From Eggs to Art

art_coopBackyard chicken coops might not be a total rarity in the urban landscape these days, especially with people seeking more sustainable food sources.  But back in the 1800s, they were as common as minivans and Starbucks outposts are in the ‘00s.

So when a Get Dwell client purchased a North Shore home dating to 1871, it was perhaps no surprise it came complete with a vintage (and run-down) poultry condo.

As a working artist, the coop didn’t hold appeal to her as a home for chickens. But, with little ones at home who were becoming increasingly interested in the materials and chemicals she used to create her works, it was attractive as an out-of-the-way, secure studio space.

art_coop3Thinking she didn’t need much more than a roof over her head and a little heat in the winter, she contacted Get Dwell about designing and constructing the maximum studio for a minimal budget.

Making the space useable required a close look at the damage time and rot had inflicted on the structure. Space was a priority, so Get Dwell removed an existing wall and added an open ceiling on the saltbox structure to provide the maximum amount of openness.

Lighting being important in art, we found and  installed two windows that matched the existing farmhouse style. They not only provided additional illumination, they provided a good view of the children when they played in the yard. We also installed a hood and an exhaust system, ensuring chemical fumes wouldn’t build up in the small space.

art_coop5The structure had a chicken-feeding window opening onto an alley, which we removed for added security. The walls were then insulated and finished with drywall and we matched interior trim to the existing exterior trim, giving the studio a timeless and cohesive look. Finally, Get Dwell installed radiant floor heat, ensuring the studio is comfortable year-round.

Our client then applied her artistic touch to the decorating, and the final product was exactly what she had hoped for – a private, inspiring retreat just steps from her backdoor.