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A Backyard Garage Becomes an Artist's Studio

See how a slipcover maker turned a backyard garage into an industrial-chic sewing studio.

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Photo: BOB FARLEY/F8PHOTO.ORG, Bob Farley ©

The Sewing Shack

Artist, writer and gardener Michelle Reynolds makes slipcovers and fabric art in her quaint-yet-funky backyard studio in Birmingham, Alabama. Here, she gives us a tour of the cleverly designed space, in her own words.

The studio (a.k.a. the sewing shack) is a fairly new structure that was built to blend in with the 1927 Spanish-style house that it sits behind. But they’re not a perfect match; the sewing shack — designed by architect Anthony Oliver — was given a bit of a modern vibe with its metal roof and glass garage door.

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Photo: Bob Farley/f8FPhoto, Bob Farley ©

Balance of Style

The acid-stained concrete, a glass rollup door, and galvanized metal light fixtures add industrial touches to the cozy-style rustic beams and vaulted tongue-and-groove ceiling. My homemade curtains, appliqued fabric art and varying shades of green add warmth to the white-washed walls of the sewing shack.

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Photo: Bob Farley/f8FPhoto, Bob Farley ©


Metal hardware and a galvanized chain-link fencepost made the perfect hanging rod for the $10 coverlets that I turned into curtains. I hung the curtains high enough to hide the mechanics of the glass wall.

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Photo: Bob Farley/f8FPhoto, Bob Farley ©

Window Treatment Mechanics

Twill tape and recycled bead-chain allowed me to turn coverlets into curtains with an industrial twist. The chains glide with ease over the fence-post curtain rod.

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