Shepherd hut makers Blackdown Shepherd Huts have seen a recent rise in the sale of their luxury garden huts specifically for women, dubbing them “she-sheds.”
Whilst the traditional huts are purchased for a range of purposes from extra family room space and glamping businesses, to saunas and garden offices, Blackdown’s shepherd hut retreats are fast becoming popular as the female version of the “man cave.”
Will Vickery, who runs the Somerset-based company, says “At the moment pretty much all our huts are being built for women. They’re being created for them to use as craft rooms, sewing rooms, reading rooms, art studios, that type of thing. A lot of men are buying our self-build huts to construct them for their wives and partners as gifts.
“We sold 21 huts as she-sheds last year and the enquiries on this basis are coming in every week. It seems to be a trend and we’re happy to be making huts that fulfil all type of luxury retreat requirements. One gentleman divulged that, whilst his wife said her hut would be a mediation room, he thought it might be used more as a wine or gin den because she asked for a fridge to be put in. We can obviously create huts to all types of specifications, and we don’t judge!”
Jo Simpson, from Sherborne in Dorset, bought a Blackdown Heritage Hut and was instantly smitten. She says “My sisters talked me into getting a hut, telling me that everyone should have a ‘room of one’s own’, particularly if there is a novel trapped inside your brain and a newly retired husband looming in every corner of the marital home. So I went to Blackdown, we created my hut (whom I call Jabba) and I fell in love.”
“My she-shed sits in place under the ash tree in our garden. She is curtained, rugged and kitted out with a chair and a sheepskin and scatter cushions. I use my hut to help me on my literary venture and when I need inspiration I toddle down across the garden, light the stove and watch as the ﬂames warm up my life and give me room to breathe.”
“I am sure at some point my she-shed will assume another guise – grandchildren’s playhouse, perhaps, or a spare room for visitors. But right now my shepherd’s but is my room of my own, and when you visit it’s my retreat, my rules!”
Inspired by the traditional shepherd’s huts of yesteryear, Blackdown Shepherd Huts create ultimate dream huts which are built to last. Customers can choose oak-clad or metal-clad exteriors and can include a bathroom and a kitchen, or just simply a log-burner.
Will concludes “I have always been captivated by the heritage of shepherd huts, but also intrigued by the opportunity that the flexibility of the space presented. It seems both genders are jumping on the shepherd hut trend, and it’s great to see so much passion for something that is so quintessentially British and traditional, but which allows us to transform it for the modern day.”
Blackdown Shepherd Huts was established in 2011 and is based in Ilminster, Somerset. Self-build huts start at £3,150 inc. VAT and hand-crafted bespoke huts start from £18,650 inc. VAT.