As tiny homes and small spaces continue to grow in popularity, new concepts for outbuildings like guesthouses, greenhouses, and garden sheds have also arisen. Among them is the "she shed," in many ways the female version of a "man cave."
While conceptually the she shed is a space for women that provides solitude, peace, and privacy within a separate, modestly sized outbuilding, in reality they can take a wide range of forms and styles and can be virtually indistinguishable from many other outbuildings. However, they’re typically a few hundred square feet in size, and can be constructed for about $5,000 or more for a prefabricated kit, although if you’re a DIY kind of person that range can come down considerably! We’ve gathered a few of our favorite ideas for modern she sheds and she shed designs that are used as everything from an art studio to home office.
With efficient and varying storage solutions, this sewing shed for jewelry artist Artemis Russell mixes vintage finds with a variety of thoughtful but efficient storage solutions.
Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them. This idea for a backyard shed is a great example of using unexpected materials in a new and exciting way.
This writer’s studio features ample lighting and carefully chosen windows and openings—essential elements of an uplifting she shed or other outbuildings.
Jason and Suzanne Koxvold commissioned Studio Padron to design a 200-square-foot guesthouse on their Ellenville, New York, property. The geometric structure’s dark cedar cladding contrasts with the inviting interior, which is heated by a cast iron Jøtul stove. A layer of built-in bookshelves made from felled oak lumber also helps insulate the building in winter. We can certainly see the minimalist exterior and warm interior filled with books being a great inspirational example for a she shed in the woods.
While the idea of a motorcycle shed might not initially scream "elegant she shed," there's a lot to love in this shed by Drop Structures. The exterior lighting gives the building a presence at night, and the mixing of natural wood, a white door, and darker cladding make for simple but modern exterior.
Constructed by landscaper Ronald Gramajo for a California family, the outbuilding would make for a great she shed for relaxing, hanging out, writing, or even yoga or art.
For artist Heather Kahn, a backyard painting studio attached to her home's original garage is the perfect place to work. The light blue paneling echoes the wood paneling on the main house, but the color distinguishes it and gives it a sense of personality.
A teahouse designed by architect Jerry Eschman looked to the old thatched structures of Bali for inspiration, using mortise-and-tenon construction and exposed wood rafters to create the she shed's gabled roof.
In Seattle, an artist sought an affordable option for her own studio and looked to Modern Shed, a company that provides solutions for storage and limited living spaces like studios and office sheds. For the art studio, metal panels in gray and red clad the exterior, and natural light pours in through glazed double doors and clerestory windows.
When a homeowner needed extra space for her growing business, she also looked no further than Modern Shed for her minimalist she shed, with a sloped roof, clerestory windows, and personalized window and door locations. A color scheme that worked with the colors of her historic home also on the property gave it its finishing touches.
The interior of the she shed by Modern Shed features wood paneling and exposed beams. The prefabricated shed meant that it was ready to be used within a few days of its arrival on site.
Inspired by a French farmhouse, this rustic she shed features multi-pane French doors, exposed roof rafters and joists, and earthy terra cotta floor tiles. With its wide-plank wood cladding sitting on gray stone foundations, this shed looks as though it has been around for centuries, but also has a simple, modern sensibility.
In San Luis Obispo, California, this rustic she shed was constructed in less than three months and was heavily inspired by the existing buildings on the owner's vast property. Doubling as a guest bedroom and the owner's own retreat, a delicate color palette of pale green and white contrasts with the live-edge pine siding on the exterior, which was repurposed from a felled tree on the property.
In Avalon, Australia, Olaf von Sperl and Cindy Goode Milman designed a she shed for the corner of Milman's backyard with $15,500. As an artist, she sought a space that would work as both a functional studio as well as a place of respite to enjoy the beautiful year-round weather of the area. With a roof of translucent polycarbonate panels topped with a planted green roof, this she shed is one-of-a-kind.
This Californian she shed was built based on a kit by Everton that arrived with about 85 different components. Once the structure was built, final steps included personalization of the she shed, like paint and flooring selection and installation of curtains and other furniture.
With a front facade of glass, inviting double doors, and engineered wood cladding, this prefabricated she-shed was designed by Studio Shed and is often used as a home office for women starting their own businesses or who wish to work without leaving their children for the day.
Helsinki architect Ville Hara and designer Linda Bergroth collaborated on a prefab shed-meets-sleeping cabin, which can be assembled with little else than a screwdriver. Bergroth, inspired by nomadic yurt dwellers, wanted an indoor/outdoor experience for her property in Finland.
Although this cabin functions more as a guesthouse than a she shed, there's a lot of design inspiration that can be taken from this guest resort in the forest of Southern Sweden. From its use of wood and glass to its simple, asymmetrical shape, we can easily imagine using the space as a yoga or art studio or home office.
This backyard home office for a couple in London is constructed with all-timber structural framing and is clad in cork and topped with a vegetated roof. These eco-friendly materials make for a delightfully sensory space with lots of lighting provided by the skylight and glass and oak door.
With an interior clad in wood and outfitted with a CLT bench and desk that laterally brace the small structure, this mobile writing shed is simple but effective. We love the idea of using a few pieces of carefully chosen furniture, especially for a she shed, where space is precious, but the use of the space might be a bit more focused.
Designed to complement the existing adjacent home on the property, this modern gardening shed uses landscaping and terraced steps to create a pathway between the two buildings. Mixing horizontal and vertical wood planks gives the exterior of the shed a more dynamic facade, while exterior light fixtures provide necessary lighting at night.
Made from a customized DIY version of an off-the-shelf shed from Tuff Shed, this she shed now houses a bar and opens onto a deck with an outdoor oven and furniture and seating for friends and family.
This library she shed comes as a kit from Australia-based SheShedz; in addition to its use as a library, the she shed also functions as a music room.
This backyard shed, painted a soulful blue and full of light from windows on three sides, is a great example of a kit she shed. It's the perfect place to escape to for some yoga, art, or reading.
This modern garden shed, which measures about 9' x 9', was customized to function as a hair salon complete with hair sinks, salon chairs, and other equipment and furniture.
In search of a home office for designer Paige Morse, she looked to two existing sheds in her own backyard and transformed them into a workspace complete with a small bathroom. The walls, floor, and tile floor are all white, including a vintage white sink.
Out in rural Oregon, a she shed was constructed almost entirely of old multi-pane windows that the owner was able to reuse from local construction projects. Since cross-ventilation was a priority, more than two-thirds of the windows can be opened. The wide-plank wood floors help continue to bring the outdoors in, and minimal interior furniture and finishes keep this space comfortable for meditation.
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