Read more about it here.
Read more about it here.
Some of you may recall our post last week about the 2017 “Shed of the Year” contest. For those of you who are new to the blog, I should probably warn you that I go through periods of my life in which I get obsessed with having a writing shed in my backyard. I don’t have one yet, but a man can certainly dream! (One time I actually tried to convince shed builders to build me one in exchange for free publicity at the blog. By the way, that offer still stands. We have a lot of readers).
It seems like this year’s finalists for the coveted prize of “Shed of the Year” have drawn some criticism. The folks in the U.K. take their sheds very seriously and some believe that the structures chosen to compete for this year’s award are not really sheds.
Here is a taste of an article at The Yorkshire Post titled “Is the term shed losing its meaning?”
Andrew, who runs the phenomenally successful readersheds.co.uk, really needn’t have bothered as most of us don’t care about the semantics. Shed trips off the tongue far more easily than garden building and it sounds relaxed, while whispering “escape.” Yorkshire-based writer Sally Coulthard, author of best-selling books Shed Chic and Shed Decor, says: “When I was writing the books, there were lots of small buildings that we wanted to include that wouldn’t necessarily come under a tight definition of ‘shed’. I can think of shepherd’s huts, caravans, treehouses, railway carriages, tents, and showman’s wagons that all made the pages. We included them because the spirit of the shed was definitively in them, the idea of a small, portable or temporary structure that has been transformed into a useable space.
“For me, sheds are just as easily defined by what they are not. They are not supposed to be permanent living accommodation or a replacement for a home; sheds also can’t be built from permanent materials like brick or stone, they need to be materials that can be deconstructed or moved if necessary, like wood or metal sheeting. For me, a shed is a retreat, or an extra space, that enhances your home, somewhere you can express yourself or carve out a quiet corner. “
Designer maker and author of Granny Chic Rachelle Blondel, of Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales, agrees and invested in a 1980s Monza caravan six years ago. Known as “Maud”, it is now parked in her garden and serves as a retreat, guest suite and a playhouse for her daughter. “I got it for £350 from eBay, re-did the inside, put some electric in and painted the outside off-white. It was a cheap solution and because it is technically mobile, it isn’t a problem planning wise,” she says.
Alex Johnson, who runs shedworking.co.uk and writes on microarchitecture for The Idler magazine, is a former Shed of the Year judge and believes that the definition of a ‘shed’ is now notoriously tricky to pin down.
“I think most of us would agree that while some builds fall under the heading of ‘microarchitecture’, they are only shed-like at a considerable push. However, I wouldn’t like to see people discouraged from entering Shed of the Year because one of the great successes of the competition is that it has thrown up so many examples of incredible ingenuity within highly restricted spaces.”
He points to some of the builds he has shared on shedworking.co.uk. They include a 4m high boat pod constructed from the former bow section of a Cornish fishing trawler, a contemporary garden office clad in cork and the theatrical Flying Black House by Czech architects H3T. This shed is suspended in mid-air under the arch of an old railway bridge.
Read the entire piece here.
We will be back on Monday!
This one’s from Scotland, courtesy of Shedworking blog
Oregon writing cabin. HT: Cabin Porn
I’ll take it:
Berry and the Nashville Agrarians (we’re calling my cabin the Lytle Cabin in honor of Andrew Lytle, one of the Nashville Agrarians and my parents’ teacher at Sewanee). In particular, Berry’s address to the NEH last year really hit me hard at a time when I was very conscious of being subject to a job market that placed no particular emphasis on place or the importance of “affection,” to use Berry’s term. The second thing that helped me look at my career from a different angle was the Lilly Fellows Postdoctoral Program at Valparaiso University, where I was fortunate enough to spend two years learning to teach and thinking about my academic vocation in terms of a Christian calling (I’m working at a college in the Mennonite tradition). In the end, I think I could have put my ideas about place into practice nearly anywhere, but I feel very fortunate to be where I am.
regard, sometimes I’m going to need to get away from that. So I felt like I needed a separate place where I could work on the days I’m at home and in the evenings. Plus, my wife was happy to have all my books out of the house! I also felt that if I created the space I’d feel more obligated to use it, particularly for writing. Part of the rationale about living near family is that we’ll be able to spend more time during holidays and the summer at home, and hopefully I’ll be able to use those extra weeks to write. It worked out perfectly because there was an existing structure on the property, an old garden shed, that already had a concrete pad and electricity running to it. My brother runs a small sawmill and provided some of the wood, which he milled from local trees (yes, Kansas has trees!), and another friend who’s a general contractor helped out with other material and supervising the project (tip: you don’t want me drywalling your house). I’m really happy with how it turned out.
And I might add that my offer is still on the table. If there is a contractor out there who wants to build me a shed (I live in central Pennsylvania–Cumberland County) I will be happy to provide his/her shed building company with unlimited free publicity and a permanent advertisement in the sidebar here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. Let’s work out a deal. Contact me at jfea(at)messiah(dot)edu
Do you work in a writing shed or cabin? We would be happy to consider featuring you here at the blog.
I am not a big fan of this year’s winner, but I guess that is what I get for not voting.
Head over to Readersheds and cast your vote. There are 1,975 sheds in eight categories.
Thanks to Mark Cheathem for sending this along.
According to Nationwide Building Society nearly half of Brits are planning to spend at least some time this Easter doing DIY [Do It Yourself]. And while 52% are painting/decorating and nearly four in ten are landscaping the garden or doing something to the fence, lawn or patio, a big 9% (ok, nearly 1 in 10) say they’ll be putting up a shed or outhouse.
Graham Pilkington, Divisional Director Banking, Insurance and Investments at Nationwide said: “Easter has traditionally been a favourite time for DIYing, and this year is no different with over half of us planning to break out the paint brushes and filler. The number of people moving house over the last few years has declined, so the increase in the number and size of personal loans suggests that homeowners are spending more to maintain and upgrade their current property rather than moving on.”
Not all of these weekend warriors will be constructing writing sheds, but this is still pretty cool.
Check out Barbara Techel’s writing shed at the Tiny House Blog. Nice! (Click on the link for more pictures).