The Lady Lair

Last month we blogged about the Man Cave. So in the interests of chill-out-time-away-from-the-opposite-sex equality, we thought it only fair that we mention the female equivalent.

But it is an equivalent that’s in no way similar… so ssshh, it’s time to stop, relax and contemplate in the The Lady Lair.

Ladies need their downtime too. A place to kick off shoes, put feet up, have a gossip and catch-up on the latest “she didn’t-she did!” in lifelong saga of who-said-what-to-whom. Whilst they serve a similar purpose (providing a calming private space away from the daily grind) the Lady Lair is quite a different prospect to the bloke-ish retreat we covered in our Man Cave blog.

Firstly there’s the furnishing. A Lady Lair that hasn’t had thought, care and time lavished on the decor and soft furnishing would be like a Man Cave without gaming consoles.  It’s just not right. Interior design is a fundamental consideration for any female space. So a pile of home design magazines and a large helping of  advice from the likes of Kirstie Allsop, Sarah Beeny and Lawrence Lewlyn-Bowen are almost a pre-requisite for planning any lounge room for ladies. If you’re stuck for inspiration on how to approach it take a look at Colleen Shimkoski’s, um, ‘Lady Cave’ photo blog on Pinterest.

Secondly, Ladies love to talk, so access to modern communication channels is an absolute must. That means a Lady Lair should always be sited where there is a phone line and preferably where mobile coverage is rock-solid. WiFi is essential too. That way you’ll be able to keep up with essential conversations in every way: Talk, Text, Facebook, FaceTime, Twitter, Skype, Whatsapp… whatever your communications weapon-of-choice, you won’t miss a word.

So, let’s take it as read that the decor is dealt with, your comms are secure and that you’re happy with the overall look and feel of the place. Now, let’s turn our interest to the consumables that no self-respecting Lady Lair should be without…

Fridge – The one common denominator that both man-caves and female-space both should have – a mini-fridge. Of course, the contents will be markedly different and Lair refrigeration may need to be a tad taller: we’d fully expect a few bottles of Pinot Grigio, something bubbly for special occasion and maybe a bottle of Vermouth and some lemonade to keep your whistle-wetted whilst your chatting. Or, if a mini fridge is beyond your budget, you could use an ice-box.

Chocolate – Whether your particular favourite is Cadbury’s, Galaxy or Milka (or you’ll just settle for ‘any of the above’) a Lady Lair is not fully prepped without ample supplies of the block-based confection. From a no-nonsense bar of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut, to a selection box of Hotel Chocolat’s finest Elements  – as salt is to pepper: Chocolate is to a ladies’ chillaxing.

Chick flicks & Lit: DVDs , TV , Books – There’s plenty to choose from: An Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, 9 1/2 Weeks, When a Man Loves a Woman… the kind of film that’s perfect viewing whilst sipping wine, enjoying all that chocolate and texting your friends. Which means that a decent back-catalogue of DVDs or media library is a Lair-must. A healthy stock of paperbacks is a good idea too – for when all you want is no-noise downtime that’s just you and your imagination.

Shopping – whilst the boys need online access for gaming and looking at car bodywork (pardon the euphemism), a girl’s compulsion to shop means that some form of internet access is equally essential in her lady-space. Shopping from your smartphone is becoming easier, but the addition of a handy tablet or iPad – with your favourite shopping destinations well bookmarked – can make lady lounging even more appealing.  Life doesn’t get much better than buying a new wardrobe – a bit like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman’s boutique scene – whilst sipping wine and eating chocolate.  And you’ll have to call your mates back or tweet them in just a second – to tell them of your new purchase.

Fashion, Food and Gossip Magazines – You’ll need lots and lots of fashion, home design and gossip magazines. Now, Hello! OK! Cosmo, Good House Keeping, Woman’s Weekly, Vanity Fair and [insert your County of residence here] Life. Girls can’t help but want to know what’s going on in the lives of the rich and famous, who’s dating who and what the latest style to be seen in is.

Scent and Cleanliness – whilst chaps will put up with any old pong and only seek out a vacuum cleaner in the uniquely event that female visitors have been invited to their cave – cleanliness of a Lady Lair gets far more consideration. Expect to find scented candles, floral air fresheners and a min-vac that’s almost designed for hoovering up stray chocolate flakes.

Now you might have spotted the one fundamental difference between the male and female use of their respective spaces. In man-cavedom it’s a one at a time merry go round of activities (perhaps with the exception of beer and TV). In the Lady Lair it all happens at once – reflecting that most well-charted and biggest physiological different between us. Yup, that’s right. Multi-tasking. Women can get more done at once.

So – if you’re female, in London and reading this – you’ll certainly have already deduced that to create a Lady Lounge you’ll need to find somewhere else you can store all the things you might not have room for at home. Come to think of it, you’ll probably be several steps ahead and have already sussed that a self storage unit at ABC Selfstore is exactly the kind of place.

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