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What is a She Shed—and Why Do You Need One?

Do me a favor and close your eyes (after you read the rest of this paragraph). Are they closed? Cool. Now: imagine a place that’s entirely yours. It’s a place that’s spacious enough to hold whatever makes you happiest but not so big that it’s a burden to maintain. It’s all about you: your favorite colors, your design aesthetic, your passions.

Now that your eyes are open again, the space we’re talking about is a she shed (or a man cave, if you prefer). What’s a she shed? It’s a separate building from your home, located in near proximity, that belongs solely to the matriarch of the house. It can be built from an existing structure (think an unused shed) or built new. In a nutshell, it can be just about anything you want it to be. The she shed was created in New York’s Catskills mountains by Sara Foster. She outfitted her space with a sofa and a loft bed—and books—so she could escape the pressures of her life.

Perhaps you, too, want a quiet spot to read and rest. Or maybe you want a space to spread out your crafting projects, or you need a place to write, or you’re a painter or a quilter or a saxophonist or a yogi. No matter what your passion—or your intention for the space—a she shed can accommodate your needs and wants without affecting how you use your home.

Other than the convenience of expanding your living space, why is it important to have a space of your own? The answer to that question, in a word, is happiness. Studies have shown that having a physical space that is solely yours is good for your mental health and can lead to enhanced emotional wellbeing. This is true no matter what the space is called—she sheds, man caves, spare room, hobby room. The name doesn’t really matter, but the intent does: space that you can claim as your own, and do with as you please, can contribute to a happier, healthier life.

When it comes to design, a she shed can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. It can be styled or casual, it can coordinate with the rest of your home or indulge a whim (French Baroque? Mediterranean colors when all your home’s rooms are painted gray? Anything goes in the she shed!). The real question is what do you want your she shed to look like? How do you want it to function? The key to making it truly work for you is to design it with your wishes in mind--and that's what we're here to do, no matter how big or small the space.

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