Saturday, May 17, 2008

Perspiration and Inspiration

I usually devour a book as quickly as I can. But Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways is like a really good meal. Not to be rushed. Debra Prinzing’s words are perfectly paired to William Wright’s photographs.

By slowing the pace, the layers of visual pleasure are better appreciated for their individual flavor components.

That is why Stylish Sheds became my companion on the treadmill the past few weeks. It was a delightful companion, helping make the road back to my pre-accident self enjoyable.

More than a “how-to-decorate” book with pretty pictures, this publication is a loving reflection of how individuals reflect their past, present and future dreams using the art of architecture as their medium. Sometimes pint-sized portions, sometimes grand courses, each example featured is a perfect fusion of the flavors found in home and garden. Taking in a page is as much about savoring nuances of the psychology of place as it is about the architecture, decoration or horticulture. The culture and heritage of the owners were integral to the text and were as varied as lutefisk and chili.

Perspiration mixing with inspiration, I began to re-imagine my own shed. Using the matrix Debra used as an executive summary for each project, this is how I plan to make the highest and best use of my own shed.
Mission: My shed is the playhouse I always wanted, but growing -up never had. Think denim and lace for style. The shed serves as a big treasure chest of the parts for the hobbies integral to my lifestyle (doesn’t that sound so much better than “storage”). Started with great intentions, it is in need of tlc.
Must- Haves: Finger-tip storage system so that when I am inspired, I can move on a project without delay.
Inspiration: The leaded and beveled window which was on top of a neighbor’s trash.
Design Challenge: To give a child-like personality to what is mostly a utilitarian outbuilding and keep it from being a catch-all. The storage needs to be as attractive as it is functional.
Creative Solutions: My husband and our sons got this project off to a good start years back by maximizing the footprint potential with a 1 ½ story design. Electricity expands the hours it can be used. Lots of shelving in place.

Now that Stylish Sheds has inspired me to get out of my own way, the plan is to finish the stained glass transom window started an embarrassingly long time ago. The brick floor deserves to be cleared of plastic containers. A vintage bed frame is going to be a sofa for the puppies and me. I've already replanted the window box in succulents for less upkeep, the brass door fixtures polished and the faded paint is being freshened.

THANK YOU Debra and Bill for the inspiration! I hope to report to you this summer that the perspiration from your inspiration paid off when I finish the shed I call my own.


Anonymous said...

Very nice! I had to chuckle because our "storage" consists of about six large Rubbermaid sheds on the service side of the house. The largest is literally a house for the Harley motorcycle! However, now that my mother has moved out, the Harley now sits like a "Royal" in it's own garage!
Nice article! XO Trisha

Lydia said...

Thank you. I have one of the original tall rubbermade sheds with trash cans inside corraling an assortment of rakes, shovels and the like. It would have been long gone- but the thing has just held up so well- we just paint it when we paint the house and it disappears in to the sideyard. But it has served its purpose- and it is time to be replaced by something which better reflects my design sensitivity.

After I finish re-doing my "Victorian cottage", the plan is replace it with something more visually pleasing. In Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways there is a darling chapel-like structure featured. I can adapt the design for the narrow space and storage needs for better function than what we currently use.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia, thank you for including Stylish Sheds in "A Very Good Life" - your enthusiasm is so gratifying to read....and I love that you want to follow our little design recipe. If you know your "mission" and "must-haves" (the inspiration) then the other stuff, ie, execution and perspiration, isn't as difficult.
xoxo Debra

Lydia said...

Debra- Thank you for posting! Before reading your book, I struggled with what to do with my "cottage". Stylish Sheds showed me how to freshly approach the project that could have been done already. but I lacked the confidence to trust my intuition.
Not any more.
You are right. It is so much easier to tackle a project with enthusiasm when the vision is clear. Thanks to your book, I have clarity.