In the backyard of a house in suburban Melbourne sits a tiny house. Tucked into the corner between the carport and fence, under the shade of a lilac-flowered paulownia tree, it was built as a cubby for two children who have since outgrown it.
After a trip to Scotland, I took to annoying my kids by calling it a “sitootery” (a small garden house that you sit oot in).
Truth be told, it was only ever used sporadically, mostly when my daughter had a friend around. We ‘camped’ in there a couple of times, with an aqua green mozzie net and an electric lantern (it was cosy and peaceful). It was the Lego room for a short while. By the time the kids were 11 and 13, it was a mini art studio.
Now the little house has a new lease on life as my tiny pottery studio. Fresh paint, lino on the floor, a couple of bargain steel-framed benches picked up off eBay (cleaned up and barely squeezed in through the window), plywood panel on one bench, shelves and pegboards attached to the wall. There’s a concrete slab on the floor for wedging, light from skylights and windows, power via an extension cord from the carport, water from the garden tap.
As the weather gets colder and the days shorter, I’ve added an extra lamp and a fan heater. A lump of clay and a podcast on my phone and I’m good to go.