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!



Kelly Rae pic and signature

Hi, 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 whispers and started playing with paint, and everything changed.

I’m now a full-time artist, author, and Possibilitarian who helps women explore their creativity, nourish their souls, and build thriving creative businesses.

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