A sobriquet coined by its builder, Gene DeSmidt, the shedteau is the chateau of sheds. Assembled with exemplary care and meticulously painted, stained, and oiled, the shedteau uses simple lines and materials. Perched on concrete piers, the building includes a cantilevered bench for seating at the small table and a workbench hung from rods. Bikes, camping gear, ladders, and all the earthquake-preparedness provisions that everybody on the West Coast should have and few do are stored inside.
Access to the shedteau is through a door made of recycled redwood with an old steel-sash window. The door rides on barndoor hardware from Richards-Wilcox. These timeless components would look at home on a steam-powered locomotive. The shedteau has its own accessories: custom bits of hardware painted the same red as the Golden Gate Bridge. Made by Andrew Williams, the custom brackets support roof braces, anchor-tie rods, and even kayak storage shelves on the back side of the little building. At 120 sq. ft., the shed didn’t have to go through a daunting permit process, and placed in the northwest corner of the lot, the building provides privacy for neighbors on both sides. It’s a classic example of site repair: Improve the lot by building on the least desirable portion of it. The grapevine pompadour turns crimson in the fall.
For more of Laura Hartman and Gene DeSmidt’s work, see “The Big Back Porch” (FHB #240).
Design: Laura Hartman, Berkeley, Calif.; fernauhartman.com
Construction: Gene DeSmidt, Oakland, Calif.; desmidtdesignbuild.com
Photographs: Charles Miller
Behind the scenes
Under an extended roof, custom threaded-rod brackets provide off-the-ground storage for kayaks.