It seems like whenever I read a success story some idea was formed in a shed or a garage. Have you noticed that? It's a riot. From computers to candles, I imagine garages and sheds all over the world with this glow around them and little light bulb moments by the millions happening every second. I was telling my husband just yesterday that I need a shed! And we had a good laugh about that. But it's so true, when one has a space of their own to go a bit wild in from a creative standpoint, so many cool things can result.
I guess that's why I love what Artemis Russell and her husband Nao Utsumi have done to be creative at home. Nao is from Japan but has lived in England since he was 18 and his wife, Artemis, is from the Isle of Wight. They live in England and write the lovely blog Junkaholique but that's not all... They spend their days collecting and gently restoring vintage things from the UK and France to sell in their online shop (THE BUCKET TREE) but they also make gorgeous jewelry that they also sell online (RUST) -- all created in their individual workspace - sheds! Not one but two sheds! Artemis sews and weaves and makes things in her crafty shed and Nao does his work in his cool shed too. I mean, hello - how inspiring is this?
In our home, my husband has his own creative workshop - it's a room where he has his computer, instruments, photo equipment, collections, books, everything he loves is in "his room". And then I have "my room", a large light-filled workspace with a massive table for spreading things out, crafting, hosting girly nights, stuff like that. And then we have our bedroom and other common areas where we mix and share the space. I am a big believer in sheds, garages, attics, basements or spare rooms (even corners of rooms) where a person carves out their own space that their partner doesn't interfere with - so in my husband's room I don't influence any decorating decisions and I certainly let him have his privacy and I never touch his collections - I never walk in without knocking first - it's his space and I respect it. As a result, he is very creative and happy and in there he composes music, takes photos, writes and then of course does his "day job" as well. It works so nicely.
When we are little children, if we don't share bedrooms with our siblings, we normally have our own bedroom. That's where we dream, create, work, explore, imagine. Then we grow up and get married or partnered up and we're expected to merge everything into one space and it's hard! We do it because it's part of being adults we reason, and because the more rooms you have the more expensive it costs to live, but often there is one partner who really wishes that they had their own space and from the homes I've worked in on decorating projects, it's usually the guy who sacrifices so his partner can have her sewing room. This is very generous, and though some guys just don't care to have their own "zone" I think many wish they did -- and I imagine it's really hard to not have a room to be creative in especially if a person is naturally curious and creative.
Everyone has different needs, of course, but it's good to see if your partner has those needs for a corner or room to use just for them because it's assumed, sadly, that, "Most men just don't care" and I believe some really do - at least most men I've met love the idea of having a media/computer room or a place to display their collections, etc. An "escape" from the rest of the family is good sometimes!
In my house, we both need our space. We had to pay more to find a place to live in with enough rooms to accommodate both of our needs for creative workspace, but it's worth every penny because we both get so much more done than if we didn't have these rooms to work and dream in. In our rooms we even invite over our friends and often my friends hang out in my room and vice versa, he'll have the guys over a few times a week and they hang out in his room and watch films, talk, listen to music, etc. which is nice for me because then I have the whole house to myself. I think this comes from how we were raised though, my grandparents always had their own space. My grandmother had her room with her piano and my grandfather had his photography room upstairs. My other grandparents had their own space too, my grandfather converted an area below his barn for his projects and my grandmother had her room for sewing, etc.
I love when couples have their own space to be creative if they require it - and I'm all for using whatever you have to make it work, even if that means building little sheds in your backyard or carving out a spot in the basement or even in a closet like Gregory Han has in LA. It's really important to do whatever you can to be creative and to make space for that. Creative people who are involved in making, creating, doing work they enjoy - even hobbies after work - are some of the happiest people on earth.
See more photos of Artemis' shed here.
Photos of Nao's shed.
Their vintage wares shop.
Do you and your partner share workspace or do you each have your own nook? How does it work for you? Does your partner ever express a need to have their own space to do things they love? Thoughts?
(images: Artemis Russell)