Words & Photography by Karen Kirk
“As I strolled the lush property for the first time of what would become my new home, I instantly fell in love with a small outbuilding nestled in the woodlands at the base of the Niagara Escarpment behind the house,” says Glass. “Its construction was solid, the size perfect and its romantic lure undeniable. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and transform it into whatever I wanted it to be.”
After three years spent designing, renovating and decorating the original ’60s-era house, it was time for Jackie to set her sights on a fun little project – creating a garden studio – a personal oasis situated off the beaten track in the back of her verdant woodland garden.
The rustic 10’x10′ bunkie featuring lovely, solid-wood salvaged doors and mullioned windows, was about to be revived and transformed into a welcoming and functional outdoor workspace. With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s cosy little garden studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s day in July.
A splash of paint
Situated in a shady spot on the property, Jackie’s fresh colour palette was inspired by the surrounding flora. She chose fun vibrant colours for both the exterior and interior – fuchsia, aqua, ocean blue – on a background of mid-to-dark grey tones and white. “During an intense summer heat wave, I gave every surface a fresh coat of paint, including the porch extension and vaulted ceiling,” says Glass. “The bay window seat is my favourite detail in the garden shed.” Colour, cushions and suspended window vases breathe new life into this unexpected architectural detail. An eye-popping, bright fuchsia painted-wood floor is a bold choice but if not here, there’s no better place to freely express your personality.
“With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s cosy little garden studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s day in July.”
A six-foot extension off the full-width existing porch offers a spot to catch the fresh Niagara Escarpment breezes as well as the early morning and end-of-day sunlight. The natural light is essential when working on fabric and paint samples for my clients and to catch a few rays with a steamy cup of coffee or a happy-hour cocktail. Heaven!
It was important to Jackie that she maintained a rustic cabin in the woods feel to the garden studio so she decided not to run power to it. “If I ever need power, I can always hook it up to the generator outside my house. I typically work here during the day when there’s plenty of natural light but if it’s a gloomy day or in the evening, when I need light, for safety purposes, I use solar candle light in my lanterns and a rechargeable bulb from Ikea in my bamboo chandelier,” says Glass.
Create a budget-friendly modern-rustic look
To keep her little project on-budget (house renos cost money!), Jackie chose affordable, stylish and durable furnishings that appealed to the purpose and style she wanted for her garden studio. Powder-coated aluminum and glass storage cabinets to prevent rodents from making themselves at home, natural-wood furniture and accessories to provide a modern rustic look and add function to the space were the perfect choice. A kitchen island cum desk features shelves on one side and an overhang for adding stools for clients and friends. Folding stools help maximize space and can be stored efficiently against the wall when not in use. A wood ladder serves as a planter, sample storage and magazine rack. Everything has a purpose and a place.
After a long winter in a constant state of anticipation, the thought of getting back outdoors to enjoy the summer months with our family and friends is palpable. Whether you purchase a kit or restore an existing structure, a garden shed is the perfect project to kickstart your summer and release your inner designer, gardener or builder. Make it your own and you’ll enjoy it for years to come.
DESIGNED by Jackie Glass FURNISHINGS, LIGHTING, RUG AND ACCESSORIES, TOSTHULT RECHARGEABLE BULB: Ikea PORCH CHAIR CUSHIONS: HomeSense HANGING BASKETS: Hofland FAUX PLANTS: Maclaw PAINT: Floor: Tulip 2000-30; Interior: Chantilly Lace OC-65; Exterior: Iron Mountain 2134-30; Accents: Egyptian Green 2043-40, Caribbean Blue Water 2055-30; Deck: Whale Gray 2134-40
Jackie Glass, Principal Designer for her firm Jackie Glass Inc. with over 25 years of experience in the design industry. A former Editor of Reno & Decor magazine, you’ll also find Jackie sharing her design projects as a regular guest expert on Cityline. Follow Jackie Glass on Instagram @jackieglassinc and Twitter @jackieglasscity