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Small Wonder

On a quaint, tree-lined street in Berkeley, California, architect Sarah Deeds of Deeds Design and carpenter John McBride placed a 120-square-foot office/art studio near their main house, a renovated 1906 Victorian, on a 3,100-square-foot lot. “Since it was a design/build project, I had the luxury of changing the project as needed during construction,” says Deeds, who was able to easily accommodate unanticipated developments for the studio, which she planned as an irregular pentagon shape to maximize interior space. Deeds used salvaged and FSC-certified wood for the construction, formaldehyde-free fiberglass and denim insulation, a door left over from a previous project, and no-VOC paint, stains and finishes. Adding to what she calls the clubhouse feel, Deeds put in a large south-facing high window overlooking an existing deciduous California buckeye tree that provides shade in the summer, and painted a bright “burgee” detail atop the exterior, milled from a fallen tree. “It’s like a little fort,” says Deeds.

The studio’s redwood siding was milled from trees salvaged from a road-widening project in Sonoma County, California. The hardware, “two-hundred dollars’ worth of stainless-steel screws,” says Deeds, was purposefully left exposed as an architectural detail. Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

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