Most artists dream of a space of their own, a place to create unfettered by ringing phones and doorbells. Natural light, visual inspiration, privacy and a room with a view are all on the wish list, but rarely are they found in one serendipitous spot. Painter Anne Piland had a vision of such a place, and she worked with builder JWM Builders and Associates and interior designer Meredith Hayes to make it happen.
Moving her studio from Manchester in the city to her 10-acre Hanover County property in Old Church was Piland's idea, but she wanted just the right structure. The site was already idyllic, overlooking the Pamunkey River, marshes and farmland. The key to the success of this project was keeping the same contemporary aesthetic as the owners' main house, Hayes says, and making the space functional as both artist studio and guest house to accommodate family visiting for the holidays.
After wading through a challenging permit process, Piland's place took shape as a 1,200-square-foot, cedar-sided structure built on the site of an old barn. With the two-year construction and interior finishing process complete, the end result is a multipurpose masterpiece. "We spent a lot of time on the details," Hayes says, "and what we created is so personal."
Piland agrees, "I absolutely love it ... it's such a great space," noting that her studio is now a 200-yard walk from home instead of the hour drive it took to downtown Richmond.
- Green Bamboo floors and cabinetry, a tankless water heater, high-efficiency insulated windows and a super-efficient heat pump all contribute to the sustainable design.
- Tin Roof The standing-seam metal roof relates to its farm setting and harkens back to the barn formerly on the site.
- Glass Lots of windows make for ample natural illumination for Piland's painting, but they're UV-treated to protect artwork from being damaged. Windows and walls were strategically placed for hanging artwork and viewing the river and fields.
- Colors With white walls and natural or stained woodwork, furniture and countertops provide splashes of blue, red and black.
- Lighting Creative pendant lamps dangling over work and eating areas are stocked with halogen bulbs that won't damage art over time.
- Dirt Friendly Part of art making is downright messy, and Piland's bonus room adjacent to the studio is perfect for sloshing around. It's practical with a sink and tile floor for easy cleanup.
- Furnishings Taking a timeout from creativity is a pleasure in the living area, thanks to comfy, modern seating purchased at La Différence. Nothing frilly, just clean lines and functionality.
- Access Doorways, levels of counters and shelving are all made to handicap specs so that, if necessary, a wheelchair could easily move about.