Friday, January 6, 2012

In Praise of Potting Sheds or The Papier-Mâché Shark Space.

The Hybrid Handmade Husband and I often talk about 'Papier-Mâché Shark Spaces'.  These are spaces where the floor is impermeable.  It wipes clean, although, it doesn't even matter if a bit of detrius is left behind.  These spaces are places where projects can be left unfinished, you can dash out, have your tea, and come back and pick up where you left off.  The furniture is solid but not precious.  In fact, nothing about this space is precious, lacquered or polished in any way shape or form.

Page 70, 'Home' by Anita Kaushal, photo by Penny Wincer, published by Thames and Hudson
It's a space were you can make mistakes and spill stuff.  It's a space where imaginations can grow.

Ever since I spotted this image in Anita Kaushal's beautiful book entitled 'Home' I've thought about and talked about how essential it is for a house to have such a space as this.  I've thought about how perhaps it is necessary to let go of the 'House Beautiful' image and create more durable spaces with finishes that are robust and materials that age and patinate rather than scratch and stain.

I thought about how great it would be to design a house that would have spaces like this.

Painting the Dragon in the Potting Shed, Cari-Jane Hakes, 2010
As I cut down our finished dragon from the strings that were holding it aloft in the potting shed I suddenly reailsed that I already have a Papier-Mâché Shark Space!

Morning Coffee and Drawing, Cari-Jane Hakes, 2010
They are everywhere in our home!

To find out more about Anita Kaushal's work click here to access her beautiful website.

Bon Weekend mes amis.


  1. I would love the foresight of having a designed space, I just spend my time sponging paint off soft furnishings and scuffing the parquet flooring. As Mater would say, that was a great day, look, I have a new dent! Hx

  2. Indeed! We can learn a lot from Mater! As I type I am instructing my small boys to clean the paint off the tiled floor in our living room - at least it is wipe clean (and the cushions have escaped this time).

  3. Sadly our home is WAY too small for a shark space (I am always going to use that now lol) Now having read your post a shark space room is going into the plans of my dream home. It would be amazing to have a space like this, both my children love doing arts and crafts so having a room like this would give us hours of fun!

    1. I think a garage could be a pretty good shark space - anywhere with a non-precious floor would work. In any case, I'm very pleased that this space is now on your 'dream home' list!


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