Fiona’s Escape


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Antellach – The Forge

Fiona was looking for a little more space in the home she shared with her parents when she contacted us. Family is important to Fiona and being able to take care of her parents was her main priority, and so the challenge to design a fully functional art studio in her own backyard began. Fiona crafts fine, handmade jewelry and she needed a versatile space free from restrictions on her creative process. She would never be too far from home in the case of emergency, and if she felt a spark of creativity there was no lengthy commute between inspiration and creation. A backyard studio is the perfect medium for those of us with kids, pets, or other loved ones we need to stay close to, it enables us to escape for work, fun or relaxation without ever being too far away. Fiona has a large backyard with plenty of space so converting that extra square footage to a more usable, private studio was an easy decision to make. Fiona was very involved in the design process, going so far as to create her own 3D designs in Sketchup before getting in touch.

“Most builders I met with were not interested in such a small scale project as I suppose it would offer limited profitability. Others provided sky high estimates that were miles out of my reach.”

While we weren’t able to design exactly to her specifications we came together and made something we’re proud of and Fiona loves. Being involved in the creative process and helping our customers find something they truly love is one of our passions. Fiona was a delight to work with and the finished product shows the impressiveness of her vision.

Studio InteriorFiona is a multi-disciplined artist and Silversmith, a true craftsman who was looking for her own space to create freely and privately. Working with us gave her the freedom to design a space perfectly suited to her needs, both functionally and ethically. Fiona is environmentally conscious and being told her build would require a costly concrete pad that would damage her yard and risk water damage due to her properties location left her with doubts about her studio. We were able to help her by creating a fully insulated above grade foundation raised up on Perma Columns. This solution drastically reduced the amount of concrete needed, sustained her backyard landscape, and led to a beautiful studio safe from any future water encroachment. It was also important to her that the design included a small wood stove, both to heat the studio for year round use and to create a warm presence and cabin vibe. While other heating solutions are available for our fully insulated studios we were happy to oblige and the result was a highly functional studio with a beautiful look both inside and out.

Many of our customers find having a backyard studio is useful for creating a unique space separate from the home. Stepping out of the house and into your studio can put you in a new state of mind, one more conducive to working, leisure, or creativity than your home with all of it’s common distractions. The freedom of owning your own space means you can pursue whatever hobby best suits you. No need to worry about a landlord limiting your noise level or restricting you from fully enjoying your space with rules about when the space is accessible and to whom. Bring in your friends, your pets, your children and fully embrace a new space that is entirely your own.

“The crew was here two days in total from start to finish. We had an agreeable and prompt city building inspector and everything went as well as could have been expected. I’m feeling hopeful, grateful and inspired.”

Wood StoveAs with all of our builds, we prefabricated Fiona’s studio to minimize installation time and maximize efficiency. Our modular construction means we can be in and out of your space as quickly as possible, the structure was up in just two days and the interior finishing can usually be finished in just one week! Our shed models follow this same practice and can be finished in just a single day.

The final product featured a natural pine front face and galvalume steel siding. The finished interior was done with a light stained pine tongue and groove and laminate flooring. The light pine and white accents drove the contrast for her all black wood stove and black iron pipe furniture leading to a bold but ultimately clean look. Fiona’s structure features two windows and a windowed a swing door that let in the right amount of natural sunlight that she needs for her work.

What started as a simple expansion of space ultimately led to creating a home away from home for Fiona. A place where she could create freely and fully relax and be herself. For her perspective on the entire process please check out her blog.

If you’re looking to expand the space of your home we’d love to hear from you. We offer different styles, colours, and heating and cooling solutions to make sure you’re happy with your new space year round. Get in touch, or explore our gallery for more design inspiration.

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