Kelly Rae gets a TINY Art House, Part 1

Sep 13, 2017 | Home + Studio Tours, Studio Tours

Remember way back when I decided to let my large and beautiful studio go? Shortly after that, I moved my studio into a spare bedroom of my house while I dreamt up some plans for a sweet tiny art cottage to go in our backyard. The idea has always been to simplify, and boy have we done that.

All of these months later, the tiny little art cottage is done. I’m calling her Moxie Mabel Mae The Art Cottage. She is small in size, but fierce in inspiring vibes. I’ve been working in this tiny studio for a few months now, and all I can say is that I FREAKING LOVE IT HERE.

I’ve been thinking long and hard why I prefer it over all the large + gorgeous studios I’ve had over the years. And there are many reasons (I love being at home, lots of ebb and flow between home life and work life, no commuting, way more efficient/sustainable), but the biggest reason I think is that when I was a little girl, I ALWAYS longed for a club house/dollhouse/treefort.

This is my adult version of the fort I always wanted as a kid. It looks like a fort, feels like one, and is super cozy just like a fort. Even better, it’s really all the space I need to do what I do. Hello simple living!

Let me give you a tour!

Starting with the art cottage, we have begun an entire backyard remodel. Here, the demo has started, and the tiny art cottage concrete and base are in.

For those of you interested, we chose to work with Joneses Distinctive Sheds to create the cottage as they are known for building structures for our rainy and cold climate. I did consider converting a TUFF shed into a cottage but I really needed the weather proofing, etc.

Walls are going up! As you can see, LuluButterButterBean was around for the construction.

Here she is finished with roof, windows, and flower boxes. She is just 8×10, and perfect.

On to the inside……..

My dad (Greggie) put in two large extra windows (must get all the light I can), covered the walls with shiplap, wired it for electricity, and installed the lighting. I am so grateful!

Once he was done, my mom and I painted the shiplap white (White Dove from Benji Moore), the floor a dark brown (sorry, I can’t remember the color!), the ceiling a grayish blue (Woodlawn Blue by Benji Moore), and door is a mix of greens and yellows that I had.

I then hung up my paintbrush chandelier I made many moons ago.

My whole family woke up early one morning to help me paint the outside. I decided to paint it RockPort Gray (Benji Moore) because it’s the same color as our living room and I wanted the cottage colors to coordinate with that room because you’ll see the cottage when looking out its windows.

I found a lovely rug on that matches the flower boxes and the floor paint so well.

And here she is all lit up! After living with her for a bit, I’ve decided to add a bird cupola atop the roof. Looking for just the right one (if you know of any great sources, let me know!).

In part 2, I’ll give you the tour of the inside! Stay tuned!



Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (34 comments)
  1. Karen

    I Loooove your studio!!
    I too had Jones Distinctive Sheds build my backyard Studio! It is perfect!! The Saltbox design makes for a wonderful space and blends perfectly in any backyard.
    Love your color scheme too!!

  2. Linda Owen

    Oh this is sooooo darling. It gets me so inspired just looking at it! Your colors and whimsy shout fun and joy! Love love love it!

  3. Martin Smolka

    This really looked like a pain in the ass project. But love the results!

  4. Melissa Pierson

    It looks perfect! My husband has been offering a garden shed for me, but I think I’d rather have something like this. May you have lots of joyful hours in there 🙂

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you!!

  5. Dedra

    I Absolutely Love It!!!
    This is a Dream come true!!!

  6. carol

    Your art house looks wonderful and cozy and a joy to be in. The cupola will be the icing on the cupcake. 🙂

  7. Chris O'Connor Koski

    It is lovely! I want one now! Lol. Thanks for 😁Sharing and looking forward to The inside tour!!😁🎉💥🎊❗️

  8. Bev

    L o v e l y✨✨✨

    • Lindy Gaskill

      It’s so beautiful. I’m inspired! I’m working on remodelling a shed into an art studio right now. It’s a lot of work! Can’t wait to see the inside of yours for more inspiring ideas! Enjoy!

  9. Linda Varos

    Kelly Rae, She EXUDES your joyfulness! I can feel it right through my computer.
    Thanks for sharing the tour.

    Big Smiles and Hugs,

  10. Gina Lento

    Totally cool! I have been wanting to take over our hot tub “room” for a while now, to do something similar. My husband keeps finding a way to keep the hot tub running, although it doesn’t get used very much. What’s nice about the hot tub room is it has a potty! I wouldn’t have to leave it when nature calls! Anyway, how do you heat your little dream house? Or get to it when it snows?

    • Linda Rupard

      Gina I have a unit in window that is both heater .& air condition like Motels have . Isn’t this a wonderful little art house?

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      I am sending wishes to you for the new space you envision! I have super insulated floor/walls and because the temps are quite moderate here, i can get away with a portable heater (small one).

  11. Lorrie

    Oh my word… she is BeaYOUtiful!!!!

  12. Gayle

    What an inspired and special space 💕 Love the flower boxes and windows! I can visualize bright and happy flowers adorning your art haven! Thanks for sharing 🙂 This inspires me to give my studio/extra bedroom a fresh look!
    All the best to you Kelly Rae 🙂
    Gayle 🌸

  13. karen marie regina

    So perfect and beautiful…can’t wait to see the inside

  14. sharon stanley

    well that’s a precious little ‘play’ house if ever there was one!

  15. michelegrace

    I love the inspiration you be in everything you do! Thank you for sharing this journey. I now want a she-shedd.

  16. Ellen

    Love it! I have been dreaming of doing something like this in the future. Your project inspires me to stop the waiting and start the planning!! Colors are beautiful and remind me of some of your favorites from your on-line classes. Congratulations and thanks for sharing wholeheartedly with us, as you always do!!

  17. Latifa

    Ohhhh….I love it!

  18. Liz

    This is so lovely – thank you for sharing with us. I love the colours and can’t wait to see the inside. Also: I’m loving the paintbrush chandelier. That is truly inspired. As we’re moving into a new place soon I’m looking at all the things and finding inspiration all over.

  19. Kathy

    It is so cute! I love it! I think I might need one of those too! So happy for you that it is all coming together. I can’t wait to see the inside.

  20. Ginette

    Kelly Rae, what an awesome gift you have given the little girl inside of you and the grown up woman too. It is so nice that your family has helped you with creating this for yourself. I’m really looking forward to seeing the inside. Thank you for sharing this with us all. Hugs <3

  21. Jodi

    Thank you So Much for the tour!! I can identify with that desire to have a fort/tree house since you were a child. It’s so great to see how your art and life and where you make your art has evolved over the years. Thank you for sharing so much of your colorful journey with us. May your art cottage always bring you joy!!! Looking forward to part two! 🦋

  22. Kajal Dhabalia

    You can feel the love emanating from your perfect little studio! Can’t wait to see the greatness that comes out from it! Happy wishes and love for your new space!

  23. Debbie

    I’ve been waiting for this post. Thank you so much for sharing your process. It’s never too late to build your “fort”! It’s lovely.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Never too old, indeed.

  24. Robin Black

    Perfect! I love your design sense!

  25. Janine

    Sooo nice! I wish I could have a nice little studio like that. Hopefully one day.

  26. Megan

    This is beautiful!!! I real labor of love and I am thrilled for you!!!!

  27. Sherri

    She is precious. Can’t wait for the inside tour.

  28. Mollie Richard

    It sounds like you took the time to put a lot of thought into what you really wanted. That makes it super special and totally perfect for you. I’m sure your creative juices will overflow and a whole new chapter of Kelly Ray Roberts art will be born .


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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