Saturday, April 30, 2011

My shabby streamside studio


Sandy Foster's My shabby streamside studio blog focuses on her "halting weekend attempts at soothing shabby French décor & antique rose gardening" in at a 125 square foot studio in the Catskills, New York. It's not only a lovely blog with excellent photos, it's a lovely shedlike atmosphere with sleeping loft, all of which Sandra has filled with vintage and salvaged items. Well worth a browse.

Photos by Trevor Tondro. Via re-nest and a nice piece in the New York Times including a rather nice slideshow. Thanks to Lloyd Alter for the alert.
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: the shed angle

On this happy day for Prince William and Catherine Middleton, let's not forget that it all started for them in a shed, this one in Kenya to be precise where he proposed to her. You can get all the details in The Sun

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Fridays posts are sponsored by Swift Foundations. We design bespoke, eco friendly, foundation solutions. Our Plinths are LABC system approved and manufactured to British Standard BS8110 by a ISO 9000 company. www.swiftfoundations.co.uk for details.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Unbound Pledging Shed at Hay Festival


Shedworking was delighted to be approached earlier in the year by John Mitchinson, one of the brains behind the television programme QI, a book publisher of considerable experience and a Vice-President of the Hay Festival. More importantly, he is also a shedworker and had a shed-based plan...

John will be launching Unbound at the Hay Festival this year in a Very Special Shed. The launch event on May 29 will feature writers Terry Jones, Gavin Pretor-Pinney and Rupert Isaacson who will be talking about their latest book ideas. And it's all going to happen in a specially bespoke 3rdSpace garden room designed by Sawhorse Ltd (Shedworking did some matchmaking after putting an appeal out on Twitter). Here's what the Hay folk say about it:

Readers will also be able to visit the world’s first Unbound Pledging Shed on site throughout the Festival. Join the revolution and visit the Unbound Shed: books are now in your hands! Other details are still a little hazy but, during the 10 days of the Festival, a string of famous authors will be visiting the Pledging Shed either in person to endorse the idea and encourage their readers to visit the Unbound site www.unbound.co.uk. And Shedworking may even put in a personal appearance too...
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rooftop shedworking

Here's the latest concept from Oazis Garden Offices, a design which would work well in a roof garden or by a rooftop pool. According to David Whitewood from Oazis, its modular construction can easily be transported to a rooftop location as the lightweight structure will not impose impractical loads on a roof. You can see the Oazis Garden Office in spruce and oak presented by their partner Nordic Wood at the Grand Designs Live Exhibition in ExCeL London April 30 – May 8 (Garden Hall Stand G271).
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Shedworker


More evidence, should any be needed, that garden offices provide perfect inspirational working spaces, here is Mozart's Zauberflötenhäuschen (The Magic Flute Summer-House) in the garden of the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg. Inside this small wooden office, he wrote part of Die Zauberflöte (among other works).

The building was originally built in the garden next to the Freihaustheater in Vienna where Die Zauberflöte was premiered in 1791 - the story goes that Mozart was locked inside to make sure he finished the work on time. It was then donated to the International Mozarteum Foundation where it has been restored several times, especially after World War II when it was damaged by bombing. It now stands in the Foundation’s Bastionsgarten where you can visit it during July and August as part of a guided tour of the site. Inside are copies of theatre posters of the premiere and costume designs for a production of Die Zauberflöte from 1793.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Invented in a shed: Daimler cars

Gottlieb Daimler took the first steps towards what is today a global corporation bearing his name from a workshop in his garden shed in the late 19th century. It was in his garden office in Bad Cannstatt - which was restored in 1984 and opened to the public as a small museum - that he created the world's first lightweight high-speed four stroke internal combustion vehicle engine.

The workshop shed was originally a greenhouse to which Daimler added a brick extension and turned into a testing station for his work: he also widened the garden paths so vehicles could drive down them. He and fellow inventor Wilhelm Maybach worked in considerable secrecy in their garden office, keeping secret their work even from their servants and gardeners (one of whom called the police because he thought they had installed an illegal mint inside).

You can read more details at the Daimler site and even now buy a model of it (see here for details, in German).

Thanks to the fine folk at Hummel Blockhaus for the alert
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Wholewoods Natural Buildings


If you want a garden office based on an ancient English Cruck Frame model, Ethiopian Tukul, Earth Lodge or Round House, then Wholewoods Natural Buildings could be right up your garden path. Here's what they say about their byre design, pictured above:
This is a traditional timber frame building that can be extended to any number of bays. It is held together with wooden pegs and cut from large British oaks. The Summerhouse version is a turf roofed building with doors and windows and whether boarded or wattle and daub walls. There can be a built-in staircase so you can access the roof for sun bathing or growing veg. I hope to see someone keeping chickens on top one day! It truly is a joy to extend your garden and have more indoor space simultaneously.
They also run courses and are keen to get people involved in the building process, including as part of teambuilding events.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

How to build a garden office (video)


A nice little video introduction by The Garden Escape into the nuts and bolts of how a garden office is built.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beach hut tea towel

Southwold artist Serena Hall makes colourful paintings of the seaside where she lives as part of her English Seaside Company label. She has also produced a series of lovely beach hut teatowels.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

The Secrets of Scott's Hut

If you missed this marvellous BBC documentary about Scott's Hut, nip along smartish to the BBC's iPlayer thingie and watch/download it. Here's the bumph:
"Ben Fogle joins an expedition across Antarctica to find Captain Scott's Hut, frozen in time for a century. The hut was built to support Scott's 1911 attempt to be first to the South Pole, and was later abandoned together with ten thousand personal, everyday and scientific items. Ben uncovers the hut and its contents, finding new information about his hero Scott and his famously tragic expedition. Scott's diaries are read by Kenneth Branagh."
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Fridays posts are sponsored by Swift Foundations. We design bespoke, eco friendly, foundation solutions. Our Plinths are LABC system approved and manufactured to British Standard BS8110 by a ISO 9000 company. www.swiftfoundations.co.uk for details.

Are garden office price rises inevitable?

Analysts seem to be in agreement that timber prices are set to rise in the very near future with obvious knockon effects for anybody considering buying a garden office." Sterling’s weakness against the euro has pushed up the cost of imports from Baltic sawmills and most north European producers. Faced with increasing sawlog and transport costs, shippers expect prices to increase on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future," says Jerry Wilson in the Timber Trades Journal.

"The rebuilding of Japan is likely to create an increase in demand for timber," says David Whitewood of Oazis Garden Studios. "Combine this with oil prices affecting transport costs, exchange rates, etc, and the price of sheds and garden offices - garden offices also have a large glass component that requires a lot of energy to manufacture - will be going up by 10% or more this summer.

"The moral of the story - even if you are planning a build late summer - is order now to secure pricing. We are working with our supply chain to keep prices down so are not announcing any price increases yet but we will guarantee any prices for delivery up until the end of September if ordered."
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Fridays posts are sponsored by Swift Foundations. We design bespoke, eco friendly, foundation solutions. Our Plinths are LABC system approved and manufactured to British Standard BS8110 by a ISO 9000 company. www.swiftfoundations.co.uk for details.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Huts & Hideaways (updated)

Huts & Hideaways is a new Helmsley-based business from Sally Coulthard, author of Shed Chic, building miniature shepherds huts for children. "As a mother of two small children, I know how much little people love spaces designed exclusively for them," she says, "a world where everything is child-sized, comforting and cosy. These portable cabins provide the perfect all-weather space for teddies tea parties, pirate games or summer sleepovers. They’re also a terrific focal point for your garden and a real talking point."

The design does not aim to recreate 19th century shepherds huts but instead capture the essence and charm of the shepherd's hut - however they are built using many of the traditional techniques used for vintage caravans including traditional canvas-bonded roofs (as you’d find on Victorian railway carriages) and tongue and groove timber cladding, as well as iron wheels hand-made by a local blacksmith. Each hut is painted both inside and out using Farrow & Ball Primer & Undercoat and Farrow & Ball Full Gloss. The huts are made using sustainable materials (e.g. Thermowood® timber for cladding, FSC softwood, etc).
As well as the website, if you're interested please call Sally on 01439 748513, email her at sallycoulthard@hotmail.co.uk or write to her at Huts & Hideaways, Stonegrave Lodge Farm, Stonegrave, North Yorkshire YO62 4LL.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hempcrete: the most ecofriendly garden office ever?


Shoe designer Alexei Gaylard makes shoes that tread eco-lightly on the earth using green materials and made by people who were paid a decent wage. So it's not suprising, as the Daily Telegraph reveals, that when it came to a garden office he went for something equally environmentally-friendly: he built a hempcrete shedworking atmosphere.

Pictured above, Alexei's garden office is built of hemp, lime and turf and a green roof from which last year he harvested a kilo of rocket which had accidentally taken hold there. Here's a snippet of the article:
It is not perfect – small hairline cracks have appeared in the paintwork and there is some beading missing around the door – [but] he loves its imperfections: “You get a special kind of relationship with something you’ve been so involved with – we made the windows the shape we wanted and the walls are kind of bouncy, which I like.”
The whole build used recycled or renewable materials and was erected by himself and hempcrete expert Will Stanwix who will be at Grand Designs Live this year talking about the marvel of low-impact buildings, especially their thermal properties. The Telegraph also has a nice little gallery of pictures on this subject and the rest of the article features other shedworkers. Well worth a browse.
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At the back of the garden office

We usually only feature the fronts and sides of garden offices, and sometimes the roofs. We very rarely focus on the backs of them. So it's about time we put that right. Here's the back of author Joanne Harris's garden office - for more details about her shedworking life, see this exclusive interview and for her new book click here.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Shed of the Year: media go wild

The media are starting early with their coverage of Shed of the Year 2011 with the Metro kicking things off by showcasing some contenders. If you haven't entered your garden office or shedlike atmosphere yet, you must do so before May 16. Go to readersheds.co.uk to sign up for a chance to claim top prize and stacks of Cuprinol wood products.

There are also articles about it in the Daily Mail, The Sun, and Daily Telegraph.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shedworkers wanted for primetime TV comedy show

You and your partner could be the stars of a new Saturday night comedy panel show. The folk at Endemol Television are looking for couples who are very much in love, but have an ongoing lighthearted dispute or silly argument that they would like a comedy panel to solve for them, once and for all - a pilot of this show earlier in the year included Jack Dee, Jo Brand and Sarah Millican. I spoke to the nice lady at Endemol and she is particularly keen to find somebody who who spends all their time in the shed, or devotes all their spare time to doing it up, much to their partner's despair. Couples who are chosen for the show will be paid for their time too so if you are in a relationship and would like to apply, email couples@endemoluk.com for an application or call their hotline on 0333 577 7772.
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Garden office with swimming pool

What's the one thing that would make your shedworking life complete? Well, a swimming pool probably wouldn't be a bad start. Here's an example from DK Bespoke Garden Studios which was a five month build that included clearing the grounds and then building the garden office and swimming pool. The site has several projects featured with plenty of photographs and excellent descriptions of how each one was carried out.

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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Walden tiny house/garden office


The latest model from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is the evocatively-tiled Walden which can also be used as a garden office on foundations if you'd rather not have your home on a trailer. Features include:
* kitchen with pine interior finishing
* bathroom including full shower
* sleeping loft upstairs, large enough to fit a queen size bed
* living room with open ceiling and stainless steel fireplace
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David Thomas: shedworker

Woodbridge shedworking artist and set designer David Thomas has opened his first solo exhibition for some years at The Fraser Gallery, Woodbridge (runs until April 23, 10am to 5pm), as reported in the Ipswich Evening Star. Talking to Andrew Clarke he says:
"I suppose you could say that my work is a reflection of the traditional world which is still around us. When I was young I loved drawing motorbikes but somewhere along the way that changed into drawing horses and cows. Also I love Suffolks big brooding skies. I am at my happiest when I stumble across a scene which combines all these different elements."
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

UV Architects garden office (video)


A rather nice video showing how Hoxton-based UV Architects build their garden offices.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The shed is the new home

Last weekend, the Independent on Sunday featured the new Shedworking book and the work of shedworker Dawn Fry in a large article by Emma Townshend. It's well worth a read (especially if you like chocolate) and here's a snippet:
I'm feeling jealous. Dawn Fry has a chocolate-making factory in her garden. Hidden in her shed. Actually, it's more of a summer house, with pretty gingham curtains and proper lead flashings over the windows made by her blacksmith husband Joe. But it's a chocolate factory, all right. Jars full of cocoa solids line the dresser, while an electronic warmer keeps the mixture at exactly the right temperature for working.
The article is essentially looking at starting a business from your garden office, but interior designer and garden designer Francoise Murat made a good point on Twitter earlier today commenting on the feature, that "the shed is the new home". What do you think?

The shed is the new HOME - amazing the range of activities people enjoy in these! http://ind.pn/g5059Z via @shedworking #interior #designless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


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For all your home and garden needs visit B&Q.
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