Move over, man cave. It’s 2019 and there’s a new backyard sanctuary in town. Introducing: the she shed.

She sheds are small outdoor structures that are converted into cozy spaces. Think detached garages or garden or tool sheds that are reimagined into cozy oases. From backyard home offices, to reading nooks, crafting rooms, and micro yoga studios, the possibilities for she sheds are pretty limitless.

Inspired to build your own ladies-only backyard retreat? Whether you’re planning to DIY your own space, or commission a builder to custom create your vision, here are a few tips (and some she shed inspo) to get you started.

1. Choose multifunctional décor.

Think about how you’re most likely to use the space, and find versatile pieces of furniture that can serve a range of different purposes. For example, a small table can double as a work desk and a place for your afternoon chai. Similarly, a futon or day bed can be easily converted from couch to bed, should you want to use the space for an occasional siesta.

We love this gorgeous artist’s-studio-meets-outdoor-living-room (complete with green roof). 

2. Use natural light.

Natural lighting is especially beneficial if you’re creating something like a painting studio or reading nook. Think about adding skylights or a lower-cost natural light diffuser, like a sun tube. And don’t be afraid to throw the doors open and let the sunshine in.

This simple, reading she shed uses skylights, a great chair, and ample bookshelves to create a sunny, inviting outdoor library. 

3. Don’t forget the greenery.

Your she shed is outside, so make the most of it! Think about landscaping a path from your home to the house. This creates an inviting entryway with the help of flowers, shrubs, and other plantings. Plus it helps you be intentional about how your shed converses with the rest of your yard. For another organic pop, add window boxes to plant with low-water succulents or cheery annuals.

This rustic retreat uses potted plants and climbing vines in a way that feels like a natural extension of the surrounding garden landscape.

4. Do repurpose existing spaces.

Have a lackluster tool shed collecting cobwebs in some far corner of your backyard? Or a once-bustling, now-vacant playhouse that needs some sprucing? Let your creativity run wild. A little exterior paint, elbow grease, and imagination can go a long way into transforming a former shack into a present she shed.

We’re crazy about the whimsical vibe of this former children’s-playhouse-turned-crafting-she-shed.

5. Look for prefabricated sheds or DIY kits.

No existing sheds to makeover? No worries! Hardware stores and other online sellers offer a range of easy-to-assemble kits and preassembled structures that can be personalized with paint, flooring, and furnishings, transforming a space from functional into fantastical.

This cute and cozy she shed in shades of lavender was built from a kit and personalized afterward. 

6. Be sure to insure your she shed.

Luckily, a standard homeowners policy comes with other structures coverage, which covers standalone structures on your property. That means unattached garages, tool sheds, gazebos, and … yes … she sheds! The default limit is 10 percent of your dwelling protection. However, you can change this limit so it covers the full replacement cost of your structures.

And remember: anytime you consider making improvements to your home or yard, take a second to make sure your home is covered. Get a homeowners quote from Esurance today and see how we’re making insurance simple, transparent, and affordable.

DIY hacks | Home and garden

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about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.