A project: The Studio Shed / Part 1: Before

At the bottom of our garden we have an old brick shed. It backs into a mews and perhaps was intended to stable a horse or secure a carriage or something similar at the end of the nineteenth century. Then is was used by a mechanic in the postwar era. When we bought the house it was a painting and screen printing studio, paint splats stood testament on the walls.

But it had been neglected. Cracks had appeared, the roof needed work. The back doors were rotten and had been patched, they no longer opened. Broken window panes were boarded. For the last few years it has housed a stock of scooters, bikes (with stabilisers then without), wellies, a tent.

But now it has another role. The shed is becoming Simple Shape's studio. The Studio Shed.
This is the story of the renovation project in pictures. 


Builder on the roof: tiles coming off, one-by-one.

Builder on the roof: tiles coming off, one-by-one.

Inside out: the window is out, making way for the new door and roof tiles are stacked and waiting.

Inside out: the window is out, making way for the new door and roof tiles are stacked and waiting.

Before: barred windows, a narrow door from the garden and a roof in need of repair. We took the roof off, tile-by-tile and insulated from the outside in, meaning we could preserve the original tongue-and-groove ceiling. 


Patch work: the strange back door patch work, the tongue-and-groove ceiling (and a glimpse of the green ladder that we inherited when we moved in). 

Patch work: the strange back door patch work, the tongue-and-groove ceiling (and a glimpse of the green ladder that we inherited when we moved in). 

Paint patch: splat evidence of the shed's previous life.

Paint patch: splat evidence of the shed's previous life.

The aim is to make a space that is filled with light and open to the garden. The tired permanently-sealed window on the north wall will be repaired and the cracked and broken glass replaced with double glazed panes. A north facing sky light cut into the roof and the garden window will be replaced with a wide door.

Northern lights: above and inline with the old window the north facing sky light has been cut in.

Northern lights: above and inline with the old window the north facing sky light has been cut in.

Let there be light: the window is removed to allow for a wide door into the garden.

Let there be light: the window is removed to allow for a wide door into the garden.

Carefully the shed is coming back to life, proper rain-water drainage and new guttering is in place, bi-folding wooden doors and shutters to the mews and garden have been fitted. Inside the bare brick walls will be repainted white, as will the tongue-and-groove ceiling. A reclaimed timber floor is down. Small new essentials are in place, a tiny sink and loo have a home in the corner. And a luxury too, we have a wood burning stove waiting to take up residence.

The Studio Shed / Part 2: After will follow just as soon as the paint is dry.