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What Is the History of She Sheds?
March 17, 2021

What Is the History of She Sheds?

by The CE Shop Team

Much Like a Man Cave, She Sheds Offer Women the Opportunity to Escape From Life

For some, the first introduction to a “she shed” comes courtesy of a hilarious State Farm TV commercial, in which these inspired words were uttered: “Well, it finally happened, Zachary, somebody burned down my she shed.” No doubt it forced a double take for most viewers, and not just because there was an accusation of arson. Wait, a she shed? Is that really a thing?

Not only is it a real thing, you can actually build your own she shed via step-by-step supply guides at Lowes. No. Really.

So What Is a "She Shed?"

It’s the female equivalent of a man cave. What a woman decides to do with her she shed is entirely up to her. Much like a man cave, a she shed offers women the opportunity to escape from life. Or their spouse. If you’re having trouble picturing a she shed, take a normal shed in any yard. Now instead of a dusty, cobweb-filled, musty-smelling space that houses all of your junk and may require a tetanus shot before you enter, it’s transformed into a mecca of joy and warmth.

In other words, it’s a personal retreat. She sheds can function as an office, artist space, crafts shed, or even a yoga studio. If you can imagine it, that’s the life your she shed can take. In fact, HGTV offers 16 of the best she sheds as possible inspiration for your own. One of the coolest ideas is a Collector’s Shed. This is similar to a man cave with sports memorabilia or whatever said guy loves to collect. As HGTV notes, “Love art or pottery, vintage movie posters or lunch boxes? Make your she shed a place to spotlight a favorite collection.” If you go this route, it’s more of a “she museum” than a she shed.

One of the more unique ideas from HGTV is to make your shed a luxurious escape. Atlanta-based designer Egypt Sherrod decided to elevate the entry to her shed and, as she said to HGTV, "constructed a grand staircase to create an exciting entryway and show some personality up front.”

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Image source: HGTV & Gold Peak

Of course, there’s also the All-Purpose Shed where you make it whatever you want. This custom-designed she shed provides 80 square feet of privacy. And as the post states, “Regardless of the eventual use, this she shed is beautifully designed, with exterior shutters and a flower window box offering an especially inviting welcome.”

The last idea affords you the chance to get really creative and let your imagination run wild with the Theme Shed. HGTV highlights that the shed could differ from the styling of your home, so instead of modern, you theme your shed like a retro disco or an old English cottage.

The point is to have fun and do with your she shed whatever speaks to you. You can always go the original and unique path and do it your own way, too.

History of the She Shed

So where did this idea come from? And how long have she sheds been an escape for women?

Sandra Foster is credited with the first she shed in America. In an interview with TODAY in 2015, Foster explains how she created hers in New York’s Catskills mountains.

As the story notes, “She uses the shed, which has a sofa, books and even a loft with a bed, to escape the pressure and stress of work.” Foster went on to tell TODAY, “I did it to save my marriage and recharge my life.”

Obviously, not every she shed is used to get away from spouses, and most she sheds are on the same property as the owner’s home. But the fact that they offer women a way to escape and distract from the real world with their favorite hobby or passion is one of the main reasons they’re so popular. Given what the country has gone through the last year, it’s easy to see why a she shed could become a good place to get away from it all.

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She Sheds and Real Estate Value

As for she sheds and real estate, most experts say they don’t increase the value of a home. That’s not just true for she sheds, but for sheds in general. They’re not considered a market value to buyer-seller activity.

In other words, if you were to put a home on the market that has a she shed, it likely won’t be at the top of the list of reasons why people will want to buy the home. No matter how incredible it is. Now, if a she shed happens to have a foundation, then it could add value since it could then be considered real estate.

As real estate appraiser Kevin Murray said in this piece about sheds and real estate value in 2019: “The sheds can be considered personal property as they can be moved and taken with the owners. If not, the sheds may add to the marketability of the house, but, overall, when comparing a similar house without a shed, there usually is no measurable difference.”

If you ever wanted your own space but weren’t sure how to make it happen, especially since your husband has the TV blaring in the basement or land-level room, consider giving yourself a she shed. The peace and tranquility you feel when you escape the real world is a great reward.

Though, just in case, you might want to get insurance.

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