Do you dream of a reading nook draped in soft fabrics and colors? Or a wine bar hideaway for you and your Ma’am friends? How about a garden shed or greenhouse? A place that is all about you and no one else? If you do, you need a Ma’am Cave – a.ka. a She Shed, Ladies Lounge, Ladies Lair, Mom Cave, or Self-care Sanctuary. No matter what call it, how you use it, or where you locate it, you can create the perfect Ma’am Cave for you! Here’s what you need to do.
Chose a primary purpose for your Ma’am Cave
You are, of course, free to do whatever you want in your space. What you use it for may change over time. But, in the beginning, identifying a primary purpose will help you to make some important decisions. The purpose will help you determine how much space you need, if you need a location with utilities, should your special place by secluded or is it okay to be near other parts of your home? If you’re looking for a reading space, for example, a small nook or hallway might work. If you want a place to socialize with your Ma’am friends, a She Shed or converted basement might be better. A private art studio could fit well in a spare room.
Some common uses of a Ma’am Cave are an art studio, craft/DIY space, home office, reading room, entertainment area, hangout and relax sanctuary, workout room, wine bar, TV time, greenhouse, garden shed, or a music room. There are dozens of other possible purposes.
Identify a location
Where will you claim your space? This is often the largest obstacle to getting started. Using your purpose, consider the following:
- How much space do you need?
- Does your space have to be away from other activities of the house?
- Do you need heat and electricity?
- Can you do a build out if needed?
- Does your purpose have any special needs?
Some options for a space of your own are a shed, guest room, basement, outdoor space, sunroom, tree house, garage, walk-in closet, or even an attic.
Consider the Layout and Flow
Take the time to draw your space. Think about the flow of the activities you’ll be enjoying. Considering this up front will be critical as your create the perfect Ma’am Cave for you.
If, for example, your space will be a garden shed, you’ll need sunlight for your plants and shelving and table space. If you’re starting seeds, you may want grow boxes built into the walls.
Another use may be a social space for friends to hang out and watch TV, host a book club or listen to music. You might want refrigeration, or a wine fridge. You’ll certainly need electricity and perhaps will want a bar built in the space. Which way should it face? Do you want it near the door or in the furthest corner?
Consider your activities and the flow of the room. Draw it out and imagine yourself in the space. Stand in a room and stage your layout so you can test it out.
Regardless of where you locate your retreat, space will be limited. This makes the selection of furnishings and equipment an important one. Consider what you need vs what you want. Your private place doesn’t have to reflect the furnishings in your home. Heck, the furniture here doesn’t even have to match if you don’t want it to!
Start with a few simple, necessary pieces. Once you’ve used your space for a while and have a better feel for it, then you can fill in any blanks.
This is often where people want to start. You may have a vision in your head of a kick-ass home office, or a faux fur video room. You can imagine the artwork on the wall and feel the shag rug between your toes. Resist the temptation to start here. Complete the first four steps before you dive into decorating to ensure the design is sound.
When you get to this step, go for it!! This is the one place in your home that you alone design. It should reflect what you love, your passion, and nothing else. If you want to paint it from floor to ceiling in purple, help yourself. If you’re dreaming of a reading nook with nothing but creams and pinks, do it. Forget the rules and the trends and follow your heart.
Where you locate your Ma’am Cave, and how you use it, is up to you. As women, we tend to focus on other’s needs, often at the expense of our own. Let this be a time when you put yourself first.
This IS about you. You can create the perfect Ma’am Cave for you!
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