The garage was often the default place where a man would escape for much-needed alone time, whether to tinker with a project, play cards with friends, or even watch a football game. Then came along the notion of a man cave—yes, these can still be in the garage, but they’ve also became part of basement remodels or making use of a child’s bedroom when they move away to college (Come on, Dad! Why?!).

Today, you can find these rugged respites in the back yard too, thanks to the notion of turning a garden shed into a man cave. If your outdoor structure isn’t getting the use you thought it would, consider transforming it into a space you can call your own!

You have so many possibilities for your outdoor man cave: workout room a den-like space, a mini-office, a hobby shop, an art studio, or a decked-out, sports-watching haven. While your plan will be specific to your wants and needs, here are a few basic steps for building your man cave:

  1. Empty the shed of all its contents; donate, sell, or toss. Then clean the shed.
  2. Based on your empty space, now you can measure and draw up your plan.
  3. Before you get too far into the construction portion, you’ll want to start with installing electricity (because you’ll likely need it – even if not for a beer fridge or workstation, but for simple lighting or heat/AC!)
  4. When a shed is a shed, your rakes and such don’t need to stay warm; but since it’s a man cave now, you’ll need to insulate, seal, and drywall.
  5. Paint and decorate!

Enjoy your new space!

Playtime is important to our children’s development, especially imaginative play. When your children need more space to play than your home offers, here’s a solution: turn your old garden shed into a playhouse! (Or, if you don’t have one, you could always consider adding a new outdoor structure to your property!)

The ideas are as endless as you and your child’s/children’s imagination. First, think about their interests. Maybe you’ll go with a castle theme? A princess motif? Or a literal house, with a play kitchen or store! Or, perhaps, you’ll go with simply a specific color scheme so that your outdoor playhouse is not locked into one ideas—remember, kids’ interests can change over time and, especially, as they grow.

Aside from choosing a color for the interior and exterior, your kid-friendly atmosphere can be enhanced by wall coverings, window dressings, flooring, and furnishing. But, first things first: as you plan for your new outdoor play structure, be sure to heed age-appropriate safety measures, such as covered outlets. Also, be sure the space is insulated so kids can stay warm, even in colder months.

Here are a few ideas of features to consider as you plan:

  • Book shelves and reading area
  • Plenty of open floor space to empty out containers of blocks, dolls, cars, or other toys
  • Table for drawing, working, or board games
  • Shelving and cubbies for storage
  • Hooks for coats, aprons, sweaters, etc.
  • Bean bags or other cozy seating for reading or relaxing
  • Chalkboard, easels, and/or markerboard for inspiration
  • Exterior features such as a sandbox or little stage for those shows kids love to put on

And don’t forget lighting, access to power, and outdoor décor features. A quick search engine query can help you find floor plans and instructions, such as this blog post from The Home Depot.

Adding a backyard playhouse to your property by converting an old shed will give hours of pleasure to your children—and help with their development. 

We work hard, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done, whether at the office or around the house. But despite how busy our lives are, we can’t forget to take time for ourselves. Time to unwind and escape that hustle and bustle—or even a noisy TV in the living room.

We’ve all heard the term “man cave”—but what about a relaxing, backyard respite for women? With a little paint, some light construction/installation, and some décor, you can turn an old shed into a women’s retreat.

The ideas are seemingly endless to how you can transform a garden shed into a she-shed! Whether you’re looking for a sewing or craft nook, a studio, a reading lounge, an exercise room, or an open and airy meditation area, with a little work, you can carve out a space just for you. And we can’t forget that women share many of the same interests as men, so if your woman’s retreat ends ups looking like a typical man-cave, that’s OK with us!

The first step is cleaning out your existing shed so you can really get a handle on how much space you have—plus it’s easier to visualize the possibilities when you’re looking at an empty space. From there, draw up your plan—you can find ideas (even blueprints) online: many design websites feature she-shed makeovers—but don’t let the ideas sway you. Your shed should be uniquely you!

You will have so much fun watching your vision for a women’s retreat come to life—picking out colors, choosing décor, and installing shelves (maybe even a wine rack?) and getting furniture. But the best part will be sitting back and enjoying the space you’ve created!

Remember, alone-time is not just something that’s nice to have; solitude actually makes us happier and healthier!