Mini backyard barn makes perfect home office & guest bedroom

Sitting at the rear of a 1920’s sandstone cottage in Sydney’s Helensburgh, this stunning freestanding space serves as a home studio and guest bedroom for Nat Spadavecchia, the brains behind the styling and photography studio The Palm Co. “The original home already had a garage which had been converted to a dodgy granny flat, but it was termite infested. We used the bones of that to create the studio,” she says.

Nat’s gorgeous home studio/guest bedroom

Painted in Dulux Nightsky, and clad in James Hardie’s Axon vertical cladding, the studio contrasts beautifully with the main home which is a heritage-listed cottage that sits at the front of the block. “We loved the look of darker cottages, something that contrasted with the sandstone. White just felt a bit wishy-washy next to it, but we wanted this to be a bit more of a statement. You get that with the black – it’s really minimal and crisp,” says Nat who drew on Japandi elements when designing the space.

The Palm Co cottage
The studio’s kitchenette shaker style doors are clad in the same Axon cladding and painted in Taubmans Breakaway.

Stripping the garage right back to the frame, Nat was able to update and alter the position of the windows and doors which are all painted in the same Dulux shade as the exterior. A pair of beautiful false barn doors in American oak add warmth and texture. The backyard landscaping remained the same but stepping stones were added to connect the studio to the main house and a few potted plants were added for interest.

The Palm Co cottage

Used primarily as a home office, the space functions as a guest bedroom and calm oasis for Nat who explains that the main home that she shares with husband Zach and their toddler Leeroy is quite small. A great way to express yourself creatively while also increasing the value of your property, an external studio is a no brainer if you have the space, explains Nat.

“After COVID, so many people are working from home, so if you can have that already set up, it’s just a bonus. I got to a point where I was working from home a lot and the expense of an external studio on top of our mortgage just didn’t make sense.” And who could blame her for never wanting to leave the house again when she can work in such chic surrounds?

The Palm Co cottage
The flexible space can also be used for extra storage and as a teen retreat down the track

For more on James Hardie’s Axon TM cladding | For more on The Palm Co


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