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Image: Mom cave
Meg Volk  /  ASSOCIATED PRESS
This photo provided by Meg Volk shows a sitting area showcasing designer Elaine Griffin's ideas on how to create a mom cave. Griffin says, "A mom cave is where the woman who nurtures everyone goes to nurture herself."
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updated 10/27/2010 1:51:19 PM ET 2010-10-27T17:51:19

Roxanne Jacoby has a guest room in her Pennsylvania 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, basement 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.

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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.

Have a mom cave? Send us photos!

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. Griffin notes, "Mom Caves are fun, frankly feminine spaces, and they're personalized."

Image: Pillows in a mom cave
Meg Volk  /  ASSOCIATED PRESS
Make it pretty: Mom caves should have special touches to help women kick back and recharge.

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; group an array of favorite photos in fun frames on the shelves.

Guys gone wild: 'Man caves' craze takes off

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.

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These spaces aren't exclusive to women with families underfoot; all ages appreciate what Virginia Woolf termed "a room of one's own." In her social circle of women age 60-plus, Barbara McDonald of Nova Scotia, Canada, says the "getaway room" is no longer needed but such a space still serves many purposes. "It's invaluable as a project room. Close the door and leave the mess for next time," she says.

See Snoop Dogg's, others' magnificent man caves

Since you don't share it, you've got more freedom with the Cave to play with unusual wallpaper and accessories, create a Zen-like refuge or, like Atlanta-based Robyn Freedman, revisit your childhood room. Freedman, who runs a creative think tank, has even got a name for her space: the Hobbit Hole.

"My room's purple with green polka dots. It's got all kinds of silly things from my childhood — my light bulb collection, Dr. Seuss books and college letterman blanket. Lots of goofy stuff and everything makes me smile," she laughs.

And that, of course, is the best reason of all for a Mom Cave.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explainer: Amazing man cave photos

  • Image: Irish pub man cave
    DIY Network

    Triggered in part by the "Man Caves" series that airs on the DIY Network, men across America are daring to visualize something they've craved in the most primitive recesses of their brains for years: A place of their own.

    To read TODAYshow.com's full story about man caves, click here.

    To check out photos of some fairly amazing man caves, click on the arrow at left or keep scrolling down.

  • Two 50-inch flat screens

    Image: Snoop Dogg's man cave
    DIY Network

    The DIY Network helped rapper Snoop Dogg turn a free-standing shed in his backyard into his very own man cave — aka "lounge shed." It has two 50-inch flat-screen TVs and plenty of comfortable seating.

  • Snoop Dogg's cave

    Image: Snoop Dogg's man cave
    DIY Network

    Snoop Dogg's man cave also features a sofa made out of a car bumper and a direct phone line to Denny's.

  • Happy customer

    Image: Jason Cameron and Snoop Dogg
    DIY Network

    Jason Cameron, a licensed contractor who co-hosts DIY Network's "Man Caves," appears here with a very satisfied customer: Snoop Dogg himself.

  • Speechless

    Image: Jason Cameron, Artie Lange, Tony Siragusa
    Michael Sypniewski for DIY Network

    Radio personality Artie Lange looks almost misty-eyed as he's shown his new man cave for the first time by Jason Cameron and Tony "The Goose" Siragusa, hosts of DIY Network's "Man Caves."

  • Private pool hall

    Image: Pool hall in a man cave
    DIY Network

    This basement was renovated into a pool hall room by DIY's "Man Caves."

  • Man cave to a tee

    Image: Golf-themed man cave
    DIY Network

    This garage has been transformed into a golf-lover's haven.

  • Surf's up!

    Image: Surfer-themed man cave
    DIY Network

    Surf's up in this guy's basement, which was renovated into the perfect beachside surf shack by DIY Network.

  • His very own ski lodge

    Image: Ski-lodge-themed man cave
    DIY Network

    In this basement-turned-ski lodge, he can relax by the fire after a long day.

  • Wine cellar

    Image: Wine cellar man cave
    DIY Network

    He doesn't have to travel to Napa to satisfy his inner oenophile — he can go right down to a basement like this one, which was renovated into a wine cellar.

  • New York Mets Clubhouse

    Image: New York Mets Clubhouse man cave
    Leopard Films USA

    Step right up to the bar in this basement that DIY Network helped transform into a New York Mets Clubhouse.

  • Home run!

    Image: New York Mets Clubhouse man cave
    Leopard Films USA

    A bar for the Big Apple: Here's another view of the basement that got turned into a New York Mets Clubhouse.

  • Dart game, anyone?

    Image: New York Mets Clubhouse man cave
    Leopard Films USA

    The New York Mets Clubhouse includes plenty of sports memorabilia and a dart board.

  • Cozy Irish pub

    Image: Irish sports pub man cave
    DIY Network

    Eric Lombardi thought about installing a retinal scanner to keep all women out of his new man cave, an authentic-looking Irish sports pub.

  • A place to de-stress

    Image: Irish pub man cave
    DIY Network
    Eric Lombardi's wife Christina is thrilled that their formerly unfinished basement has become a place for her husband to de-stress, unwind and watch the game while she watches her own favorite shows upstairs.

  • New Jersey Devils' lounge

    Image: New Jersey Devils man cave
    DIY Network

    This garage got transformed into a full-fledged New Jersey Devils' lounge.

  • Pool in the basement

    Image: Man cave with pool table
    DIY Network

    Why head out to the bar? Radio personality Gary Dell'Abate's basement got turned into a man cave complete with a pool table.

  • What's on tap?

    Image: Man cave with sports bar
    DIY Network

    Gary Dell'Abate's man cave also includes a sports bar.

  • A 'troop cave'

    Image: "Troop cave" at USO Center at Camp Virginia in Kuwait
    Crystal Martin

    DIY Network headed out to Kuwait to transform the USO Center at Camp Virginia into a "troop cave." The cave's Internet and calling center is pictured here.

  • A place to kick back

    Image: "Troop cave" at USO Center at Camp Virginia in Kuwait
    Crystal Martin

    The troop cave at USO Center at Camp Virginia includes a comfortable lounge.

  • Stadium seating

    Image: "Troop cave" at USO Center at Camp Virginia in Kuwait
    Crystal Martin

    The movie theater in the troop cave at Camp Virginia has stadium seating, a new projector and an authentic marquee.

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