man caves and she sheds

Man-Caves and She-Sheds: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Personal Space

Our homes are not just a place to store our belongings, to give us shelter and security but are an important part of who we are. They should be a place that offers sanctuary and restorative calm away from the stresses and strains of the real world. However, sometimes it can be difficult to find a port amidst the storm of our domestic lives which is why we wanted to focus on the growing demand for personal spaces.

The term ‘Man-Cave’ has been popular for a few decades now and describes a place of retreat for men in a domestic environment. Often a converted shed, garage or loft, they can combine the practical need for a home office, tool shed or hobby room with a more fanciful desire to have a ‘den’.

For years, Man-Caves have been regarded as a male-only requirement in a world where (rightly or wrongly) the home interior has largely been decided upon by women. In an effort to maintain an equilibrium of peace and harmony, the Man-Cave has offered men the chance to decorate to their own tastes, introduce the technology they want and to make as much mess as they please.

man cave she sheds home office dunster house

Personal space and be anything from a home study, gym or studio to a cosy retreat for reading a book. Image via Dunster House.

In recent years, and quite rightly, women have also demanded their own personal space on the same terms; somewhere they can call their own, where they can escape to when they need to be on their own. The term She-Shed is used to describe just such a place and the two terms are fast becoming a popular phrase when estate agents are showing potential buyers around a property. Any space which offers people their own personal space is adding value to homes.

So, how can you achieve a personal space in your home, particularly if it is already at a premium?

Man-Caves and She-Sheds: Choices, Choices, Choices

The beauty of having a personal space is that it doesn’t need to be the size of the Taj Mahal; a Man-Cave or a She-Shed can be a box bedroom, a converted loft/garage or an ordinary shed that has been transformed. At very least, a studio flat can be divided with the use of screens to give you your own tranquil corner.

However big or small your home and garden is, there is always an option for re-claiming some space to make your own.

Man-Caves and She-Sheds: Great Ideas

With freedom of space and decoration in mind, we looked at the ideas of some creative hobbyists, designers and homeowners and their ways of creating Man-Caves and She-Sheds.

Californian artist and architect, Alex Wyndham is inspired by a combination of his surroundings and ecology, blending simplicity of design and materials with a complex beauty. We loved his HAWKhouse cabana built into the mountainside but this compact but functional ARThouse he built in a back-garden blends perfectly shows off a great Man-Cave/She-Shed. Designed with practicality in mind but with a touch of whimsy the spaces offers a serene but cosy environment.

The key to the success of this design is that it incorporates existing needs such as recycling bins and garden storage and combines these with the shed. You can find the space you need for your Man-Cave or She-Shed by looking to replace, convert or integrate existing structures.

man cave she shed alex wyndham arthouse

It’s the interior of a space that gives it a personal touch and you don’t have to have a huge budget to achieve it. Image of ARThouse via Alex Wyndham.

Of course, if you have a big garden and a big budget then you can really let your imagination run wild. There are lots of options online for timber garden buildings; most of these can be erected in a matter of a day or so with no planning consent required (check height and boundary restrictions with your local council).

Dunster House is one of the UKs largest suppliers and installers of timber outbuildings and they have a range of sheds, summer houses, garden offices and log cabins which start from around £160 up to £10,000+.

We liked the price and versatility offered by their Rhine Log Cabin  4m x 3m . At a costs of £1,789 you get an extra room that could easily become a home gym, a tranquil yoga studio or crafters workshop. If you are a handy DIYer then the installation is a good project, but you can also tailor your order to include a full delivery and install service. What’s more, their cabins can all be upgraded to include premium glazing, insulation and roof protection. You can even add optional extras like storage, cabin furniture, eco-guttering and even a toilet.

home yoga studio dunster house

This home yoga studio has been achieved in a small space. Image via Dunster House.

If money is no object then a custom-built space can deliver enormous benefits. These ‘Backyard Rooms’ have been tailor-made to suit the individual demands of each client whether they want an art room, home cinema or garden office.

backyard rooms man cave she sheds

If you have a bigger budget then a bespoke design could offer you something very chic. Image via ArchiBlox.

Of course, not all personal spaces have to come at huge expense, nor do they have to be the most modern of structures. We loved this potting shed designed and built by the NittyGrittyDirtMan, a home gardener and blogger whose Man-Cave perfectly suits his needs. Measuring 10’ by 10’, the shed was placed in a corner plot of his garden and combines the practical needs of his young seedlings as well as delivering big on offering him a peaceful sanctuary.

At the end of the day, the value of your Man-Cave or She-Shed is not about how big it is or what it is made from but the fact that it is your own. An ordinary tool shed can easily be transformed with a lick of paint, some TLC and a bit of creative touches to create an oasis of calm.

We’ll leave you with our final inspirational she-shed with this shabby but chic studio. Embracing the surrounding forest in a magical and fairy-tale design, this fresh Nordic style shed is like a cottage in miniature. A simple white wood wash interior gives it a spacious and clean feeling. Perfect for adding highlights of colour with fabric or decorations, including festive ones. The addition of a wood burning stove is inspired to really bring that much needed warmth for the winter months.

shabby she shed

Once you have the shell of a space, let your imagination run wild. Image via My Shabby Streamside Studio.

And finally, if you have decided that there is not a single square inch left in your current home to give you that much valued personal space and are looking for your next home, we can help there too. Property Assistant are an estate agency built exclusively around the ethos that working for our clients should be like working for our family. Buying a house and starting a new adventure is an exciting (and sometimes daunting) prospect so taking the journey with someone you trust is important.

We’d love to know more about your dream plans for a personal space of your own so get in touch and let us know how your man-caves and she-sheds pan out.

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