So, this is our Home-Ed Shed! It is actually officially called "The Bookery Nook". We built it last September (2016) through to March this year, and are still putting finishing touches to it. We love it and hope you do too!
We home educate our youngest son Django - aged aged nearly 6 - and felt we needed somewhere to put all our home-ed stuff, and somewhere to fulfil magnificent projects, to create fantabulous arts and crafts and to explore whatever comes up fully (Django has a lot of questions!). We have a small orchard, old and rumble-tumbling, and had an old treehouse which needed pulling down, so we decided to put it there instead.
Once we had made the decision to build the room it also became apparent it would fulfil a second need: that of a quiet retreat space (mainly for myself as an always on the go mum) whereby I (which sometimes turns into we as it sleeps 3) can spend the evening and night out there relaxing, meditating, reading, watching the bonfire or wood burner roar and sleeping peacefully, waking gently in my own time to the birdsong and chicken squawks, oh and the neighbours dog and the occasional chatterings of a cross squirrel or the yowling of cats claiming territory, again... and then a lively 5 year old running outside in his PJs telling me insistently that he missed me!
We will also be opening it up to friends and family to use as a retreat space and may even put it onto Airbnb... we will see.
The Home-Ed Shed has many features, including a window seat that turns into a pull out/fold out bed, a wood burner, a small side room with a compost loo and a living roof (this is also the bird watching room), a pump tap that flows into a small butler sink with an outside soakaway, a drying rack for art projects, herbs or wet clothing, a sofa bed, a library with home-ed books and some alternative parenting book, as well as a childrens library area, a notice board that folds open and reveals three blackboards and a large whiteboard, a low play table that folds up against the wall to create space when needed and an outside blackboard, as well as plenty of cupboard and storage space. It is fully connected to electricity, having many lights and plug sockets.
Luckily the internet doesnt reach out that far in our garden, so we have designated it a Wi-Fi, computer, phone and TV free zone. This adds to the lovely simple feel to the space and helps focus little minds on the real task of playing, creating, exploring and being.
We keep chickens, and it is lovely to have them wandering freely around the area. We grow herbs for tea in little hanging baskets made out of old plastic bottles. We like to make birdfeeders out of old wood and scraps. We have regular bonfires and acoustic sessions round the fire pit.
The Home-Ed Shed will also be used for regular group get togethers for Django and his home-ed friends.
The main structure of the main building was made by a local shed builder and his son for us, to my exact specifications. I had spent 6 months locating all second hand windows and doors, mainly wood, all double glazed, so they incorporated them into the sizings then fitted them on site. The compost loo extension was added by myself and hubby (Cos) once the frame was up, then we set to work sorting the insides out. We lined the whole building with plywood as I wanted to be able to put shelves and pictures up wherever needed, and it is fully insulated in the floor, walls and ceilings. I then got trigger happy with my sealant gun finding even the tiniest draught holes to fill.
Ideally, we wanted to build a straw bale or cob building, but that wasnt suitable so I endeavoured to make the window and doorframes rounded off on the insides using plaster - it certainly softens all those square edges!
The fireplace was built by my fair hands using bricks from a local garden wall that was being deconstructed, then I rendered over them in a curvy design, great fun! My most favourite bit of the build for sure.
The tiny sink came from a local eBay lady, with the tap being a caravan pump tap.
The cupboards were made using a local persons kitchen cupboard doors (I asked them first!) and some wooden shelving from a local Freegler. Friends helped with the electrics and with building some of the cupboards for swaps for Tai Chi lessons from Cos.
The decking is part of the old treehouse, as is a lot of wood on the loo extension and the living roof.
Oh and little Django had a go at most things, helped make decisions, got in the way, and had great fun seeing it all get built whilst learning about sustainability and reusing/recycling.
Thank you for looking at our home-ed shed! Please leave us a comment below :-)
Sarah, Cos and Django xxx