the summer house.

Another rite of spring at the Carriage House is the opening of the summer house.  I call it the summer house because it sounds fancy.  I base it on this definition:

summer house or summerhouse has traditionally referred to a building or shelter used for relaxation in warm weather.[1] This would often take the form of a small, roofed building on the grounds of a larger one, but could also be built in a garden or park, often designed to provide cool shady places of relaxation or retreat from the summer heat.

summer house collageWe’re pretty sure that this little shed was used as a play house by the previous owner’s daughter, although it was nothing more than bare wood inside when we bought our house.

We added the window at the back and a potting bench and originally used this as a potting shed.  But, it turned out to be impractical because it was hard to get the dirt out all the time.  I am a messy gardener.  It’s easier to just pot things up in place in the garden.

So, I decided to turn it into a cute little summer house.  It’s very pink and girly.  I keep my favorite bird china out there.

2014 spring blog12

But, it needs some freshening up this year.  I’m kind of done with pink.  And the thing is, I rarely actually take the time to just sit out there.  I’m far too busy for that.  So I’ve thought about going in a whole new direction.

I feel like the sky is the limit with what I decide to do out there.  It’s just a shed.  I can go a little crazy if I want to.  To be honest, that is almost a problem because I can’t decide what direction to take.

How about a writing shack?

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

This would look really cool, but I don’t have a laptop so I wouldn’t likely do much writing out there.  I’m pretty sure Mr. Q wouldn’t drag his stuff out there either.

Perhaps a comfy spot for napping?

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

I have taken a nap or two out there though, and in the end it kind of creeps me out.  Anyone could just sneak up and scare the crap out of me.

I’ve also thought of a little al fresco dining pavilion.

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

But it’s a little small.  We could probably only fit two diners comfortably.  I have a very nice patio dining set already, just steps away.  We dine al fresco all summer long.  It could make a nice alternative in case of rain, but if it’s raining do we want to dash from house to shed with food?

I could really use another bathroom!  Secretly I kind of love the idea of an outdoor bathroom.

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

In this climate, it would never work.  I could only use it 4 months out of the year.  The pipes would freeze every winter.  And I don’t even have electric out there, let alone water.  Obviously this is never going to happen.

After considering all of my options, I think I have come up with a plan.  I could paint the walls and floor white, and haul pieces of furniture in there for photo shoots.  It will become my tiny little photo studio.  One problem is the window in the back, I would need to cover that up to avoid back-lit photos. I could build a backdrop wall with vintage wallpaper like this fabulous example from pinterest.

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

 I’m sure I can come up with some sort of plan for that.  I’m not quite sure how difficult it might be to get the furniture in and out of there, but I’m pretty sure Mr. Q and I can handle that.

I wish I could say that I’d spend a lot of time leisurely dining out there, or taking naps, or writing a fabulous novel, but I know myself and it ain’t gonna happen.  So, why not turn it into a space that I could really use?  I think I’m going to go for it.

What do you think?


13 thoughts on “the summer house.

  1. I like the napping room but I think the photo shoot is a lot more practical. I like the dining area too but I really like sitting on the deck in the open much better, besides there wouldn’t be room for Mr. Q when I come to visit.


  2. Brilliant idea to use it photo shoots, at least in the warm months, doesn’t have heat right? Can’t see carrying pieces in your deep snow I stupid me you could shovel a path. Been long time since I’ve lived in snow country.
    Cannot believe this has not been on Fifi O’Neill’s Romantic Country or Romantic Prairie publications. Not a pink gal myself but this is adorable. Love everything the plates too.
    Thanks for the lovely earrings. The entire package was so awesome I didn’t want to open it. Were you an art major? You definitely have some serious talent.


    1. I’m glad you got the package! I was pretty much the exact opposite of an art major! An accounting major! As for the shed, you are correct, no heat. Would be very cold for photo shoots in winter (although yes, we could shovel a path to the door). It will likely only get used about 4 or 5 months out of the year no matter what I do with it.


  3. All of your ideas for the summerhouse sounded great until you got to the practicalities. That kills the romance in a hurry. Congratulations on a fine solution. A ready made backdrop for photos seems like a win-win to me.


    1. I agree. It all sounds great, but sometimes you just have to admit that you just aren’t really going to get much use out of a lovely summer house.


  4. All of the scenerios you discussed were, at some point, doable. It’s just not practical. And as an accountant, you know your more practical side will usually win out. That being said, I love the idea of using it to “stage” your pieces. Would be great to have 3 or 4 different backgrounds and then choose just the right piece to accent your color scheme for whatever piece of furniture you are selling. At this point, I think you would pretty much need to incorporate at least one background with something that shouts “French”…..


  5. Quelle Horreur about ripping out the newel post is right!!! I can hardly watch Salvage Dawgs or shows like it because my heart races when they tear out things that should be preserved. Argh! Some people’s taste, amiright? Love the camping stool you found. I just did a hunting/fishing room for my 3 boys and put 2 of them at the end of the bunkbeds. They feel boyscouty to me. I do love the idea of a studio. You’ve said before that the colors around the pieces influence how they photograph, so a white room is a perfect solution. However, it’s beautiful as is! I see your summer house when I come to the carriage house sales and contemplate locking myself in there for a good long while 😉


    1. I know! I watched one episode of Salvage Dawgs where they were tearing down a gorgeous house in the south somewhere. It was so sad to see it go. It’s so sad that some of these places are beyond saving.


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