Battle of the Sexes: Man Caves vs. She Sheds

By: Jillian Klein
*See below for a video on how to create your own She-Shed!

For decades, men have been retreating to a private, gender-segregated room within their own homes known as a “man cave.” This male retreat or sanctuary within a home is usually created in a hidden location such as a specially equipped garage, spare bedroom, attic, or basement. It is here inside this man cave where "guys can do as they please" like a caveman, without fear of upsetting any female sensibility about house decor or design. Man caves have multiple purposes: they are a place to be alone, to be away from women and from female sensibilities, to indulge in hobbies, and to hang out with male friends. It is, loosely, a male-only space to retreat to watch sports matches, or play video games. Here in this male retreat, rules are relaxed; it is a place where other people's (women’s) sensibilities about standards of cleanliness are not necessarily observed; as one man said, "You spill a beer there or leave a hamburger overnight, who cares?"

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  In a sense, for married men, it is a way to recreate some of the space and freedom of their bachelor days since it was like a "pad" similar in feeling to a house game room or a college dorm room where people could come and go "as if they owned the place." It is where a man doesn't have to be on his best behavior, where no women are around, and where "no one is going to make you watch your p's and q's and "no one is going to ask you to explain yourself". Sounds nice doesn’t it? Women thought so too. Every woman deserves a space of her own — somewhere to retreat for some solitude, to create or grow, to write or paint, or just to enjoy the view - and thus was born the "She-Shed."

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Whereas Man Caves are usually a part of the house somehow, She-Sheds are typically situated in the garden or backyard. This new trend brings gender equality to a whole new level. There are no set rules to how a She-Shed should be constructed. Some turn them into reading areas while others use their She-Sheds as craft rooms or even miniature yoga studios. While their husbands are drinking beer with the boys in their man caves during Monday night football, women now have a sanctuary all their own for wine sipping, reality TV watching, or just some peace and quiet from the life of men. So what do you think ladies? Interested in creating a she-space all your own? Here are some tips for creating your hideaway:

  1. Clean out your old backyard shed—or use a kit to build a new one.

  2. Give your shed a fresh coat of paint.

  3. Define the purpose of your shed

  4. Search flea markets and antique shops for unique finds.

  5. Surround yourself with the things you love.

  6. Create an inviting entryway.

  7. Make sure your shed is a reflection of yourself.

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To view some of the most creative she-sheds out there, click the link below:

Watch this video and learn how to create your very own She-Shed.