Woman caves, she sheds, lady lairs… Whatever you call them, it’s universally understood. To complement the idea of a “man cave”, the space we’re talking about is a room – maybe a garage or shed – that’s dedicated entirely to allowing the woman (or women) of the house to catch a break from the rest of the world.
It’s not always for purely selfish reasons either (although absolutely no shade if it is, I totally understand). Having somewhere to go that is separated from the rest of the house can be necessary for lots of reasons.
Maybe you need to really focus on your work during the day, or have a messy hobby that works better in its own room. Perhaps it’s simply about having somewhere quieter to go for phone calls, video meetings or private conversations – or maybe it’s the opposite, and you don’t want to disturb everyone that you live with by yelling at the TV during your favourite sports games or gaming sessions.
Whatever reason brought you to this post, welcome. I’ve put together a list of some of the best woman cave, she shed and lady lair ideas I’ve been able to find, at a range of budget, creativity and effort levels.
One quick thing before we start – you’ll notice that a lot of these ideas celebrate gorgeous aesthetics and soft design touches. While we are absolutely all over these cute elements, a she shed should be about style AND substance.
When researching our sister-post (or should that be “brother-post”?) about garden man cave ideas, there were way more suggestions for DIY projects and cool activity set ups. If you need ideas about ways to use your she shed, or if throw-pillows make you throw-up in your mouth a little bit, definitely check out that post when you’re done here – we love all escapism sheds equally!
And remember, your garden woman cave should be a reflection of you and your interests – make sure it looks and feels exactly how YOU want it to.
Now, on with the show!
Simple She Sheds
Lots of people create their garden woman cave by adapting an existing space, like a shed or garage. The most important element of a lady lair is that it gives you somewhere peaceful to do whatever you need to do (exercise, read, work etc.). If time, space or money is tight, start with the basics.
The simple design of this she shed means it should conveniently squeeze into even the smallest of gardens. The interior style is pretty low-key too – just a couple of squashy beanbags (but you might need to put some effort into sorting the wall-mounted TV).
This sage green retreat is actually pretty simple on its own – it looks like it’s just got a cushioned bench, a pretty rug and a table with a plant inside. Don’t be afraid to start simple and gradually add elements like decking, outdoor seating and garden lighting as and when you can.
You can spruce up a regular shed pretty quickly with materials you probably have lying around your home. This happy little cabin is made from reclaimed wood panels, but you could create your own version with leftover paint supplies.
Here’s an incredible example of how far a little bit of creativity can go. At a glance, this greenhouse-style femme den seems fancy, but a closer look reveals that it’s actually been made entirely with pre-loved materials. Head to a salvage or reclaim yard to make your money go further, and maximise that shabby-chic vibe.
This “Japanese tea house” inspired she shed is in California, but there’s no reason it wouldn’t work in the UK. She sheds are a great place to enjoy treasured holiday souvenirs or vintage finds that don’t have a home in the main house.
Upgrade Your Garden Woman Cave
Ready to take your girly grotto to the next level? These next few she shed ideas combine simple elements with some features that need a bit more time or money to execute.
This cosy yet bright space from junkaholique makes for a perfect sewing room. It shows that you don’t need a huge area at all – in fact, the modest size of this woman cave means that all your tools and materials are more or less within reach. To achieve this look, you would need to spend a little time painting and prepping, but you should be able to fill it with the hobby materials you already have.
This gorgeous little getaway is made all the prettier thanks to a trellis that will soon be covered in climbing roses.
Looking for some zen? The larger size of this garden yoga room will make your overall project more expensive, but the pared back interior will stop the cost from becoming crazy. Just check you’ve got enough room for tree pose and warrior I! For more outdoor exercise spaces, we’ve got a great list of garden gym ideas for inspiration.
A great example of taking simple elements and sprucing them up with a lick of paint. The little porch and double doors upgrade this from “regular shed” status, but the right colours and patterned blinds can all be DIY.
Here’s a beautiful little potting paradise that looks like it’s owner, @patygagnon, has put some real thought into curating. By choosing materials in similar shades (check the workbench, shelves, lampshade and sofa), it keeps a busy space from looking too visually cluttered. Outside the window, you can see this is another lady cave that’s enveloped in trellises.
Nobody’s saying a ma’am cave has to be bright pink and floofy – but we’re certainly not saying it can’t be. With a kooky colour combo of coral, pink and blue on top of neutrals, this eclectic she shed interior pulls together in a super cute way. Perfect for readers or writers, my favourite touches are the tulle curtains and the festoon lighting. I’m not sure I could bear to tear up old books, but the ceiling decoupage looks great too!
Luxury Lady Caves
Our final section of garden woman cave ideas is filled with inspiration that will take some considerable investment to pull off, unless you’re some kind of DIY-miracle worker. Even so, you can take style notes from each of these she sheds and work them into your own lady lair plans.
I personally LOVE this one, found on modernshedblog.com. The design itself is really cool, and the simple, functional office space looks clean and bright – perfect for getting some work done! The blinds on the window are essential for blocking off distractions and hiding from anyone that’s looking for you (they’re also an alright security step, too).
This shed, from hometalk.com is sickeningly adorable. I would be sorely tempted to just grab a camp-bed and move in. It’s a shame we can’t see inside, but I imagine tasteful florals, a teetering bookshelf and a super squashy loveseat.
Feeling the hygge? This stunning outdoor space demonstrates how you CAN have it all, and make it look good – so long as you stick to a simple colour palette. Lanterns and fairy lights? Check. Fluffy blankets? Check. Hammock, candles, flowers, bunting? Check, check, check, check.
Another traditional design next… Although I think @fishtailcottage actually uses it as a luxury chicken coop! Regardless, the cute gothic windows are pure heaven and the overgrowing flower beds is the perfect example of “enchanted garden style” done right.
Garden Woman Cave Essentials
Relocating to a garage or shed is the physical way of figuratively escaping the house for a while. That being said, there are a couple of challenges to semi-outdoor comfort that you’ll want to address first:
- A power supply. To get the most out of your garden retreat, you’re going to want to bury a power line that will enable you to have lights, heat and chargers. Luckily, it’s actually a pretty simple DIY job.
- Internet connection. Maybe your garden woman cave will be close enough to pick up the house wifi, or you’re happy to tether to another device. If not, look into getting an internet booster so you can stay connected.
- Insulation might not seem necessary in summer, but if you want to use your retreat year-round, you’re going to want to install some. Again, it’s a straightforward job, and you can find loads of tips online – here’s an example video for how to insulate a shed (although it’s technically a summer house, as you’ll find out).
- You’ll need a small space heater to keep you warm – just make sure your shed has unobstructed vents to let moisture out and allow fresh air to circulate. Nobody likes a sweaty lady cave.
- Great lighting. Think about fairy lights, portable lamps, wired lamps or installing an overhead bulb. The most appropriate will depend on what tasks you want to get done in your alone time, and how cosy you want your she shed to feel.
- Finally, security. If you’re keeping anything with value (including sentimental value) in your cabin, you’ll sleep easier knowing it’s safe. Lock your she shed when you’re not inside, and add curtains or a blind so your stuff doesn’t attract curious eyes.
Hopefully some of these gorgeous garden woman cave ideas have inspired you in creating your own personal retreat. Don’t forget to check out our post on garden man cave ideas for more suggestions! Now, excuse me while I measure up my balcony and order some bean bags…