ISSUE 19  |  Working It

Steal This Look: Outfitting a Writer’s Shed

May 13, 2014 9:00 AM

BY Erin Boyle

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I’ve been daydreaming about this Weston Surman & Deane writer’s shed since I wrote about it last month on Gardenista: see Outbuilding of the Week. And though it might be awhile before I’m able to commission one of the same for my own (imaginary) backyard, I’ve sleuthed some of the elements that make the inside of the shed so appealing. 

Above: The asymmetrical interior wall bedecked in bookshelves, sink, and freestanding wood stove. The architect team from Weston, Surman & Dean built work studio for an author-illustrator in London: “Drawing on the historically intimate relationship between writers and their sheds, the space was conceived as a haven in the city; a fairy-tale hut at the bottom of the garden where the client could retreat and immerse himself in his work.” Photograph by Wai Ming Ng.

Above: For the shelving and flooring inside the shed, oiled OSB (Oriented Strand Board) was used throughout. A 4-foot by 8-foot length of OSB Sheathing is $8.78 from Lowe’s. Curious about using plywood instead? Learn the basics in Remodeling 101: The Ins and Outs of Plywood. The architects used pine tongue and groove paneling for the walls of the shed. The similar EverTrue 8-Foot Stain Grade Knotty Pine is $15.97 from Lowe’s.

Above: Large skylights flood the space with light during the day, but in the evening the Drop Cap Pendant Set ($34.95 from Plumen) fitted with the Plumen 001 Screw Fitting Light Bulb ($29.95) lights the shed. For more about the design, see the World’s Most Stylish Light Bulb. Hoping to learn more about fluorescents vs. incandescents? See The Great Light Bulb Debate for the lowdown.

Above: Clamped to a shelf, a black architect’s lamp provides task lighting. The Flexible Combo Lamp is a similar option; $92.49 from Dick Blick. For more choices see 10 Easy Pieces: Best Architect’s Lamps.

Above: For cleaning paint brushes or muddy pots, consider the Shaws Contemporary Classic Firestone Sink from Rohl; $890.50. See 10 Easy Pieces: White Kitchen Farmhouse Sinks for more options.

Above: Behind the sink and around it, brass sheet metal makes a waterproof backsplash. Metal Shim Stock in 6-inch by 18-inch lengths is available in a pack of 10 for $69.12 from MSC Industrial Supply Co. 

Above: Above the sink, consider a simple brass garden tap like the one shown here. The Brass Water Tap is â‚¬15.80 at Manufactum.

Above: For keeping the place toasty year round, the Dovre Astroline 350CB is a clean-burning, high-efficiency cast iron wood stove with a similar look to the one used in the shed. Available with an anthracite finish; £1,125. Contact Dovre for retail locations. For more options, see 10 Easy Pieces Freestanding Wood Stoves

For more on the writer’s life, see another Perfect Writing Shed in the Garden. Hoping to steal other good ideas? See our archive of Steal This Look posts, and Gardenista’s, too.