Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our New Addition

Now Playing -  Take On Me by Ah-Ha

Life -  
 Back in October of 2011, we bought a little 8x8 shed from Home Depot for our front yard. They came out and installed it and I spent a few days installing insulation, cheap walls and painting it, transforming it into my Fortress Of Smallitude. (The post on that is HERE)

It wasn't the best place in the world, but it was cozy and worked for an afternoon retreat - sculpting, artwork, etc. Eventually, as Deeply Dapper took over our household, The FOS was transformed into a wood prep and painting shack. It's now used more than ever, but every inch of it is covered in paint and sawdust and skull dust in every crack and crevice.

The entire process of getting the shed was awesome though. Home Depot was great to work with and Sheds USA, the company that installed them was professional and fast. SO when we realized Lindsay's room in the house, formerly her office/writing room was going to have to be converted to an office/stockroom for Deeply Dapper, we decided she needed a little retreat and headed back to the Depot.

We went a bit bigger this time, opting for an 8x12 one with six foot high walls. While the 8x8 was fine for my art room, Linz has a nice day bed she wanted to include and the 4 foot walls on the FOS made the place a little claustrophobic. The installation was just as slick as before. One guy, a couple of hours and we had our new room - The Writing Cottage!

The sheds come unlined, unpainted, essentially a place for tools or a mower, but with a little bit of effort and a couple of hundred bucks, you can make a pretty comfy room. For this one, we decided to leave the upper rafters uncovered and painted them a nice creamy white. We'd initially planned to run a set or two of net lights along the rafters, but later decided it was too bright and looked bad. For the FOS, we lined the walls in thick, heavy plywood, which was pretty simple and reasonably priced - $18 a panel. While at Home Depot, we noticed a thinner, laminated board that I think is used for underflooring when laying carpet, but I'm not actually sure. It was a lot cheaper than the plywood - $4 less a panel, and quite smooth, so we went with it instead. We also picked up an additional window to install in the side of the shed to let in some light and airflow.
The paneling, while lightweight and looking much better than the plywood, ended up being harder to install. It was quite flexible, so instead of just slapping it up and screwing it to studs, I had to line up the edges with the studs or create a system of supports behind the edges to prevent gapping. It was also harder to cut than the plywood due to its tendency to sag while cutting it. All said though, I still liked it better for the Cottage. It ended up looking nice and smooth. The window went in pretty well too.
I didn't spend as much time with it as I could have - a few of the walls were a bit gappy and not everything lined up perfectly, but that was okay - we aren't really planning to use it for more than a year or so. If this was going to be her writing retreat for years and years, I would have done it up right. As it was, it turned out pretty great. I used the excess panels we bought to add a second layer of flooring, covering the small gaps in the original floor that could have let in cold air or insects.

Then it was Linz's turn. She painted nearly the entire thing by herself, using a pink-beige-orange color called Butternut. Which pretty much looks exactly like a butternut squash. It's interesting. At first I was afraid it would be too orange or pink, but it looks very different at times of the day and now that furniture is out there, it looks quite nice.
After the initial paint job, we hit Home Depot again to buy some cheap trim. There were just enough little goofy jagged lines that we figured that would help tie the room together. Oh yeah, we also needed a rug.

Generally speaking, trim and edging is sold by the foot at hardware stores, which can get quite expensive, quite fast but if you look, there's usually some pretty dirt cheap options that sell by the piece instead. They're usually a composite thing, made to line cheap apartments and mobile homes. (Our entire trailer is trimmed in the stuff.) We bought a bunch and planned to paint them the blue Linz had picked out for the accent color. In the end, it took twice as much time and paint as it should have - the cheap trim is so slick that the paint just doesn't stick. It's meant to be hung without adding color, which is what we'll do next time.
While there, we also noticed some wall panels that were even cheaper than the ones we bought, down on the bottom by the trim. They're all the fake "Board" lined panels that you see in 70's houses, but it would have saved us $70. Oh well.

At any rate, the Cottage looks pretty great now. We've built a couple of shelves that need to have the painting finished and I haven't made her curtains yet, but aside from that, it's pretty cozy. I'll post more pictures later.
Now it's time for her to write some books!


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