14 August 2012

Create a Ma'am Cave

Last week in this space, I shared some tips for creating a football lover’s man cave. This week, I’d like to offer some insights on creating a getaway for the woman of the house – especially if you (or she) needs an escape from all the rowdy testosterone surrounding her. 

This is a space that should nurture and embrace its occupant with comfortable furnishings and lighting that enhances the room’s activities. It should be private, if possible, and closed off from the noise and hubbub of the house. It should be filled with artwork that inspires its resident to pursue her passions. Its color scheme will relax or stimulate, depending on the room’s primary purpose. 

As an example, my writing/design studio is painted red, a color that stimulates creativity. If I were using it as a yoga studio, I’d probably have chosen a soft sage instead. While every retreat is different, here are some general multi-purpose ideas to hopefully inspire you. 

Appropriate lighting 

Layered lighting is probably your best bet, especially if your retreat does double duty as a work and play space. Consider dimmable ceiling lighting and a table or floor lamp next to a chair or on a desk. 

This Atrium Glass Table Lamp from Pottery Barn illuminates your  space while displaying sentimental collectibles

Comfortable furnishings 

Even if your retreat is mainly dedicated to paperwork or exercise, it’s wonderful to have a comfortable chaise or chair with ottoman for relaxation. 

You might also want a writing surface, depending on how you’ll use your space. This could be a desk or a table, depending on your needs. Attractive storage solutions are available for files, if necessary, that could be hidden under a skirted table. 

I love this Baldwin Chaise from Ballard Designs for its style and comfort

Sound system 

You don’t need the kind of big-speakered system your boyfriend had in college. A compact player with good sound quality that lets you enjoy your work or play music is a great retreat enhancer. 
A Bose SoundDock or comparable system can serenade your  retreat

Sensible Style flooring 

How you primarily use your space will determine the type of flooring you choose for it. If you regularly work with paints or clay, consider low-maintenance materials that can be easily wiped clean, like rubber or vinyl. If you do yoga, ballet or Pilates, consider flooring that will be soft and comfortable underfoot, like linoleum or cork. If you just want a quiet place to read, meditate, relax or write in a journal, consider something cozy underfoot like a wool or flokati rug that you’ll enjoy digging your toes into. 

Nothing feels cozier underfoot than a flokati rug
(Photo: Flokati-Rugs.com )

Inspiring and engaging visuals 

Whatever your private passion, surround yourself with mementos or artwork that inspires it, or just delights you, and display your pieces handsomely. Consider a framer with archival experience for professionally preserving your valuables.

This signed, numbered photo is one of three Clyde Butcher  images archivally framed on my writing/design studio wall


  1. Jamie, I NEED that Baldwin chaise from Ballard Designs (same color, same fabric) for my Ma'am Cave! (Speaking of design, I finally got a custom logo/header for my blog, after 2 1/2 years!)

  2. Congrats on your logo, Jean. Email me if you're serious about the chaise. I absolutely love Ballard!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Found Gold: Popular Posts from the Past!

Don't miss out on any gold -- subscribe by email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner