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A man cave or she shed reflects the personality of its owner and offers refuge from everyday life.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Men and women are seeking out spaces that they can truly call their own.

More people these days are creating personalized areas in their homes as places of refuge.

Whether they’re fashioning “mancaves” or “she sheds,” homeowners see the value of designing their own personal, comfortable hideaways at home. And men are definitely becoming design savvy and confident in their tastes.

“You’re getting more men with more furniture style than ever,” says Dave Beaton, owner of home goods store studio b in Toronto. “It’s very personalized.”

Man caves run the gamut from a small corner a man can call his own to a specialized, well-appointed space.

“Some guys have a La-Z-Boy sofa and have a fridge in their little man cave and that’s it,” Beaton says. “When I look at my man cave here, I’ve got a big sectional that I sit in at night and watch TV with the fire going.”

Steve Freedman, president of The Chesterfield Shop, says home theatre seating is popular with his customers. People are especially looking for durability, comfort and technology.

“Power recline. In fact, right now what’s becoming very strong is double power recline. You can do your foot and your head and you can adjust it to any level that you want, any level of comfort,” he says.

Man caves now are also not just located in basements and rec rooms.

Pamela Davidson Nicholson, director of marketing and sales for ARD Outdoor Showroom, says a trend she is seeing is outdoor man caves that provide fire, food and entertainment. These spaces might include pizza ovens, high-end barbecues, televisions and sophisticated sound systems. Comfortable chairs and sectionals with coffee tables replace the old summertime patio sets and these outdoor spaces are increasingly being enjoyed year-round.

“ARD Outdoor has clients that keep their outdoor cushions accessible all winter so they can enjoy sitting outside in comfort after a soak in their hot tub. Others don’t mind to bundle up and take a seat to enjoy their <justify_tag>cigars outside all season. But the outdoor man cave truly comes alive when the weather warms and the call of nature doesn’t mean sacrificing creature comforts,” Davidson Nicholson says.

Amanda Hamilton, of Amanda Hamilton Interior Design, says more people are creating spaces that are in line with their interests.

“One of our clients is into model trains. So in his basement they’ve got a media room that they both share and then there’s sort of the closed-off room where he is going to do all of his train building.”

Men are not the only ones seeking places of refuge: Davidson Nicholson is seeing the same phenomenon in women.

“It seems everyone wants a place to escape the tasks of everyday life and she sheds are the latest feminine take on man caves but usually with a little more protection from the elements,” she says.

“Now pool and tool sheds are being converted, upgraded and decorated into personal stylish hideaways for the lady of the house. Usually small enough to bypass building permits, these spaces could be set aside for reading, meditation, or a personal art studio.”

Rooms in the house that used to have certain functions, such as sewing rooms and home offices, are also stepping outside to she sheds.

Stephanie Hauser, owner and director of marketing for Hauser stores, says tiny homes and special spaces have become a real trend.

Decorating for these small spaces depends on what they will be used for, but Hauser says picking a theme and designing the space, including art, furniture and accessories, according to that main theme is important. Function is also key: If the space is for solitude or for entertaining, that will affect design choices.

“These spaces are typically removed from the flow of the house and give the client an opportunity to deviate from the rest of the decor of the home,” she says.


Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.