Friday, October 3, 2008

shed beautiful

Hi there,
I'm Simmone. I am a writer and reader and book collector - I contribute the column 'Paperback Love' to Mixtape zine and I have a blog called post-teen trauma. My connection with the Mixtape gals goes all the way back to the early 1990s when I was working in a record store with Justine - I was a cranky clerk, she was a 2IC - we both ran off and had lives and then found each other again in the 'burbs with babies. I had the honour of proofreading the very first issue of Mixtape and have loved watching it grow from little think to big group hug.

Earlier this year, my familiars and I took the leap and moved from leafy Bayside to the heart of the Goldfields. We moved into a cute'n'crumbly cottage that was close to town and has a beautiful plane tree in the backyard. I could wring a hundred posts out of the things they never tell you about treechanging - but today I want to write about my shed.

My husband and I knew that we were never going to use the shed as a garage. I had dreams of turning it into a library/loft/studio/Greg Brady den: put the decks in there, fit a potbelly stove, some tatami mats ... but while we have an abundance of dreams, my husband and I are stoutly un-handy. All through the long winter we looked at the shed and bemoaned our ineptitude. Then Spring came and brought with it jonquils, inspiration and my Dad and his angle grinder.

See inspiration above: The first picture is from the book that started my Unusual House Book Collection: Small Houses by Lila Gault & Jeffrey Weiss (Warner Fleet 1980). The second was from an article about a Kyoto garden, nicked from the UK's Guardian newspaper.

See application below: This is stage one - the window. We were going to try and get sliding glass doors, but weren't sure if we could do that without the whole thing collapsing. Then an impromptu visit to the tip yielded this most perfect window ($10!). I may be useless but Dad is very handy. As the sparks flew off the tin, my husband and I could only look on in amazement and gratitude. And now we have a window. I love it. Next we build a frame and put in walls.

If you have any advice for shed conversions, please share!