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In the Shed

12 March 2015

In the Shed

In the Shed is a design studio and stationary boutique owned by Shed of the Year 2010 entrant, Nicola Rust. Nicola’s shed is her home from home where she is able to let her graphic design talents come to life.

Here Nicola tells us how she got started, shares her love of her wonky shed, and her adorable Chihuahua, Boo.


How did it all start?

Whilst I was at University I was desperate for a studio space. I was a messy design student and my design bits and bobs where beginning to take over the whole house. There was no one place where I could truly work in peace. Then I had a bit of a brainwave, I needed a shed.

My friends thought I was mad, but I thought it was a stroke of genius and I had a vision. After a bit of a search we found someone selling a huge shed second hand for quite cheap and all of my family chipped in to get it and build it in my parents back garden.

Obviously a shed isn't suitable as a permanent work space without a little adjustment, how did you make it work for you?

We insulated the walls and the floor with some good quality house insulation and packed out the walls with MDF and plywood. We put lino down on the floor and carpet to give it extra protection and we ran electrics from the house so I could have lighting and plug sockets for my computer. My husband is an electrician which meant that he was able to do all of that.


Did you have a theme in mind when you started decorating?

When I first moved my studio in the shed I got a lot of furniture second hand and used storage from my bedroom that I already had. Decoration wise, I just kind-of winged it at first. I've adapted the decor as I've gone along and now it looks like a nearly finished room.

How did the shed go from your part-time studio to your business space?

After university I worked for a number of design agencies and also freelanced alongside. In 2009 I was made redundant from my agency job and it felt like the perfect time to start my own business. At the time, my husband and I lived close to my parents which meant that I could ‘go to work’ in my shed but I also had the comforts of being able to go into the house.


What is your favourite item in your shed?

That’s a really tough question, I think my favourite thing is the shed itself. It’s very wonky and everything is on an angle from the walls to the windows, but I love that, it’s quirky and it has its own personality.

One day I may get an extension on it or buy a new one, but it’s my space and I adore it. So does my gorgeous Chihuahua, Boo, who sits with me in my shed and curls up on my lap whilst I'm working.

Would you still set yourself up a shed now if you ever moved home?

Well we recently moved to a new house, but it happens to be behind my parent’s house so I have my own gate where I have a very short commute to work. However yes, if we move I will definitely build a shed to work from.

Setting up my own shed is absolutely the best thing and my favourite thing that I've done. It’s so much bigger than most extensions or spare rooms and doesn't come at a really silly cost like adding rooms to houses does.

Nicola spends most of her working time In the Shed and works with clients both nationally and internationally. She designs bespoke stationery for weddings and parties take a look at her blog to find out more about Nicola and see examples of her work.

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