We’ve all heard the term “Man Cave” before. Most of us know the phrase to represent that male sanctuary where men are free to do and decorate as they please, be alone for “man-time” or hang out with friends. Move over men, it’s the woman’s turn!
Over the years, I’ve seen a trend amongst retired women or empty nesters and moms alike, creating a husband or children-free zone in their homes (with the exception of when the grandchildren visit of course!). The reasons vary. For some women, it’s a place to work and for others, it’s a place to relax, de-stress and at best, escape from the hectic world even if it’s for an hour.
Step 1: Claim Your Territory. The obvious choice is using a guest room. That may be easier for those empty nesters who live at The Colony Golf & Bay Club and enjoy the retirement lifestyle. For moms who still have children at home, you may not have this option. But don’t worry. You can carve out a spot in the attic, basement, garage, utility room or even in your own bedroom. If these are your options, the close quarters may seem claustrophobic, so try choosing a windowed area. This will help open up the space. If that’s not possible, hang some mirrors, which will give the illusion of more space.
Step 2: Shut the World Out. This is easy if you have a home or high-rise condo with a guest room or bonus room. You can simply close the door. If you don’t have this option, simply add a sheer curtain, divider or screen.
Step 3: Choose Your Colors. This is your room so surround yourself with inspiration and things you love, including color. Painting the walls or buying a small ream of wallpaper is an instant way to transform a space. But if that’s too labor intensive, just create a consistent color scheme with your chosen furnishings. Picking the right hues depends on the ultimate goal for your cave. If you’re looking for a meditative, relaxing space, warm blues and greens are proven calming influences. Bright, neon greens and yellows are said to spark creativity.
Step 4: Find Comfortable Seating. Whether it’s a chair, chaise lounge, recliner, sofa, or loveseat, the seating is your throne, so choose something comfortable. Add layers of comfortable pillows in patterns and colors you love.
Step 5: Determine Storage Options. Storage should be functional and decorative in a ‘lady cave’. Think bookshelves, wall shelves, a desk, cabinets, decorative boxes, fabric covered file boxes or baskets. Make sure you have enough storage to keep everything out of sight that you don’t want to see, and only leave out those items that have meaning and purpose to you.
Step 6: Add personality. Whether you’re using your area to work, craft, study, write or simply de-stress, the key is bringing in a few items that offer a positive vibe. Add a plant or fresh flowers to give it some life. Add a relaxation fountain to drown out background noise. Combine decorative items and framed photos that inspire you. Add mirrors, painted backs or lights to bookcases to showcase your treasures.
Last but not least, when you’re done creating the space, don’t forget to hang the most important decoration of all on the outside of your cave: the “do not disturb” sign.