The Garden Blogger's Retreat


It is a real pleasure to have been included in this summers program at The Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA. I was one of the five designers who reinvented a modest shed for: Living Stylishly in Nature: Re-Imagining the Humble Garden Shed. Each space is so different and brimming with ideas that it is a must see. Best part of all, if you love one, you can buy it and take it home! They are all on auction as a fund raiser for the garden. The exhibit of the sheds will be up until Labor Day 2010.

The inspiration shot that guided me through the design process. I loved the romance of the room with the fabric on the walls and the double mirrors, as well as the large windows. How to bring this into the 21 Century for a garden blogger????


I had exactly ten fun filled days on site to transform this humble building into something stylish.

This is what the interior looked like when I first arrived.

The same shed ten days later on opening day. This is where my chic imaginary garden blogger would sit while she is busy blogging. Thankfully computer batteries have improved, because the space is sans electricity. The dinky windows were changed out to a more suitable 3’ x 6’ windows which now floods the space with light. The walls are hung with my new print Chantal.

Thomas was amazing in his support and assistance through the entire project. He did the flowers. In this case that included a trip to the flower market in New York and bringing them up on the train.

I added two floor to ceiling mirrors to make the 10’0”X 10’0” space appear larger. The desk chair and small sofa are pieces from Hickory Chair which I had customized. The chair is in Ashley Plum and the small sofa is a stock heavily textured linen from Hickory Chair with pillows in my Window Box Lilac. The floor is painted from a design that was inspired by the timbering pattern of a 17th century house in Normandy. My good friend Dana Spot, who happens to be an outstanding decorative painter worked with me on the floor.

To jazz up the roof and hide the asphalt shingles, I called a local contractor Philip Bickerton. He upholstered the roof and installed the dogs. No easy feat given the dormer and the nature of heather fencing.


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Kelly Green said...

Ahh so clever and cute! What I wouldn't give for one of these at the bottom of my garden! love the colour o the doors too.......beautiful job from you and all your helpers! KG

Julio said...

Fabulous job! I love it.

Deepali Kalia Interior Design Blog Filling Spaces said...

This is so beautiful it makes me so happy:)

Acanthus and Acorn said...

If this was where I blogged everyday, I can't help but wonder if each and every post would be an inspirational masterpiece!

So very beautiful and insanely creative!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Absolutely wonderful!

Style Chronicle said...

Fabulous! You amaze me! I need you to come do a garden shed in my backyard!

The Devine Life said...

Thanks- It was a really cool project to work on. It was great just to be able to do what I wanted- such freedom in that!

Catherine Shields said...

This is my blogging dream come true - a stylish blog-shed at the bottom of the garden! Well done Michael.

pretty pink tulips said...

If I could have a garden shed retreat - this would be what I'd want! Clever, clever, clever! Well done!

The Devine Life said...

I hope all of you get a chance to see it in person. Let me know when you are going and maybe we can meet up! Or better yet- maybe a blogger party this summer????

pve design said...

Every blogger needs a Garden retreat!
Now, that deserves an illustration~
Love the color of those doors!
pve

The Devine Life said...

I think your right- it should be a illustration. The doors are Ben Moore Grape Juice.

Pink Wallpaper said...

WOW! i want your decorative painter to come and paint that on my floors! and i adore those doors :) great, great job!

Patrece said...

I want to live in there! Adorable!

rosiecampbell said...

You did a beautiful job! What a great idea, not to mention a very cool project to be a part of.

dialog said...

Really wonderful Michael.

The Devine Life said...

Thanks!

Sabine&Amy said...

adorable! xo sabine

Jess said...

our tradition on Mother's Day is to visit the Botanical Garden...and what a treat to find your beautiful shed!!! our family favorite...and yes, i can picture myself blogging!!!

Barbara said...

Wonderful, great job.
BarG

The Devine Life said...

Its great that you saw in person. Glad you liked it.

Vickie H. said...

Well, I am two weeks late to this blog post but I am thrilled I found it! Designer? How about MAGICIAN?!!
Because MAGICAL is the first word that came to me when I looked at this project in it's finished state!
I would be transported if I worked in here every day! Simply magnificent, Michael!! Too far away to visit in person I am sad to say. But I will be saving this in an inspiration file FOREVER!!!

Anonymous said...

Fun sheds, all of them. Beautiful floor and fabric in your blogging shed.

Cashon&Co said...

This is fantastic & fabulous! This is my first time to your blog and I can already tell I'm gonna love it here!

The Devine Life said...

Thay are all really cool. Its worth a trip this summer to see them.

The Zhush said...

OK, I am ready to move right into this charming "shed"!

Ideezine said...

What a show stopper. Love it all and it brings back childhood dreams of a playhouse.

Bette

red ticking said...

FABULOUS and i am sooo happy to have discovered your blog... will enjoy following along. sincerely, pam

Jennifer said...

I keep wanting to do this with alarge shed my husband was given free from a construction site that they used for their office - just one of those to-do's ... this is way cool! Jennifer jennsthreegraces

Connie Cusick said...

Wow!! What an amazing place to be creative!! I love everything about it!!!
Thanks for inspiring!! All the best, Connie

With & Where... said...

LOVE THE FLOOR!!

Mary Kay Andrews said...

Such a charming space. I love the intimacy of tiny little hidey-holes like this, and of course, you've raised the elegance bar to the max. Wonder what you'd do with my fugly Rubbermaid backyard shed?

Francine Gardner said...

This is fabulous....it reminds me of my very first homse. As a child of 10, I was given one of the garden house which were on each corner of the large vegetable garden. I had 2 small rooms and a porch, paint and fabric to decorate......Some of my best days were spent in that little garden house. Your use of the space is so clever and i am totally tempted to emulate this little masterpiece by my garden. Halas much smaller than the one I grew up by.

Alicia said...

I've pined for a writers retreat for years & this may be it!!!
Stunning comfort with a generous helping of inspirtion.
Perfection!!!
Thank you for sharing your sources too.

Fabulously french said...

I adore it and can see myself blogging there :-)

Leeann x

The Devine Life said...

It would be fun to have as a retreat. Its so comfortable and quiet. A perfect place to dream up blog posts.

Karena said...

Michael I am late to the party, howver this is just so amazing, You have transforned this space into a mimi dtream house for us bloggers! Those floors the color palette, perfect!

I would love to be on the tour!

Karena
Art by Karena

honeybeeandme said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE LITTLE BLOGING HOUSE.... CAN I MOVE IN???
THE MIRROR IDEA WAS GREAT ALONG WITH MAKING THE WINDOW BIGGER....


XXOO
MELISSA

fashionable palette said...

Wow, you have truly transformed this space. It is absolutely lovely! I would LOVE to blog in this room!

Renee Finberg said...

how fun was that??
what a lovely transformation.

Heather at Dusty Bay said...

I saw this in a magazine over the weekend - how charming!

Bambi said...

Love, love, love

Anonymous said...

Curious as to your budget? And where did you start - - with the windows, walls or the floors?

I have a shed -- WITH Electricity at the back of my parent's old homestead......12 x 20 We emptied it out and I immediately wanted to get someone in to spray paint the entire interior.....this may just put me over the edge...

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