Collection by Erika Heet

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.
Deeds, a lifelong sailboat racer, designed her own “burgee” atop the studio to brighten things up and “make it not look...
The glass-and-aluminum front door, from Loewen, was salvaged from another project.
The southern wall, which has the most exposure and faces the California buckeye tree, is integral to the studio’s...
Frodo relaxes before a wood detail inspired by the concrete corner of architect Steven Holl’s Chapel of Saint Ignatius...
The couple’s family and housemates celebrate the completion of the studio.
Embedded LED lighting allows the studio to glow at night.
Inside, Deeds created a wall-to-wall sofa (supported by a square steel tube) with storage drawers underneath.
The opposite end of the structure has a low clearance of five-feet, nine inches to reduce exterior volume and...
Deeds hung a single Louis Poulsen PH5 lamp from the ceiling; its blue and red interior paint “is very friendly to human...
The floor plan.
The section shows the simple, efficient interior elevation.
The siteplan.
McBride, breaking ground.Image courtesy Deeds...
The 30-percent Fly Ash foundation, with formwork and rebar.
The framing goes up. Image courtesy Deeds...

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