Roxanne Jacoby has a guest room in her home that no guest has ever slept in. It's really her Mom Cave.
Outfitted with mementos and comfort items, it's the only room in the house she really calls her own.
"I've put in an alpaca throw, down pillows, a fan, my favorite scented candle, and a whole bunch of stuff that I want to read," says Jacoby.
It's not like she couldn't set all that up in a corner of the family room. But that "guest room" has an important feature: "I can close the door."
Many women -- and not just moms -- are taking over some of the fallow ground at home and turning it into a haven to pursue personal pursuits. They stake out an unused closet, nook or extra bedroom. Some use the space to work without interruption -- they've got it all teched up with Wi-Fi, perhaps a TV. Others say none of that's allowed, just books and maybe a music player.
DECORATE YOURSGet some expert tips and ideas for making your own Mom cave at Homegoods.com.
Lori Remien, a teacher in Evanston, Ill., took over an unused nook off her daughter's room when she needed a place to work on her National Boards exams a few years ago.
"I went to Ikea and bought a comfy wicker chair, a plush red rug, some pretty black and white curtains. It's still a great retreat where I can watch the shows the rest of my family
doesn't watch," she says.
New York designer Elaine Griffin embraces the Mom Cave concept and recently partnered with Homegoods in Manhattan to show some decor and space suggestions. She says, "A Mom Cave is where the woman who nurtures everyone goes to nurture herself."
It's different from the quintessential "man cave," where men do manly, messy and sporty things, often involving a recliner. Here's what you need for your Mom Cave: a place to sit, storage space, an area to do what you want to do, and room for occasional visitors.
"Organizing your stuff makes your space feel bigger. I love bookcases -- you can hide in plain sight," says Griffin. Colorful boxes and file folders work well.
Griffin has a penchant for color -- the mini-rooms she created for Homegoods were lively and welcoming. A reading corner with chaise and bookcases was painted vibrant fuchsia. A closet had been transformed into a tiny yet functional office, swathed in a warm caramel hue and accented with dramatic touches such as rattan lamps and black furnishings, including a chair with a nice wide seat.
No extra rooms available? Griffin suggests turning a stair landing into a mini-sanctuary using narrow console tables, a luxurious rug, and a couple of armchairs.