Caymans

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Step Inside Three Dreamy Backyard Retreats

Step Inside Three Dreamy Backyard Retreats

Move over "she-shed." These three sophisticated chic sheds take the garden house to a whole new level.

Part greenhouse, part creative studio, these three sunlight-drenched spaces are nestled in equally inviting backyard gardens. Each is cleverly constructed of salvaged windows (over 200 in total!) and other architectural pieces, then artfully filled with meaningful collections and one-of-a-kind antique finds that reflect the owner and her passions. Grab a glass and come on in for a personal tour!

#1 The Backyard Studio

Barbara Adkins, owner of Black Sheep Antiques, takes us inside her 480 square foot nature-filled drawing room in Alabama.

"You can't beat the view. From any perch, you can take in glimpses of our property's barn, gardens, pastures, and house. It's the perfect lookout point," says Barbara.

Salvaged Window Count: 48.

If You Look Closely You’ll Notice: The windows are hinged across the top so they can open to catch the cross-breeze.

Best Junking Find: Those blue front doors—that’s the original paint!


On one side of the retreat, a set of vintage rattan provides a casual living room setting for long lazy afternoons of lingering.

My Design Inspiration in Five Words or Less: Victorian greenhouse meets Alabama farmhouse.

This Space Is Best Enjoyed With: A glass of red wine.


This sunny art studio inspires plenty of creative repurpose ideas: an antique dining table-turned-desk and a music stand-turned-easel.

Out Here You’ll Find Me: With a paintbrush in hand.

I Also Love To: Use the space for hosting dinner parties.


A neighboring potting shed provides Barbara a spot to display her large terra-cotta collection.

I Have a Serious Green Thumb When It Comes To: Jonquils, oxeye daisies, Lady Banks roses, and garden phlox. Just depends on the season!


#2 The Hobby House


Out Here You’ll Find Me: Doing everything I can’t do in the house, like spray-painting and flower pressing.

I Also Love To: Host flower-arranging workshops.

If You Look Closely You’ll Notice: The potting bench my husband built me has running water. All my projects are messy—I need a spot to clean up!


“Almost every part of my ‘tinker’ house was collected during the renovation of my family’s fifth-generation, circa 1890s farmhouse. I even topped it with the home’s original mismatched door hardware," says Donna.


Hinged together, salvaged French doors add decorative oomph to an outdoor seating area just off the garden house.

Here, the Magic Hour Is: 3 p.m. in the summer. The front windows sparkle when the sunlight hits.

This Space Is Best Enjoyed With: Sun tea made right on site.


#3 The Garden Retreat


Out Here You’ll Find Me: Planning, potting, pruning, and anything else related to gardening.

I Also Love To: Sit here on a rainy day and pore over antique gardening books.

If You Look Closely You’ll Notice: The side entrance has a sliding barn door and is extra wide so I can bring in a wheelbarrow.


Here, the Magic Hour Is: Evening! Thanks to hanging lanterns and a collection of oil lamps, it looks like a little jewel box all lit up.

This Space Is Best Enjoyed With: White wine when I have friends over; a cold glass of water when I’m working.


Best Junking Find: An antique door that I turned into a French trumeau-style mirror.


A collection of vintage flower frogs act as sculptural art on the zinc-topped table. My Design Inspiration in Five Words or Less: Country French all the way.

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