My wife and I are in the process of [re]building a detached accessory structure beside our house to use as a home office/design studio and wood shop. As new small business owners, unplugging from work is difficult enough; we love what we do and the opportunities we have to make life better for those we serve. But having work and life co-exist under the same roof often blurs any perception of balance between the two. The Kennel, although only eighty feet from the house, will be a world of separation between the stacks of drawings on my drafting board and the stacks of dishes in my kitchen sink. We're looking forward to the daily commute across the lawn.
The design for this 1,000 square-foot project started about a year ago. It doesn't normally take that long to design such a small building, but the clients have been particularly difficult. (They won't pay the architect or interior design fees, and they want us to work on nights and weekends!) It has been a long journey, but we finally broke ground last week and hope to have a new home office within the next six months.
The original vision was to repair and re-purpose an existing 1950s concrete block building to a condition worthy of hosting clients and showing off our design work. After several conversations with a structural engineer and subcontractors to perform the repairs, we determined the cost-benefit ratio was negative.
While new construction turned out to be more appropriate, we still wanted to respect the history of the building. Over the last sixty-plus years this modest concrete structure has accommodated a variety of functions, one of which was a dog kennel (hence the name). Since we're rebuilding the new studio in the exact same footprint, we will be occupying the very space that served some important purposes over the years. And the name "The Kennel" won't be too unusual, seeing as every day will be bring-your-dog-to-work day.