Remember the fancy 18th century parlors and drawing rooms you’ve seen in the movies or on a family vacation tour? Well, they are making a roaring comeback, as the lady lair. With a new name and similar functionality the drawing rooms of our history books are making their way back into homes across the country. The style is a little wilder, and significantly brighter in some cases but the purpose remains. Move over man caves, the ‘she sheds‘ and ‘lady lairs’ are on the come up.
If your wife or girlfriend spends time scrolling through craft sites its possible she already has some ideas for her own space but if you haven’t already been clearing space in the spare room here is a crash course. The original use for these creative spaces included welcoming guests, hosting party receptions and political banter and gossip. Even further back these rooms held elite and privileged members of society as they waited patiently for the first public appearance of the king each day.
This common practice of retiring to the men’s (and women’s) drawing rooms after dinner and celebrations was common practice in affluent homes in the south and spread into a common practice even among the general public as more casually referred to ‘parlours’ from the French ‘to speak‘. The average size for such spaces in their heyday was 16 x 18-20 ft, with “very superior” homes boasting a 26 x 40 ft space, according to an 1865 manual. As this relaxing space to unwind and retire to at the end of the day became more common, words such as parlor, salon, and drawing room became interchangeable.
Although few modern homes contain such an aptly named space they are returning in a slightly modified form. The “lady lair” is the female take on the man cave, a popular trend of recent years among men. Its not much of a surprise that a room destined for unwinding is making a comeback in such a demanding work culture. As people spend more time building careers the demand for a space of their own to unload all that stress is a natural yearning.
A new set of design suggestions has emerged for the modern day parlor. Decorators propose focusing on “color and class“. When deciding where to erect your cave of wonders consider an extra bedroom or basement space. Chose fun designs that suit your relaxed style, over-sized Mongolian pillows and vibrant floor coverings or a variety of animal print. Consider adding a mini fridge to house your gourmet cheeses and wines for sharing with friends. The idea here is to avoid leaving your sanctuary while having easy access to entertaining.
Other considerations for your space may include hung art. Quite popular in the lady lair is the hanging of framed quotes to keep the vibe carefree and inspiring. Having a space such as this shouldn’t add stress or money woes, keep it fun and affordable. Adding magazines or gifts you’ve received from loved ones is an affordable way to decorate and keep it warm and inviting. Docks for music or a library of your favorite books can make any free weekend into a mini vacation at home.
The most important thing is making the space your own. Any style that appeals to you can be utilized and enjoyed in the lady lair. Have fun with your new space, unwind in a new way, you may just find the recharging station you’ve been searching for.
Do you have the room to unwind?