the photo cottage.

Today I’m continuing the Wednesday tour of our home.  Today’s stop, the photo cottage.

This is a little building that’s out in our backyard.  I feel like it would be selling it a bit short to call it a shed, but it’s a little overkill to call it a summer house.  The people who owned the house before we did used it as a playhouse for their kids.

It has undergone several transformations since we’ve lived here.  It went from a storage area to a potting shed to a summer house, all of which were sadly underutilized.

Then in 2014 I decided to put it to use as a photo staging area.  I started by painting the interior walls and ceiling white, then painting a white & grey checkered pattern on the floor.

I have a cupboard out in the photo cottage that came with the house.  It’s a great spot for storing some of my photo props.

Although that chair stayed out there for a little while, I’m actually using it inside the house now.

I did quite a few furniture photo shoots in here originally.

But I really struggled with the lighting, and with getting the white balance right.  At certain times of the day the sun reflected off my red carriage house next door and turned everything pink.

Plus, the photo cottage isn’t really big enough to get shots from every angle.

Also, over time the painted floor started to really show its age.

I realized last summer that I needed to repaint it if I was going to continue to use it for photo shoots.  But time ran out and I never got it done.  Then I planned to paint it this summer.  And guess what?  It’s the end of summer and once again I still haven’t done it.  At this point, I’m giving up trying to accomplish it this year.  Also, I’m just not sure it’s worth the effort for a building that isn’t optimal for photo shoots anyway.

So the truth of the matter is that this little outbuilding has reverted back to its original purpose, as a storage area.  We’ll probably store our deck furniture out there this winter.  Maybe next Spring I can refresh this space once again.  Honestly, I give it a 50/50 chance of getting done.

I’m curious, what would you do with this little cottage if you had it in your backyard?




27 thoughts on “the photo cottage.

  1. Oh goodness, it’s a she shed Cheryl! I wonder if you used a ring light or led light if it would be good to photograph in there? But as you said, you can’t get specific angles correctly so even better lighting would not make it optimal. It’s adorable, maybe you can just put your small pieces in there for storage until you have time to update them. So far, no good suggestions, but I love it.


    1. I just purchased some photography lights and I was thinking they might solve some of my lighting problems out there too. I may have to give that a try next year 😉


  2. It does make a lovely potting/she shed and it looks like it would be a great place to paint furniture or at least to store a few finds until you’re ready to paint.
    If you didn’t have a place to sell furniture it would be a great spot to stage a few pieces for sale and pickup.
    Just some ideas on what I would use it for.


    1. Well, it’s not big enough to paint furniture in, or to sell furniture out of. Once I put a piece of furniture or two in there, there would barely be enough room for even just one person to move around. I may have to just start using it as a place to store pieces until I’m ready to paint them though, that’s a great option.


  3. I love your shed. Maybe it would be a good place for some yoga? Put some little speakers in there and have some time to yourself after work…it’s probably big enough for one person, but not sure if two people would be able to maneuver? Love the white walls…


    1. That would be awesome if the ceiling was just a tad taller. But as it is neither one of us would be able to put our arms over our heads in there. That pretty much rules out the sun salutation. Maybe we could make it a meditation room though!


  4. I love your little cottage! I have a similar problem. We have a one room log cabin out by our pond. It originally was a little weekend place for my brother who had special needs to stay in on the weekends. It ended up not working out, he was afraid to stay there by the wooded area by himself. I had decorated it lodge/cabin style for him. He has since passed away and there it stands. I vowed to keep it the same in case friends or family wanted to spend some time fishing etc. Well, it is just there, not being used! So…, I decided to store a few pieces in it, and now it is full of overflow from the house and other treasures. You couldn’t stay overnight, there isn’t room! I think you could use your cottage for storage, just don’t be like me and store so much stuff you can hardly get in it! Since you are able to part with things better than me #iamahoarder , you could keep things in control! Especially since you have so many non-collections to store. 😎 lol


  5. I would use it to “get away”.I abhor the term she shed. A retreat,where you could read, relax,sew, paint even ! Every woman needs a place to call her own. Love your little studio.


    1. LOL, I hate that term too. Don’t know why, just something about it is icky, right? I did try that approach, but found I never really spent time out there. If I’m going to relax it usually involves a comfy sofa and the TV (let’s be honest here).


  6. You just renewed my need to have one of these! I’d love my own space for just my things – separate from the rest of the “stuff” in the garage. Potting, my tools, storing of yard chairs and decor, etc, etc! There’s something about having a space just for yourself. Thanks for sharing – it’s a pretty little building.


  7. I love it! I would run electricity to it and use it as a sewing room, if it’s big enough. The natural light would be a blessing. My sewing room is in the basement and the lighting leaves something to be desired!


  8. Well…. we do have a little cottage once a playhouse, turned into storage, turned back into playhouse, turned to storage. So the answer to the question what would I do with it I guess would be store drywall equipment in it (under protest!).


  9. A charming little cottage space. I do love the painted floor. I helped a friend this summer paint her floor in the same pattern. I loved it. 😊 Great place!


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