The she-shed: A woman’s personal space at home

Wednesday September 4 2019

There is no limit to what you can put in your

There is no limit to what you can put in your she-shed but keep in mind that less is more, do not clutter your haven with lots of furniture. Net photo 

By Carolyne B. Atangaza

Isn’t it interesting how women create special places for everyone else but rarely for themselves? With a she-shed, women can now have a special retreat of their own.
According to Jordan Kiguli, an interior designer, a she-shed is simply a place of retreat a woman can call her own.
“It can be anything; a corner for your hobby, a bay window to curl up with your book, a space to work on your business strategy and proposals. It can be whatever you make it as long as you are away from the commotion of the family and in an island of peace that you call your own,” Kiguli explains.
Although a relatively new concept, the she-shed has been accepted with so much enthusiasm in household of all levels of income.
“My first client was a teacher who wanted some time on her own after spending the whole day with children at school and then coming to her own three at home. She said she needed a little place of tranquility to unwind and relax.
“The she-shed she created out of an abandoned toolshed is now her haven,” reveals Kiguli.
How is it designed?
Pius Louis Chelimo, a construction engineer from Trinity Technical services, says a she-shed does not have a standard size or style. Some can be simply basic places while others are elaborately styled and painted.
“You can either build something afresh or repurpose a space that already exists. For instance, you can recreate that abandoned storage space or the less used verandah. It is all about creating a space that will make you comfortable,” says Chelimo. Depending on what you intend to use the shed for, the basic requirement might be furniture, plumbing and electricity.

Best location
Kiguli notes that a she shed can be placed both in the front yard or the backyard with an average distance of at least 20metres from the main home structure and five metres from the neighbours’ fence.
The best place to locate a she shed is a place with less noise pollution, plenty of natural light and fresh air. Such a place can be at one corner of the garden or a gazetted space with such conditions within the garden.

A she shed can either be; a gazebo, a cottage, a cabin, open house or small house with an entrance gate.
Paul Mukisa, a carpenter in Namuwoungo, Kampala, says construction of an average she-shed would cost about Shs5m depending on the material used. And an average size for a she-shed is 10ft X10ft (3mX3m).

Choose a style
The style will be majorly dictated by the individual’s personality and their budget. Kiguli advises the person to consider the following:
What is your favourite hobby or leisure activity? What highlights your personality? How do you like to unwind?

Keeping it affordable
There is no limit to how much one should and can spend on creating their own haven. But it does not need to get expensive either.
Instead of buying new things, look through your home for those pieces of furniture that are lying around unutilised.
You can also hunt around and shop wherever you find a sale.
However, do not get carried away and clutter the space with so much furniture. The rule of thumb here is less is better.

The right colour scheme
Kiguli says the choice is between using the same colour as the main house or going a different route. He advises that for a smaller shed, it is better to continue with the home’s colour to simulate continuity.
“However, if the she-shed is an independent structure located far from the house, it is okay to use a brighter, more eye-catching color scheme.
Choosing the interior colour scheme will depend on the shed’s purpose, most people choose cool shades of grey and blue which are more relaxing. For those who intend to use the space for work, choose brighter colours that will keep energy and creativity flowing,” he advises.


A she-shed provides a safe space for women to calm down and think things through without interruption.
Helps women to focus on their own interests without the distraction of household chores such as cooking, nursing babies, cleaning etc.
Helps a woman to actively seek her happiness and wellness, since it provides room to actively seek things a woman enjoys such as knitting, meditation, painting, do extra office work, gardening, reading and praying which bring joy and peace to a woman.
Just like the man-cave, a woman can choose to use her she-shed as an entertaining space for guests.