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A Glossary of Garden Houses

By February 2, 2010November 22nd, 20114 Comments
by Julie Moir Messervy

After spring arrives and the cabin fever passes, you’ll long for a cozy garden house to get away in. Here are some images to inspire:

L: Colorful ice fishing shanties in Saguenay, Canada; R: Alpine shed from Kevin Pezzi.

The news of the day is that the groundhog saw his shadow—six more weeks of winter. House-bound as we are in these frigid Northeast temperatures, this is the time of year when men flee to ice-fishing shelters and skaters enjoy cocoa in a warming hut by an icy lake. I long to curl up with a book and a cup of tea in a little house of my own—a far-away place that’s just the right size for dreaming.

L: One of the sheds featured in Stylish Sheds by Debra Prinzing;R: cover of Stylish Sheds. Photos: William Wright.

I’m inspired by my friend Debra Prinzing’s award-winning book Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations, published last year by Crown Publishing Group. In it she shows a wide range of little houses, diminutive outdoor away rooms set on small sites in lovely landscapes. Some of the sheds featured in Stylish Sheds are shown below, followed by a collection of inspirational little buildings from various designers, architects, and builders. Enjoy this glossary of garden houses for the mind gardener* in each of you.

*From page 58 in my book The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning.

L: A corner gazebo in Seattle; R: A bright blue shed adds a bit of color. Photos: William Wright.

L: A phone booth-inspired tool shed; R: A sunny getaway shed. Photos: William Wright.

Tree Houses:

L: UK sculptor Clare Wilks’ willow tree house; R: A tree house in Hokkaido, Japan.

L: A Vermont tree house by Harry Hunt Architects; Rtop: Sculptor Dre Wapenaar’s Treetents; Rbot: An egg-shaped tree house by German tree house builders Baumraum.

Fun Colors and Shapes:

L: The Archipod garden office; R: The Arisio Toro garden lounge by Bangkok-based designer Gaspard.

L: Another colorful Northwest garden shed; R: The wooden M-velope Two from artist Michael Jantzen.

Tea Houses:

L: A Connecticut Japanese Tea House; R: A Tea House in the UK.

L: An indoor Tea House design; R: The Zen Teahouse by SuttonBeresCuller.

Pre-Fabricated but Customizable:

Two happy customers’ takes on the Seattle-based Modern Shed: L: a lime green retreat; R: clean, bright & white.

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