Archive for January, 2011

She-caves: Interiors for the solitary voyage

Much has been written about the man cave. It’s the ultimate in what used to be called a den, a room with a television and comfortable couches where the fellows would unite in avid sports viewing or shooting a game of pool. It’s been transformed in recent years to an extravagant exhibition of acquired technology—in other words, an extension of male sexuality manifested as power toys.

I wondered if women, too, had their caves, a version of collective tribal delight in buddying up over an event. But when I Googled woman cave, I got this:


As frequent blog commentator Iris told me, women don’t do caves. Their designs of sharing a good time start with going out on the town. They have a moveable cave.

The more I looked into it, I came to the following conclusion: men need caves for collective activities and women prefer caves that act as solitary retreats where they can enjoy their pursuits alone without distractions of he-man whoops and giggles. To wit, a sewing room:

sewing room


A room of one’s own

Reno cave

It cost $4,569 to create this woman’s cave in Wisconsin. It’s a great notion for interiors and includes a Rowe sofa, Samsung 42” plasma TV, cane chairs, IKEA curtains, a Crate and Barrel rug, Overstock light, frames from Pier 1, and a mirror salvaged from the Goodwill store. Read how Sara created her own TV room at her Russet Street Reno blog.

Pinky and the brain

cave 2

In this pink salon, created by Bee Line Homes, you can read anything you want–from Virginia Woof to a gushy Linda Howard romance–and be alone with your thoughts.

Patchwork pals


All you need is a frame, good ambient lighting, and cheery companions to hoist a quilt while the boys are gnawing on cigars and hoisting sloppy brewskies in the man cave.

Tea and sympathy

tea room

In many Middle Eastern countries, women simply eat meals and drink tea separately from the men. They even have loom rooms where they weave together. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, women enjoy their tea and company away from the men gnawing on hookas and hoisting their cups of strong black coffee.

Upon reflection

(I’ve suddenly realized that with this post, I might be leading with my chin. Forget I said anything about it: put on your black dress and go dancing! Here are the keys to the Hummer.)

I recently read a news story about HomeVestors, that company that has billboards and drives vans decked with the words, “We Buy Ugly Homes.”  And they do just that, picking up homes that real estate agents have given up hope of ever selling.  I’m sure there are fine examples in your part of town or country. With sagging roofs or siding so chipped that it looks like psoriasis on a mule, they loom out from the other homes. Often, their home interiors are worse–bedrooms with walled up closets, kitchens that are too narrow for noodles, or five-bedroom homes with a one-half bath.

ugly homes

CNN Money reports that HomeVestors often picks up homes that truly have virtues on the inside, but buyers can’t get past their ugly exteriors. The company has 200 franchisees, each on the look for “diamonds in the rough.”

Here are some roughs, sans any apparent diamonds:

Things might get ugly

real ugly

I’d rather live in a refrigerator box beneath the overpass than move in here. Ugliness abides. There’s an entire website dedicated to the ugly called, uncannily enough, Ugly House Photos.

Gateway to the worst

ugly in St-Louis

Ah, the grandeur of St. Louis–the majestic Mississippi, the splendid arch rising from the shoreline and this turquoise shack along the highway. Almost gives you chills.

Borderline ugly


This freshly painted home in Mexicali (south of the California line) proves that ugliness knows no bounds. It looks like the stencil print children make from tempera ink using cut-out ends of a large potato. Tan feo, hombre!

Beast of burden

honut house

I wrote about his house before on the blog, but it deserves a reprieve. I cherish the tall crop of grass edges and the delightful use of contrasting oil stains on the drive.

Camden yards


This house in New Jersey was among 13 entrants in the Cramer Hill Ugly Home Contest run in 2009 by local churches bent on reforming the neighborhood ambiance. See the details at the Cramer Hill/CCOP website.

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like ugly. I have plenty of other photos, but this is all I can take, friends.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.