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renovation tales | the shed

Oh I haven’t shared any renovation tales for an age and a half! Not because we are finished. Far from it. More because I have felt overwhelmed with the endless ride of renovating a house that hasn’t been shown much love for a long old time. Years, decades perhaps. Not much more than patching up and doing the essentials…

Half way through last year we reached the point of needing a break so that is what we took. And then we moved on to a project that we have been planning since pretty much the day we moved in almost 7 years ago. One that, although intrusive, at least meant the house was mine and not to be shared with builders during the work.

Actually that is the thing I find the hardest with any kind of work. The intrusion. The interruption. I know it is necessary and definitely worth it, but (ask any of the lovely builders who have worked on our home) give me 2 days and I am ready for them to leave…

When we moved in to our home almost 7 years ago, there were two old sheds in the corner of the garden. One had an irreparable hole in the roof and rather than throw any money at it, we took it down and had a rather large bonfire. Eventually the second shed met the same fate but rather more deliberately as we were about to begin building our new shed.

Now I know it is not really a shed, it’s just that we had been talking about replacing the shed for more than 6 years and it’s hard to re-program the brain to call it something we can’t even decide on. A studio? A cabin? Whatever. So we still call it ‘the shed’.

Initially the plan was simply to replace the original sheds, both ramshackle and small. But over a few years the plan developed into a summerhouse and shed, then a building that would include both. Until finally it because a storage shed, summerhouse & workspace for me.

We designed it for maximum light, which can be controlled with a variety of curtains and blackout blinds (they’re still on the to do list) so I can adjust the light for different styles of photography. It is a blank canvas if you like, it can be rearranged as a number of different set ups with minimum effort, although we are still to install a stove and the exterior is not entirely finished, as I write it is about 2/3rds painted black. Not that it needs painting as it is clad in treated timber, more that we like the way it looks!

The building actually has two entrances. What you may have seen on Instagram is only two thirds of the interior – there is also a storage shed at the back for exciting things like gardening tools and plant pots…

I’m in a constant state of organised chaos out there because there is a never ending circulation of photo props. I love it.

It’s so inspiring to have a space that evolves almost daily

The table is usually covered with an assortment of things to be kept out of Maud’s reach – she’s not the most helpful shed companion in some ways but it’s so good to have her doggy company. Even if photo bombing is a speciality!

It took around 8 weeks to build the structure, many more to lay floor and paint the interior. We started in late October last year and as I say it is still not completely finished. I don’t mind that, it has given us time to live with it and choose carefully. It is furnished with mostly pre-loved things with just a few exceptions. And although it is new it has soul – it is such a lovely space to be in.

I have learned over the renovation years that everything take much longer than you think it will. Currently we are working on the outside with a new deck built this month and then it will be a stove to keep me warm in winter. More on that soon…

J x


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