bar: Inside create a refuge, outside design a space primed for a party. Add a pergola onto the shed to expand the entertaining space. String market lights, stock the bar and bring in comfortable seating to create a warm, inviting environment guests will love.
  • Office Space: Enjoy a traffic-free morning commute to a backyard office. Utilize natural lighting by installing windows and skylights to create a bright space where creativity and productivity will flourish. Here, embrace bright pops of color to keep the space fresh and hanging shelves or bookcases to organize.
  • Literary Lodge: Give literary favorites a dreamy home. Add a couch, rug, pillows and blankets alongside shelving housing beloved stories to create a comfortable reading nook.

Now that a few ideas have been noted, it’s time to start planning. First, find a purpose. Then, figure out individual style. Be it romantic or modern, rustic or quirky, make the space personal.

Read more about design in this special section titled, “Inside/Outside” here:

About The Author Capo Dispatch

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