Born out of a longing for a space of her own, this little outbuilding on Kathy's property has become a tasteful version of a clubhouse. On a snowy spring day we put the finishing touches on this tiny hideaway and chatted about design and notions of home. Inspired by stylist Hans Blomquist, the space is comprised of soft pastels, industrial touches, and layers of vintage fabric to pull you in. The type of place we all want to grow up into and call our own. A clubhouse for the woman who owns a dish filled with faded antique clay beads - just because. This retreat was made for her.
Like all the other rooms in Kathy’s home, the garden shed, as she lovingly refers to it, took time. Collected objects fill the space without making it feel overbearing or overly curated. Antiques and vintage pieces from different eras and styles blend into one cohesive design. Some, like the antique hospital bed with beige ticking she’s owned for years while others, like the antler side table with scalloped edges, were recent finds. Most of the smaller touches were pulled from the shop for the shoot - a mini-van full of odds and ends to make the space unfold, telling a more engaging story the more you delve into it.
The space was designed akin to the style of Maven & Grace and what the shop exemplifies - it's kind of a broad beautiful design concept. So over the sound of chickens cooing in the coop next door and nothing else, we bent Kathy's ear to talk design for small spaces.
Where do you find a sense of home?
The garden studio is great for having a room of one's own - to quote Virginia Woolf - but home is also in my garden, really anywhere outdoors, especially in the summer, and spending time with family whether it's yardwork or cooking or watching a movie.
Is it a struggle to find the patience to wait for the perfect piece?
Honestly?! I'm more the type of person who doesn't wait. I will have a stand in for a while if I really love something, and I have the advantage of selling it if I'm able to find a piece that fits even better.
How does this space reflect the shop - the intention and the design behind it?
Well, initially it was more of a writing studio for me as I was finishing my degree in English and creative writing. It was an office / writing area , but now it's become more of a sanctuary, a retreat from household responsibilities and my multi-generational family.
Is it hard to exist in a place with so much depth knowing that over time it’ll come undone?
Oh no and it certainly won't stay the same - some of the items were borrowed from the shop - but honestly letting things go and for a space to be lived in is its own sort of beauty.
Any advice for someone wanting to build their own hideaway?
I would say spend some time in the space at different times of day and while doing that consider what you intend to use the space for. Then make it functional. Surround yourself with things that inspire you or bring you joy. Don't be afraid to make it special or ever underestimate how that space can be used.
How do you tackle design in such a small space?
Pieces need to have double duties, the bed can be a couch or a bed and the table can be used for photoshoots or to write on. I think editing is important - if you're not using it or it's not bringing you pleasure then get rid of it. I recommend that in a house, but even more so in a tiny place. Layers add depth in a really beautiful way, but there's a fine line to not being cluttered.
Do you ever lament having to let go of pieces you source for the shop?
A lot of my favourite pieces I've ended up selling. You have to be able to let go and I always feel happy to let those pieces go. I know when they go to new families who are passionate about their homes they'll bring joy to others.
The antler table is a current obsession, the Beni Ourain rug and all the bedding - the antique french linen bedspread, the ticking mattress and all of the amazing textures.
On the Hunt For...
The perfect desk; the one in the photos has sold! I'd like one in a similar style but slightly bigger to fit the space.