Debra Prinzing

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Stylish Sheds & Better Homes

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Check out pages 126-131 in the May 2010 issue

Today, while waiting to board my flight from Dallas to Burbank, I stopped by a newsstand and spied the May 2010 edition of Better Homes & Gardens.

I have been anticipating this issue because it features an article that I wrote about a very cool shed in Gig Harbor, Washington. The shed is owned by Cindy and Dave Storrar. They built their shed from plans they saw in the pages of BH&G, so they have traveled full circle from the inspiration to the reality — now reflected in their charming, 7-by-9 foot cedar-shingle garden hideaway.

How’s this for even more exciting news? My editor Eric Liskey made sure to include a sizable (half-page) sidebar featuring me as a “Shed Expert,” along with the cover of Stylish Sheds & Elegant Hideaways.

He also asked me to share tips on how to “design your dream shed.” These are excerpted from the book:

MISSION: Identify the activities that draw you outdoors (art, music, poetry, growing plants, play, entertaining, or meditating). Most personal passions can find a home in a small garden shed.

MUST-HAVES: List the design ingredients most important to you. Combine functional with frivolous. It’s OK to add a vintage cut-glass chandelier or a day bed. Make it your personal “nest.”

INSPIRATION: Draw inspiration from that single idea you can’t stop imagining – a historic property, a specific color, a recent beach vacation.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS: Treat the exterior as a garden focal point and give it some of the visual upgrades you would give your own home. Decorate the interior with collections and cherished objects.


Stylish Sheds in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens

If this wasn’t awesome enough, I turned to the masthead and discovered that my new title as Contributing Garden Editor has landed me a place with all of BH&G’s editors and art directors. It feels good to be in such talented company.

It’s been a long day and already past midnight, but I had to post my news.

You see, I promised my new writer-friend Monica, my companion in Row 13 on that American Airlines flight from Dallas to Burbank, that I would make a big deal out of the magazine article.

Monica is the first person with whom I shared the magazine item, and she made me feel so pleased with the accomplishment.

We writers work so hard sometimes, often for less money than we deserve and little acknowledgement of our talent.

And it was nice to have an “atta-girl” from a fellow writer who was until today a complete stranger to me. Now, of course, we will probably become lifelong friends. And that makes today even more memorable.

A shed in the city

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
In a winter scene in a city garden, Jon's plum-and-green garden house is quite handsome

In a winter scene in a city garden, Jon's plum-and-green garden house is quite handsome

Seattle’s historic Georgetown settlement isn’t really known for being a residential neighborhood, but rather for the fact that a freeway runs through it, a bunch of warehouses populate its main streets and – oh yeah, if you look really close, there are a few pretty amazing lanes where Early Seattle architecture still stands.

Behind one of these cottages is an irresistible gentleman’s oasis, its exterior painted dark plum with pine-needle green trim. It has a comforting hip roof overhead, on top of which is a decidedly non-urban weather vane.

Jon Dove, the gentlemanly owner of this garden house, is an estate gardener and talented plantsman who grew up in Georgetown as a kid and found that as a grownup, he didn’t want to leave. Jon has restored and revived a 1905 cottage-style farmhouse here, planting a voluptuous, beautiful tangle of a garden in front, on the side, and in the back.

I first met Jon through Jean Zaputil, my good friend and garden muse. They had volunteered at the Washington Park Arboretum display at one of the flower shows and found they were kindred spirits. One July, many years ago, Jean and I went on the Georgetown Art & Garden Walk – a walking tour put on by the neighbors rather than one of those fancy affairs with shuttle buses.

We stopped by Jon’s to visit his postage-stamp-sized garden filled with perennials and shrubs as tall as me. Glorious! Around back, a one-car garage occupied a too-important chunk of space, similar to the way my husband’s baby grand piano occupies a too-important chunk of our living room. (It’s there, it’s nice to look at, but it’s in the way.)

 On my trip last week to Seattle, I was presented with an unexpected gift of afternoon tea in Jon’s new garden house. Yup, in that former garage, which Jon says is only a little younger than his house, maybe from the ‘teens.
Jon Dove, showing off his old-new garden house

Jon Dove, showing off his old-new garden house

An Old-New Shed

Here’s how I returned to Georgetown to discover Mr. Dove’s Delightful Garden House.

Daniel Mount, another gentleman gardener (and a superb, dreamy writer, too – check out his blog), invited me to have tea when I came to Seattle. This was going to be tough, due to my schedule. But Daniel dangled the carrot from a stick: “We could meet at Jon’s – I want you to see his new shed.”

Oh, Daniel. You definitely know how to tempt a shed aficionado like me!

So after finishing up a photo shoot with David Perry (for our new book project – more on that later), and before joining my friend Jan Hendrickson for a lovely dinner, I made my way down I-5 to Georgetown. Jean was supposed to join me, but since she had just logged six or seven hours helping us as a stylist for the aforementioned photo shoot, she needed to take a pass. Of course, since she lives in Seattle, she can go see Jon anytime.

A work-in-progress photo, courtesy of Jon. This shot illustrates how the carpenter cut away the side of the garage to create a covered porch

A work-in-progress photo, courtesy of Jon. This shot illustrates how the carpenter cut away the side of the garage to create a covered porch

Jon says it started to bug him that the useless garage was taking up a chunk of space otherwise deserving of something more attractive. As is the case with many people (I should know – I live in California where it happens for everyone), the garage was just a repository for stuff. After not looking at or using that stuff for a decade or so, Jon wondered if he really needed it after all. Voila! Out with the junk, in with the garden antiques.

To get there, Jon sketched out a new floor plan for the squarish building. He intelligently carved three useful spaces out of the 20-by-20 foot structure. Its back section is separated by a wall (and door) to a long, narrow area for bicycle storage, garden supplies and tools.

The original sliding garage door opens to the alley, so this application was a perfect way to leave the utilitarian stuff facing away from the garden.

Left with about three-quarters of the footprint to work with, Jon then sliced that space into two sections – one larger, which becomes the main interior room; and one smaller, which is the corner that juts into the garden.

Finished with a brick floor and fanciful bracket-trim, it's a sheltered spot to sit in any weather.

Finished with a brick floor and fanciful bracket-trim, it's a sheltered spot to sit in any weather.

He worked with a carpenter-friend to cut away an exterior side opening and “doorway” in that corner, essentially creating a covered porch. It is now carpeted with a pattern of recycled brick, set in sand.

By adding decorative corbels to the upper corners of the two openings, the space feels like a grand porch beneath an overhanging roof. “I wanted to be able to sit outside even when it rains,” Jon says. Cozy, comfortable, thoroughly delightful.

Now we shall step into the inner sanctum, through the French doors and into the room where tea was promised. A glance at Daniel’s face revealed that he had a secret I didn’t know quite yet. Inside, I understood why he was grinning. I forgot about the promise of tea and drank in the decorative sitting room.

Jon is a scavenger, like many of us. He found large, divided-paned doors to enlarge a tiny window space into a picture window. In the winter, it’s nice to see the bones of the garden revealed. What stands out is a graceful, curved metal bench, its lines echoed in the arched canes of chalk-white ghost bramble (possibly Rubus thibetanus).

A peek inside: Elegant, refined, inviting

A peek inside: Elegant, refined, inviting

Jon used plywood to cover the floor and then sealed the inexpensive material with clear, water-based semi-gloss Verithane. The light colored wood floor contrasts nicely with the dark, stripped-down ceiling beam (original to the garage).

An oversized vintage brass lantern hangs at the peak of the room, dominating the scene in a very pleasing manner. Because of the ceiling’s volume (I’m guessing it’s approximately 10-feet tall at its peak), there was plenty of space for Jon’s carpenter to add an upper ledge where birdhouses are now displayed.

Against one of the two solid walls is a garden bench painted pea green. Daniel somehow obtained the bench from the set of a Chekhof play and brought it here as a gift for Jon. The three of us started dreaming about moving the bench to the covered area outdoors so as to make room for a daybed. But then, maybe not, because everyone who visits Jon will yearn to nap in this garden house (me included).

UPDATE: Jon sent me this note last night. . . reading it put a smile on my face:

Oh Debra, I forgot to mention after your visit, I moved the bench from inside the Garden House to the porch. I then moved the my guest bed to the Garden House, I spent a night out there, was cozy. Looking forward to spending summers there. You’re a whirlwind of great inspiration.

Again, thank you!

Above the bench is a fantastic objet – a cast iron circle that measures about 48 inches across. There’s a mirror at the center, which reflects the garden’s foliage and flowers into the room. Turns out, the scrappy piece of metal was once the base of a stove that Jon took out of his home when he modernized it. He saved it – for no inexplicable reason other than it was strangely shaped and interesting – and, voila! Now it’s this dramatic wall detail. Ironically, an old mirror from a vanity or hutch fit perfectly into its center.

I'm glad Jon hung onto this until he found a perfect use for the cast iron circle, cum mirror frame.

I'm glad Jon hung onto this until he found a perfect use for the cast iron circle, cum mirror frame.

It’s amazing how many great design ideas reside inside a few hundred square feet, including some recycled toile ceiling-to-floor draperies that Jon inherited from friends. They add style, warmth and privacy when pulled across the French doors. I’ll let my photos show you some of the other nice details Jon has added.

Jon says he spent around $5,000 to $6,000 for construction (labor and materials) and about $2,000 to have the garden house painted. To me, it seems like a great investment that adds a whole lot of character, interest and function to his urban garden.

Finally, I couldn’t take my eyes off of his collection of architectural miniatures that fill an old canning cabinet. The cabinet is ancient, dating back to the very first settlers in Georgetown. The Horton family platted Georgetown in the 1870s. A friend of Jon’s rescued the wood cabinet from a home once owned by the Horton daughter. The square-head nails hint at its pedigree.

The shelves are filled with tiny wooden buildings that Jon cuts from scraps and covers with beautiful, intricately painted details in black – windows and doors, of course; but also molding, corbels, cornices, all rendered with tiny brush strokes.

Here are some close-up details of his whimsical, wonderful miniatures.

A visit to Sharon Lovejoy’s garden shed

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Sharon Lovejoy and me

Sharon Lovejoy and me

In the middle of last week, when I really didn’t have the time to do it, I drove northbound, to central California, where I spent 24 hours with talented writer-illustrator-naturalist Sharon Lovejoy and her smart and kind husband Jeff Prostovich. I met Sharon a little over two years ago when Nan Sterman and I drove to the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show with our friend Joan Bolton of Santa Barbara Garden Design. It was our Garden Writer Caravan and Road Trip. First, Nan took the train/bus from San Diego to my neck of the woods (Ventura Co.); then, the next morning, we drove to Santa Barbara to pick up Joan. Another 90 minutes north of Joan, up Hwy. 101, and we arrived to visit Sharon and Jeff. They fed us, feted us, and hopped in their car to follow the caravan.

A collection of Sharon's charming and inspiring books

A collection of Sharon's charming and inspiring books

Sharon is a total rock star in the Garden Writing Galaxy and I was so excited to have a chance to spend time with her and Jeff.

She has had a huge following ever since she started writing “Heart’s Ease,” a monthly naturalist’s column for the former Country Living Gardener magazine. Sharon’s blog is fun and highly personal – it’s read by friends and fans around the globe.

Her illustrated books about gardening, gardening with children, gardening for wildlife, gardening with food — oh, there are so many and they are like little love letters — have sold hundreds of thousands of copies over the years. In our world, that is unparalleled, I tell you.

61rTYy4K-jL__SL500_AA240_If, like me, you love the way Sharon involves children and their grownups with the natural world, be on the lookout for her next book – out in January 2010! It’s called Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars (and it features her sweet artist-granddaughter, Sara, on the cover).

Sharon and Jeff and I had a magical 24 hours in which we basically talked, ate, drank, cooked, went to see the Lone Pine Arboretum and the plant nursery at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, admired nature, and compared notes about our industry (?) and the “new media” platforms we’re all learning to navigate.

We had to force ourselves to go to bed last Tuesday night . . . the fire was burning in the fireplace and we had so much to say to one another. But we drifted off to sleep and rose on Wednesday morning in time for me to join Sharon at her writers’ group, during which yet another sparkling facet of this talented writer was revealed to me (hint: she is writing a wonderful young adult novel and I can’t wait for it to be completed AND published!).

A sweet retreat in the heart of Sharon's garden

A sweet retreat in the heart of Sharon's garden

It was nice to do something very spontaneous (and very nice that my own husband Bruce held down the fort at home so I could take the trip). I’ve been anxious to see Sharon’s new garden shed.

I had a sneaking suspicion I would be able to persuade Sharon to let me interview her on camera, so I asked – and lucky for you – she said yes. (And there was Jeff, the smart marketer, egging us on and actually directing us at one point.)

We made this totally rough-and-rugged video with my little Flip camera and gave the footage to Shirley Bovshow of Garden World Report. Shirley cleaned it up and used a portion of my tour with Sharon on today’s show. You can watch it here, along with contributions from Ken Druse and Ellen Zachos, two of my favorite garden writer-designers on the east coast.

Sharon promised me a personal tour, and here it is:


This entire experience reminded me of why I love what I do and the people with whom I share this journey.

Since this is Thanksgiving week, I’m thinking about gratitude:

1. I’m thankful that Nan introduced me to Sharon. Nan’s heart is big enough to share her blessings with her friends. I love that about Nan. It’s not the first time she’s opened a door for me, and I hope I can reciprocate.

2. I’m thankful that Sharon and Jeff have adopted me as a friend, and for their generous gift of time, ideas, support, encouragement, shelter (hey, I didn’t mention getting to sleep in the cozy loft at the top of a spiral staircase in Sharon’s art studio!!!) and food (oh, time around the table in their farmhouse kitchen was delicious – in more ways than one).

3. I’m thankful that there are so many kindred spirits in the gardening world, especially for innovators like Shirley Bovshow who just make things happen in new ways, pioneering the path that we all wish to follow (but when we don’t have a road map….she’s bound to!)

4. I’m thankful for my long-suffering spouse and partner, Bruce. He always encourages me to take these trips and excursions, even though it usually means more work for him. I can’t wait for the time when he’ll be freer to join me (and vice-versa).

That’s it for now.

An artisan shed

Thursday, May 7th, 2009
A collection of custom outbuildings to suit your lifestyle

A collection of custom outbuildings to suit your lifestyle

I only check my P.O. Box once every week or two, usually to find a lone press kit or alumni association mailing. Rarely does any personally-written correspondence show up.

Then a few weeks ago there was an envelope. The return address read “ARTISAN SHEDS.” Well, that certainly warranted opening! I opened it up to find a four-page, lovely hand-written letter from Lynn Weber.

Lynn is the owner and architectural designer of Artisan Sheds (the company’s tagline is alluring: “A collection of custom outbuildings to suit your lifestyle.“) She designs the small outdoor dwellings; her husband, Michael Weber builds them.

Artisan Sheds and Lynn’s personal story get filed under my ever-growing category: “The ones that got away.”

They are on my list of great shedistas who have come to me, each with an unique point of view, a personal narrative as to what inspired them to create a P-O-D (personal outdoor dwelling) and, of course, a fabulous little structure that I wish with all my heart that we would have discovered in time to include in Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways! Several days after reading her charming note, I called Lynn. We enjoyed a friendly chat, swapping ideas and stories over the line, three time zones away from one another.

Since she and her sheds are in North Collins, N.Y. (about 30 minutes south of Buffalo), I won’t be able to personally visit the Weber family’s garden showroom – yet. But I can share their story here with you. Lynn gave me permission to use excerpts from her letter. The photographs are courtesy of Artisan Sheds.

Hello Debra,

Late last summer, while browsing the web, I came upon your Shedstyle web site. I ended up reading about and purchasing your book, “Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways.” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here was someone writing about something that had been an interest of mine for so long and who clearly had the same philosophy as I – the importance of an aesthetically pleasing building that one could call a place of their own; a place to escape to. Since my childhood, I’ve had a fascination with little outbuildings. . . Your book . . . convinces me, more than ever, how important in our hectic times a place to retreat to is.

In the winter, the artful potting shed is your landscape's only architectural focal point

In the winter, the artful potting shed is your landscape's only architectural focal point

Lynn continued by sharing her story. Originally, she planned on converting the second level of her barn-style garage into an art studio-home office-gathering place. Then she saw a few magazine articles featuring re-purposed potting sheds and something took hold in her imagination:

“. . . my thinking shifted from renovating the barn to the idea of designing and building a smaller, separate structure.”

Soon, Lynn was entertaining the notion of starting a cottage industry to create, build and share her shed designs with others.  “With my education and background as an artist and designer, and my husband’s craftsmanship in building, I knew we could turn out some incredible things,” she wrote.

Lynn and Michael Weber created a finely-crafted shed using traditional homebuilding materials and methods

Lynn and Michael Weber created a finely-crafted shed using traditional homebuilding materials and methods

Lynn and Michael spent an entire summer on the first prototype of a potting shed, a 12-by-12 foot structure . “We moved it to a spot near the roadside and put up a sign: ARTISAN SHEDS. We had a great response from the public,” Lynn continued. “People honked their horns and shouted out compliments and gave us ‘thumbs up’ as they drove by. Apparently, they had been watching our construction progress all summer and were just as excited to see us finish as we were.”

Like many of the very special havens we profiled in Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, the ones designed by Artisan Sheds provide small-scale backyard shelter. But they also nurture one’s spirit, inspire the inner artist, and encourage the dreamer in all.

Lynne wrote this text for her brochure – it strikes a chord in my heart: “Experience the charm of a guest cottage complete with a platform bed, storage drawers and bookshelves; or a lakeside house for boating equipment that doubles as a beautiful summer bunkhouse. Perhaps an artist’s or writer’s studio with upright storage for canvases, a sink for brushes, or a desk area for your office equipment, comfortable chairs and a built in coffee bar. The choices are almost endless.”


Shed Spotting in Pasadena

Saturday, February 14th, 2009
The gate leads to a Shed Surprise

The gate leads to a Shed Surprise

If you’ve been following Shed Style for any period of time, by now, you know that I use the term “SHED” quite broadly to describe “a shelter in the garden.”

And so, here are two very different, but equally enticing, glimpses of garden shed architecture that I had the good fortune to tour earlier this week. The occasion: a preview of the Feb. 28th study tour that Betsy Flack of Garden Conservancy has designed to accompany the Feb. 27th seminar: Gardens that Re-Make Themselves.

The seminar will examine the restoration of historic gardens to reflect the original architecture and period, as well as sustainable design practices that today’s garden makers can use to ensure their landscapes endure for future generations. Several really incredible established gardens, mostly in Pasadena, will be open to seminar participants who take the study tour.

The garden structures I visited are relatively new, but they were designed – in the spirit and character of the property’s origins – to fit into older landscapes .

M's Garden House

M's Garden House

“M’s” Garden House stands at the back of a long, narrow garden in an historic Pasadena neighborhood.

The 1926 residence, a one-story Mediterranean-style bungalow, is situated near the front of the 50-by-195 foot lot. Because her house is closer to the sidewalk, the parcel behind the house is very park-like. She has preserved and enhanced the original hard-scape and bones of this Italian-inspired garden. It is truly amazing to see the setting and realize it is 83 years old.

At the far end of the garden path stands a scallop-topped swinging gate. According to the owner, the gate originally led to an old tool shed for garden storage.

But she had other plans for this underutilized space and asked her architect to design a garden structure in keeping with the garden’s vintage.

Hugh Maguire, an architect who does work in Pasadena and Palm Springs, designed the 11-by-13 foot structure in1995. “I had seen an old English train station ‘storefront’ at a salvage place in Pasadena,” Maguire told me when I contacted him by phone. “It had the words ‘Waiting Room’ on it”

An urn, in the garden court

An urn, in the garden court

He thinks the fanciful storefront dates to the 19th century.

Maguire discovered it years ago at Across the Street from Alice, a Mission Street salvage dealer and has had his eye on it ever since.

M’s request for a garden structure presented the perfect opportunity to use the beautiful architectural element with mullioned windows, an arched transom and detailed mill-work panels. Maguire spent around $1,200 for the salvaged facade. “Can you image what it would cost to have something like this custom made?” he asked me. No, I can’t. And that’s why I love it when designers and builders utilize materials from the past. Salvaged architectural fragments are a high art form when it comes to shed-making.

In order to build this pleasing space, a “collapsed shed” was removed. However, architect and client salvaged doors from the old structure and recycled them as cupboard doors on interior bookcases. In between the bookcases is a perfect-circle porthole window. It echoes the perfect-circle recycled brick “carpet” that now serves as the garden foyer to the little house.

a cut-away in the roof to wrap around the tree trunk

a cut-away in the roof to wrap around the tree trunk

On top of the new stucco building, Maguire added a standing seam metal roof. In one corner of the four-sided roof that caps the garden house, they had to make a cut-out – to accommodate a stately eucalyptus tree that M did not want disturbed by the construction. That’s showing serious concern for her garden and the plants she inherited!

Redwood and river rock form a rustic gazebo

Redwood and river rock form a rustic gazebo

The second shelter-shed I visited is from a different architectural era altogether. It was designed by architects Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman in 1993. Carol Soucek King, its intuitive and creative owner, calls the structure a “gazebo.” It is far from a wimpy, ultra-feminine Victorian gazebo. This is a rustic, natural edifice that is situated at the upper edge of a creek.

Using local Arroyo Seco river rock for the foundation and side wall (notice the wonderful niches that allow for pedestal candles – imagine how meditative this space will feel at twilight!) and leaving the structure covered, but open-sided, the design is a study in native, organic architecture.

According to Carol, when the gazebo’s construction was completed, the builder, stone mason and architect gathered with the Kings for a Bento box lunch “to bless it.”

“We all sat here and were very conscious that this would be a sacred place,” she told me.

In a magnificent book about Buff and Hensman’s architectural careers, the structure is described as a “lineal redwood gazebo” . . . “conceived as a refuge.”

A refuge indeed. No one could wish for a better way to experience sanctuary, solace, spiritual respite and beauty.

Here are a few more images:

Dogs and their sheds

Friday, August 1st, 2008

‘Elvis’ and ‘Nico’ are the Pleasure family’s Belgian Tervurens. They’re enjoying the warmth from the overhead heater, as they lounge in their blue pavilion in a San Francisco backyard

Driving behind a Volvo on the Ventura Highway the other morning, a bumper sticker caught my eye: “I love dogs and I vote.”

Not exactly sure what that means, but it started me thinking about the character of a dog owner. And about a funny comment my friend Lin Su made at our Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways book launch party here in Los Angeles.

“I think you had a requirement that everyone included in the book must have a dog in their life!” she maintained. Wow, what a thought. Bill and I didn’t exactly write a canine clause into the scouting notes, but perhaps subconsciously, we were drawn to animal lovers.

There is a sympathetic relationship between people who raise and care for their plants and people who raise and care for their pets. Beloved and cherished, our dogs are often the most patient and forgiving family member in our lives. Our “Zanny” (pictured, left) is certainly the cream of the crop – a rescue Lab, blond and cheerful – found wandering the streets of Yakima, Wash., at six-months of age….brought to an animal shelter in Snoqualmie. My husband Bruce discovered her photo on in 2002 – and she has lived with our family ever since. What a sweet companion and thoroughly accepting of any love she receives, often giving more than we ask of her.


“Cottage Ornee” for Solitude and Sociability

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

On July 3rd, my friends at Garden Rant invited me to be their guest-blogger. This kind and generous opportunity gave me a platform to share a little essay about my shed odyssey, the fascination I hold for tiny backyard architecture, and the experiences Bill Wright and I had creating “Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways.” I was tickled to see that Amy Stewart titled the piece “In Praise of Sheds.”

I asked Garden Rant readers to share their thoughts, ideas and inspiration in response to the question: What is your dream shed and how will you use it?  More than 30 clever readers sent in their answers, vying to win a copy of our book, and a set of note cards with our wellies-under-glass photograph (seen at left), taken by Bill while we were on location at Brenda Lyle’s outside Atlanta.

I was touched by reading so many awesome posts – you can go to Garden Rant to read them for yourself. It was a tough call, but I chose as the winner of this small contest a wonderful gardener and writer in rural Massachusetts.

Pat Leuchtman has a blog called Commonweeder. She and her husband created their “Cottage Ornee” (pronounced Cott-aaagh Or-Nay, preferably in a heavy French accent, Pat says), a stylish shed imagined first in their minds and then built by their hands. This little gem of a building resides at their “End of the Road Farm,” in Heath, Massachusetts. I was struck by Pat’s written description of its design and charmed by the narrative of how she and her husband use it. Here is Pat’s post about winning our little contest: “Cottage Ornee is a Winner”

Cottage Ornee  [Pat Leuchtman photos, here and below]

Here are some photographs, provided by Pat. I was so curious about the cottage’s creation and sent Pat several questions. Her comments appear below. I hope you find this little hut as alluring and enticing as I do. I am already scheming about how to get myself up to visit Pat one of these days. In the meantime, I am enjoying reading her delicious words, so make sure to visit Commonweeder.