Escape From Stress in Your Own Special She Shed

Getting away from it all is hard to do with everything that today’s busy lives entail. But, many women have decided that they don’t need to look any further than their own backyards to escape the responsibilities of life and enjoy some downtime: They are retreating to their She Sheds.

What is a she shed you might ask? It’s one of the latest home trends, the female gender-equivalent of the man cave. It’s simply a gussied-up garden shed — revamped or newly constructed — that a woman can call her own, where she can escape her daily tasks and responsibilities to do whatever helps her relax and recharge. Common ways that women use She Sheds are for reading, crafting, writing, potting and garden-related activities, or as a separate space for a particular hobby.

Erika Katie, who quite literally wrote the book on she sheds, told NBC news that “this is a place they’ve designed that is just theirs, that they can do with it whatever they want, and I think that really is a modern woman’s prerogative.” That prerogative also includes what level of elbow grease and expense a woman is prepared to spend to create her space. Basically, a she shed is just a tricked-out garden shed, but the possibilities are endless.

A hobby or a place you really love can be a great theme for decorating your she shed. Here’s an example of a coastal-themed shed from the Home Depot blog. While this one is in a backyard that is actually near the beach, there is no rule that you can’t do the same thing in your own shed, even if you live hundreds of miles from the nearest beach. This one by blogger Danielle Driscoll is as cute on the outside as the inside. It features window boxes with plants and a chip stone patio, where she can enjoy the outdoors.

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The light blue accent color carries the seaside theme to the exterior.

This particular wooden garden shed is from a kit that can be installed for you. Increasingly, large home improvement stores are carrying kits that are perfect as the basis for a she-shed. On the inside, Driscoll has painted the interior totally white to serve as a bright and light background for her casual seaside decor. As many she-shed experts advise, light colors are calming and can help you relax.

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The accessories highlight the beach theme, including a potted palm, and stick to shoes of blue.

A similar color palette is used in this she shed by Ella Claire Inspired. She also teamed up with Home Depot to build a small garden shed and transform it into her own she-shed reading haven. The shed features a unique bookshelf, windows above the Dutch doors that are perfect for propping open in the nice weather.  The blogger added a small deck as a transition from the garden. The inside is painted white and features a plank ceiling, headboard on the walls and a cozy mix of antiques, upcycled pieces and new furnishings. The finished product is a prime place for reading and relaxation.

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The pathway is not centered to the shed and is a first-class detail.
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Stacked vintage suitcases used as a table add to the relaxed atmosphere.

Not every she shed has to be elaborately styled and painted. Some, like this Adirondack-style hot cocoa bar, are an excellent example of a themed wooden garden shed that is creative, selecting and costs much less. Built by the owners to serve as hang-out spot by the fire in the winter, the shed is outfitted with rough sawn pine and tree branches. Much of the charming decor is DIY and features stencils and rustic items. Just imagine sipping some hot cocoa by the fire after a frosty hike in the woods with your friends.  Magnificent!

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Even in the absence of snow, it’s a wonderful fireside retreat for all seasons.

Somewhere in between is this little garden shed that has been transformed into a welcoming little cottage.  White walls, pale pastels colors and a shabby chic decor style combine to make an easy, relaxing setting for reading, chatting with a friend, or other activity. The embellished gable at the front is a cute touch and the white deck makes it easy to enjoy the sunshine.

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The owner of the she shed used creativity and bargain items to make her getaway.
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Antique plates and a vintage rocker are small touches that make the space special.

Some people, like designer Denise Sabia, are lucky enough to have a small building that already exists that can be renovated into a garden shed getaway.  This fun she shed was once a little barn garage that Sabia cleaned out and styled up as her own place to escape. The whole vibe is eclectic, creative and upcyled. Its chock full of inspiration for ways that a she-shed can be decorated with items from around the house or from flea markets and vintage shops.

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Everything from aprons to old chairs and a red wagon get new life in this design.
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A couple of Adirondack chairs outside the shed extend the space available for relaxing.
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An unused twin bed can be gussied up and serve as a spot for napping or reading.
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Old drawers serve as accent shelving and string lights add nighttime charm.

Another remodel, albeit far more involved, is this converted greenhouse. The owner’s husband moved an abandoned greenhouse from another part of the property and rebuilt it using salvaged windows and other materials. Rather than flowers and shrubs, the plants surrounding the small garden shed is actually a vegetable and herb garden, with one side of the path a raised bed. The inside is chicly decorated with feminine fabrics that feature flowers and unique shelving that displays antique glassware. The chandeliers are a marvelous touch that really adds a glamorous note to the space.

The unassuming outside belies the chic and stylish interior.

Many she-sheds are designed for crafters who want to escape and spend time being creative without having to pack everything away all the time. The blogger behind Flower Patch Farmhouse built her own she shed — with her husband — which has all the storage and workspace she needs for crafting. Beneath the calm and simple interior are special extras like a working sink for her painting and a heating unit, so that she can use it all year round. More than just a getaway, it’s a crafter’s dream — literally for all seasons.

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The little portico and porch help protect the entryway in bad weather.
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The interior is custom designed for the owner with storage and multiple work surfaces.

Another crafting haven is this cute little wooden garden shed that the owner and her husband built.  The outside features a deck around two sides, which has allowed her to add a covered potting table for gardening pursuits. Of course, it still has room for a sweet little chair set with a side table for enjoying the yard. Inside, it features plenty of work surfaces for crafting and wrapping, as well as lots of pegboard and other storage units. Pink accents and cottage style accessories and furniture give it the relaxed feel a space like this needs.

This she shed packs lots of uses into a small wooden garden shed.

Since crafting is one of the more popular uses for she sheds, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to creating stylish organization, especially for your get-away space. DaisyMaeBelle has plenty of inspiration to get you started dreaming of how you can organize your shed, while still making it looks chic and relaxed. Again, these examples rely on upcycled and repurposed items to make the environment interesting as well as budget-friendly. Baskets, barrel, birdcages and ladders are all things you can use to store and display your crafting items, depending on what types of tools and materials you use.

Storage doesn’t have to be closed — it can showcase your materials as a decor accent.
Grouping items together, like the frames in the photo on the right, turns them into a decor element.

Of course, not everyone wants to get away to “work,” not matter how creative the endeavor.  Reading and relaxing are probably the top reasons for wanting a she shed. Kloter Farms has turned a standard garden shed into a personal reading space that filled with books and relaxing furniture.  Rain or shine, this can be a retreat for yourself, or for you and some friends who want to discuss the latest bestseller. The outside is simple and the inside features the owner’s favorite colors that work with the rug and furnishings she has chosen.  Once again, a chandelier brings a fun and feminine touch to the space — it’s almost a she-shed must-have!

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This revamped garden shed features brighter colors than the average design.

Not every she-shed is just retreat for harried moms to escape. This one is actually an artist’s studio where the owner goes to be inspired and create — of course that doesn’t mean that we don’t think it’s an absolutely fantastic and relaxing space.  It has all the elements of an upscale she shed, including lots of windows, fancy garden with a path, and even a working fireplace inside. The open and airy garden shed is large enough to include a potting space as well. It’s so special that the owner uses it as a location for throwing dinner parties.

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This gorgeous garden shed falls at the luxe end of the spectrum.
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The artful arrangement of vintage pieces makes for an atmosphere you will never want to leave.

Then again, the she shed is the ultimate “mom cave” and designer Toni Roberts created a cute little bungalow for the Salt Lake Home Show in Utah, using a structure from Wright’s Shed Company. Roberts kept the decor and accents soft and feminine, focusing on a color palette that included shades of cream, pink, white and tan. The exterior includes a small porch, perfect for the little cafe set and the faux rose vine on the posts frames the doorway and adds to the cottage feel. Plenty of flowers and greenery bring nature inside and up the relaxed vibe.

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The bungalow style is different and exceptionally cute.
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The interior is a shabby chic style that sticks to a soft and neutral color palette.

Sometimes, the interior is secondary to the location of the she shed, as in this dreamy vintage retreat that is situated in the woods and right next to a pond. There isn’t a thing about this she shed that won’t help melt away your stress and concerns. Oh yes, because it is located on the Isle of Wight, it also has a view of the sea…which makes us want it even more. The interior decor is casual and simple, allowing you to focus on the gorgeous surroundings.

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The rustic exterior is a perfect choice for the location as is the simple decor inside.
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The magical retreat has plenty of space for reading, writing, relaxing and contemplation.

This she shed is definitely big, beautiful and a dream come true for any gardener. Garden designer Suzanne Hudson has this all-glass garden shed  — it is almost a crime to call it a shed.  The glass construction allows those inside to appreciate nature from every angle and drenches the space in light. The park-like setting adds to the heavenly feeling that this structure creates.

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The high-end potting shed is dramatic but fits naturally into its surroundings.

The interior decor rightly follows a garden theme, with plenty of plants, gardening accessories, and even a grand antique birdcage.  relaxed furnishings include a day bed made from the exposed spring base of a twin bed are accented with bright pillows. A vintage-looking rug anchors the sitting area, which has a natural gravel floor. It may look like a chic retreat, but the gravel floor also makes it a working potting shed.

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Upcycled and vintage items work best in this type of a structure.

One of the things that really adds charm to any she shed is the creative use of materials as accessories and this one has plenty of good examples. A rustic cafe set is styled with an assortment of accessories and above hangs a repurposed spigot and bowl that now holds spectacular seashells. The most striking feature of this corner is the old-fashioned wire shelf that has a parade of vintage oil lamps.

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This is a great spot for having a cup of tea or sketching out a new garden bed.
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Architectural elements combined with garden tools make for a unique display.

At the opposite end of the size spectrum is this truly tiny 4 x 6 foot shed that has been converted into a space dedicated to sewing and weaving. With space at a premium, you can still create a she shed get-away, but it has to be focused. It might not have room for a lounging or seating area, but if the aim is to secret yourself away and sew, then this is a perfect space with no distractions. The space doesn’t have to be about sewing: The same could be done focused any craft, from scrapbooking to painting to gardening.

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It just goes to show that you don’t need a big space or have to spend a lot of money to create a she shed.

Those lucky enough to live in or by the woods can create really special she shed like this one. Almost like a tree house, this one is by Peter Bahouth. Photographed by Lindsay Appel, the two parts are connected with a wood and rope bridge, adding to the treehouse feeling. This double-shed arrangement can include a sleeping space or a hobby-dedicated area as well as a relaxation area. the addition of string lights makes it extra magical, day or night. It is only fitting that the interior decor is rustic and complements the wild surroundings.

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An overnight – or just a nap — in a shed like this is far better than camping!
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There’s something about string lights that really makes everything appealing.
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Vintage finds and a guitar for strumming are the perfect accessories.
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Building part of your shed around a tree is a great idea.
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An imperfect brick porch works with the aged appearance of the shed.

Equally rustic but very different is this adorable garden shed from Living Vintage. Everything about this she shed retreat is like an old-style farmhouse, from the distressed wood to the porch, complete with creeping vine and rocking chairs. Lights under the eaves and some glowing through the windows from the inside are warm and welcoming.

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The look of this shed just oozes charm.

With such a rustic exterior, the interior has to match. Exposed unpainted wood lines the walls and the roof, and the brick floor is found throughout the wooden garden shed. A collection of vintage furniture pieces, assorted accessories and architectural elements have the detail needed to create the right atmosphere.

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The brick floor is easy care and durable, no matter how you use the shed.
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This shed has enough space for multiple purposes.

Rustic charm characterizes this glass potting shed, but in a different way. It looks elegant more than rustic thanks to all the glass, especially the two marvelous windows on the front. The she shed is very much a working potting shed where the owner can focus on her gardening tasks. The purpose and the appearance fit very well with the spacious backyard surroundings, which are well cared for and relaxing.

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The park-like setting of this backyard is ideal for the glass potting shed.
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The exterior of the she shed includes a sitting area.

The interior of the chic potting shed includes all the tools a gardener needs as well as a really special feature — running water! A variety of storage containers that have been repurposed from various places also play a role as decor elements, from the baskets on the shelf to the tool holders on the bottom shelf of the table.

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We love the worn and distressed finish on the back wall and window frame.
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Simple garden tools well organized add to the decor.

Sometimes the simplest things are the most complex, as is this little wooden garden shed. It might look basic but it is actually far from it. Chock full of impressive details, this she shed serves as a painting studio for artist Rachel Roe. According to St. Louis magazine, the little space features a loft, floors made from reclaimed 100-year-old wood beams, a terra cotta chimney, as well as front and side porches. It’s an artist’s getaway that encourages creativity and focus, with an interior arranged to meet her needs. In fact, that’s the main purpose of a she shed..to be whatever a woman needs most.

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The lines of the shed are clean and basic with an interior that is smartly finished.
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Minimal furnishings with maximum utility are the name of the game.

Painting is the only kind of studio you can have in a she shed. Jewelry designer Tippy Stockton has her workshop in a she shed. Of course, for her this is work but for others, it could be a hide away for creating fun jewelry items as a hobby. The outside is a basic tan color, accented with turquoise and a bright brick red. A paving stone walkway and a few plants and accessories add a dose of extra charm.

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This small garden shed is extra cute.

The interior is dominated by the turquoise walls, nicely accented by the white shelving and trim. There’s plenty of storage and a very organized workspace. This is key for a relaxing she shed that is used for crafting because there’s nothing more stressful than wasting time searching for items and dealing with a messy space.

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This craft-centered space includes just enough accessories to make the space comfortable and stylish.

This wooden garden shed has been transformed for no other purpose than having fun. The little barn, made from a kit available from Home Depot, is about as cute as they come. While the outside sports a blue exterior with green trim, the interior is done in a totally patriotic theme. With room for sitting and relaxing — and entertaining.

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This shed is simply placed in the yard without extra landscaping or frills.
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A farm-style fire pit and wood stash add to the charm of this garden shed.

The interior includes a loft with a mattress for snoozing or a sleep-over. The unfinished walls make it easy care and inexpensive. The decor is rustic and follows the patriotic theme set by the American flag on the back wall. The floor is tongue-and-groove vinyl, which means it resists spills and is easy to maintain. And that’s where the rustic part ends. Its stocked with everything you need for an outdoor party, from snacks to drinks stores in a mini-fridge.

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There’s enough storage space to stash anything you might need like hats, sunscreen or blankets for a chilly night by the fire.

People who don’t live inside open space can still make the most of a she shed by transforming any basic little shed into a special space. If possible, make the outside style delightful, like this one in the Washington D.C. area that includes a dormer on the front. An appealing exterior will make you want to step inside and close the door.

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Here’s another basic shed that has its own beautiful appeal. The red doors and black shutters, combined with the interesting roof line draw you in and make you want to come inside. Double door like these are also great for a she shed when you want to open it up to the outside and enjoy the garden.

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The well-manicured gardens make this wooden garden shed more appealing.

Ultimately, a she shed is also about reflecting a woman’s style. If you like purple, go for it, like this chic garden blogger’s shed does. It’s plush and stylish on the inside and the purple color is a perfect match for the tree when it’s in bloom like this. Plants are included on the inside as well as in urns by the exterior doors. Little extras like a thatch-covered rood and figurines on top make a big stylistic difference.

This is stylish and refined on the inside, but fits with the country setting on the outside.

A fantastic, vintage garden she shed like this one, found outside of London, makes the most of its green surroundings with plenty of glass. The rustic wood that frames the windows and the building as a whole exudes plenty of charm. There’s plenty of space for potting and relaxing…which is the ultimate aim.

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Vintage accents like the bench and wheelbarrow planter match the structure.
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Little details like the pennants in the window catch the eye.
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More plants, all the tools needed, and a display of accessories round out the look.

As you can see from all these inspiring examples, a she shed can be as fancy, rustic, casual, or glitzy as your heart desires. When designing and planning your space, it doesn’t have to please anyone but you. It should be a reflection of your style, include what makes you makes you happy and relaxed…and have a door that you can close behind you to help leave your cares behind.