5 Spaces Designed for Reading and Writing
The home library may be a relic of bygone domestic architecture—thanks in no small part to the digitization of reading and writing—but we still need secluded and comfortable spaces to gather our thoughts.
Above: The Watershed is an off-the-grid writer’s retreat that architect Erin Moore designed for her mother, nature writer Kathleen Dean Moore. Though the retreat is clearly meant to afford the solitude writing so often requires, Kathleen reports that “it’s very lively. Deer approach, birds bathe. The sun warms my desk and you can hear the rain.” When she visits the Watershed, Kathleen’s writing accoutrements are limited to paper and pencil | Photo by Gary Tarleton
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect built a structure that tests his attention to the little things. The interior features fence pickets from Hunt’s parents’ house and a rotating selection of furniture from his apartment. “It’s a perfect spot for an afternoon nap, a makeshift painting studio, or a quiet space to have a drink with a friend.” —Nicholas Hunt, architect | Photo by Brian W. Ferry
This pair of handy Portlanders doesn’t crave any more of Oregon’s territory than what’s taken up by their 704-square-foot home, hard-working garden, and smartly designed outdoor spaces. Resident Katherine Bovee uses the small desk at the foot of the couple’s bed for freelance writing projects | Photo by John Clark
A garage was replaced with a three-story space for reading, writing, and contemplation. The studio’s second floor serves as a library. The sunken bathtub offers interrupted sightlines across the space and out into the backyard. The tub, like the library’s floor, is made of concrete | Photo by Nathan Rader
Austin architect J.C. Schmeil converted his family’s 1935 bungalow into a spacious modern family home on a modest budget and with tons of ingenuity. A dormer on the south side of the house contains two bedrooms. One of the bedrooms features a reading loft carved out of the attic space above the dining room. The intersection of the gabled roof and the shed dormers allowed us to wrap large windows around each corner, taking advantage of the “borrowed landscape”—treetop views that root the house to its site. Photo by J.C. Schmiel