Life Style

The garden is a new home office, thanks to a sane hut

Work at home I didn’t work for Max Sinsteden, the director of design company Olasky & Sinsteden. The husband of his tech industry only needed a laptop and a paper pad to get his job done. “On the other hand, as a decorator, I have 400 tote bags and 8 huge Tupperware sample boxes,” he said. The puzzled dining room table, which was functioning as his workspace when the couple regained to serve meals, thought out of the box, 20 yards away from the 1921 beach cottage in Westerly, Rhode Island. We camped in a new octagonal bell roof annex. Made by the Hillbrook Collection in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it was placed in place on a flatbed in May. “They have arrived … literally the code is coming out from behind,” said Synsteden of such a rescue building. “Our contractor dug a ditch with a conduit to draw power there, and you connect it.”

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Mr. Synsteden made a new bargain for his spanking on order, but even a humble lawnmower hut is becoming a pandemic remote area. Call them sane huts: rest immediately across the walls of the house.

Between June and September 1, search for huts on doubled compared to the same period in 2019. Hillbrook Collections, a custom garden house builder, has reported 60% orders year-to-date compared to 2019. Over the months, NEO Builders in Los Angeles have increased their interest in the habitable backyard building, the “attached residential unit,” or ADU, by 250%. (California relaxed zoning restrictions on such structures on January 1, probably causing a surge).

“I’m not an artist,” said Jill Vukelya, who enjoys a watercolor quarantine hobby using her remodeled greenhouse. “It’s just for me and my sanity.”


Sean Richfield of The Wall Street Journal

The transition to WFH has been tough for many, but humans have struggled at home for centuries. “For a long time we worked where we lived. I’m talking about farming. [ways] “People who lived on top of the store,” said Daniel H. Pink, who studied human behavior in business and wrote “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” (River Headbooks). In the United States after World War II, work and family were clearly different territories, he said. Today, technology and, in part, Covid are reintegrating these worlds. “But I don’t think people want them together 24 hours a day,” Pink added. “So they’re looking for a soft separation between their work and family life.” Unconnected spaces quiet the persistent ephemera (to-do list, computer, code) of office life overtime. Helps to push it away.

It’s wise to synchronize your new annex style with the look of your home and may tempt buyers when you go to sell the place. For what’s called a dollhouse in St. Petersburg, Florida, designer and home economics expert Joseph Marini chose a hipped roof to match the brick Georgian main building. But inside, he enjoyed the fantasy of his decoration with decoratively roped woodwork and a lime-washed built-in desk. “I love Swedish furniture and Gustav furniture, so I tried to imitate being able to stay cohesive in a small space here.”

Even humble lawnmower huts are becoming remote areas of the pandemic.

Jill Vukelja has refurbished a Victorian-style heated greenhouse near his home in Greenwich, Connecticut during the Georgian era. As her three daughters are studying in remote areas, the housewife finds a shelter there for her quarantine hobby, watercolor painting. “It’s a mini escape … it’s nice to just sit there and hear the rain hit the glass, even when it’s raining.”

In renovating the space, her designer, Marsha Tucker, suggested a simple, easy-to-find addition. A hunter green IKEA desk and a gray synthetic rattan chair on the legs of a birch pedestal. Vukelja replaced the lush greenery with succulents and cacti that did not die, die or cause stress.

Charleston designer JP Houghton, who has just rebuilt his mother’s ADU in Charlottesville, Virginia, into her pottery workshop, can also upcycl her own property, which is otherwise unused. “We were grandparents and reused garage sale rugs and antique chairs. [main] “Home,” he said.

In Weston, Connecticut, Chris Lauan turned a tollhouse and cobbler hut into an interior design team office in the late 1700s.


Sean Richfield of The Wall Street Journal

Perhaps many designers paint their interiors white to erase the dingy past of existing garden sheds. In a late 1700s building about 300 feet from his home in Weston, Connecticut, interior designer Chris Lafuan looks at Benjamin Moore’s Super White between the walls of a small saltbox annex and the beams on the chestnut ceiling. I turned it. In her new home office, resting from the turmoil of her 10-year-old twin and her husband working remotely, she drafted both table and task lamps. The white walls reflect the light emitted by the lamp and help brighten the space. “It’s really important because there aren’t many downlights,” she said.

Marini painted the vaulted ceiling black, which recedes and makes the 10ft x 12ft space feel more spacious, but his interior walls boast a creamy off-white. “I really like dark and moody rooms,” he said. But in the case of the workplace, “its rigor makes you careful, vibrant, bright, and aware.” After a 74-year-old mother moved to her bedroom on the ground floor as Covid-19 descended. , He began to use the place as a hideout for the now packed house. Under the light of the rusty candlestick, which had no place in the main building, “My husband and I sit around 5 o’clock, have a cocktail and talk about the day. It’s a great separation, like going out to a bar. To do.”

Marini hired an architect to paint the rendering of his annex, and then had a skilled hut builder build it (total cost: $ 7,200). However, off-the-shelf options are skyrocketing. From $ 500 a month, you can lease a glass 8ft x 10ft pod from ootBox in Columbus, Ohio. Based in Alberta, DROP Structures’ modern Mono Mini cabin arrives with a sturdy standing seam exterior and a very Heidi Baltic birch interior (starting at $ 18,900).

To ensure Wi-Fi access, you may need to use a booster or extender to amplify your home router. Other logistical considerations include permits specific to the jurisdiction of the region. The hoops you need to vault can grow with every nice thing you want to add, from electrical wiring to plumbed bathrooms. “Whether it’s a 5,000-square-foot home or a 450-square-foot home, the same process has boosted business by 300% to 400% year-on-year,” said David Latimer, CEO of New Frontier Design in Nashville. ..

Another virtue of working from a sane hut: Reintroduction of (beautiful and short) commuting. A quick walk through the condensed grass will reset your energy and infuse fresh air on weekdays with each coffee refill or bathroom run. “Human needs a transition,” said Pink, who works in a refurbished garage with a 22-step shuffle from the door. “Human attention is precious and not infinite. Punctuation is needed,” he said. Without them, “our attention would be an inconsistent, continuous sentence.”

Peak retreat

A guide to kit out your garden office for maximum comfort and productivity

Rafuan’s mix desk from “Good Old IKEA” has an alabaster lamp.


Sean Richfield of The Wall Street Journal

Everyone From Mark Twain to Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, they worked in their garden huts. Try this design advice from a professional to prepare your own sane hut for maximum output and minimal headaches.

Please look down. Attach a durable option to your feet. Max Synsteden chose stained glass fir for his retreat in Westerly, Rhode Island. He knew that his feet were “a little dirty.” In St. Petersburg, Florida, designer Joseph Marini chose laminated wood that “can withstand mud and wet, but looks great in stained gray.” When laying carpets, choose durable materials such as sisal and wool, according to interior designer Chris Lauan, Weston, Connecticut.

Conscription rescue. Marini reused a 1950s French door in a recently flipped house to shed enough light on her workspace. “‘I thought it was the best way to make floor-to-ceiling windows here!'” Charleston designer JP Houghton also insists on adopting cast-off. “I don’t want to be a garage sale catch-all, but it’s a good place to be creative.”

It will be green. “The best thing you can do [to improve an outbuilding] The cheaper is to add plants. This seems trivial, but living things can be very helpful, “says Houghton.

Please be aware of your purpose. Marini exhibited a horde of collected antique iron vases and vases with legs on the built-in shelves of the hut, a “huge workbench” to organize the project notes taped by the cobalt painter. He left one wall completely blank as he is working, and it works. “I really go here every day.”

Prefab pod

You can hire an architect, an architect, or get one of these bespoke numbers

A trio of transom windows brings light to the studio office shed covered with laminated wood and a corrosion-resistant metal roof. With redwood pergola and operable windows. 8 feet x 12 feet, From $ 10,899,

Made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Salafolly is fitted with a well-shaped cedar shingles covered with two copper finials. French doors give it the airy elements of a garden greenhouse. 8 feet x 12 feet, From $ 9,850,

Ready to sit in a chair and lock? Consider a turnkey cottage wick room in Waco, Texas, with an insulated crate structure, fiber cement siding, and a covered pouch. 12 feet x 14 feet, From $ 31,500,

Born in Alberta, Canada, the Mono Mini offers Baltic birch interiors, cedar decks and standing seam metal exteriors in multiple colours. 8.5 feet x 16 feet, From $ 18,900,

The Wall Street Journal is not covered by the retailers listed as retailers of the product in its article. Listed retailers are often not the only retailers.

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