BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

10 Art Studio Outbuilding Designs

I recently wrote about home offices. Most of those designs were for inside the house. As I drove down my road the other day, I noticed my neighbor’s art studio, which is detached from the house. He is adding a small entryway, since this building now serves as his gallery, too. I began to think about detached art studios as opposed to home offices. They overlap in purpose and style, but art studios are bigger and need different lighting and storage.

Studio designs unique to purpose of its owner

My neighbor works in glass. Other artists in this art community have studios for painting, quilting, woodworking, jewelry, metalwork, sculpture and pottery, as well as yoga and dance. Each is unique with its own needs.

Studio also refers to a one-room rental space. Where I live, they are called casitas, and a casita in the backyard provides extra income. Who knows, maybe it was an art studio for a previous owner, and has been converted to a rental. Sometimes vacation rentals are a series of studios with kitchenettes. Studios are very versatile.

10 types of studio designs

A studio can be site-built, pre-fabs, modulars or shipping containers. It can complement the home’s architecture or can be in sharp contrast to show that it has a different purpose. It may be a different style as an artistic expression. It can be close to the house or down a path to give you a sense of being somewhere else. (I personally like that idea!)

If a studio is in your building plans this year, I hope these ten inspire you!


I love recycled shipping containers! They are the perfect size for a studio.

Source: via nan on Pinterest

The hexagon is a unique shape.

Source: via nan on Pinterest

The Victorian details of this painting studio remind me of a dollhouse.

Source: via nan on Pinterest

The steep pitch of this roof means great light if it’s all open space. The architecture reflects that of the house, too.

Source: via nan on Pinterest

Here’s another one with the same architectural style as the house.

Source: via nan on Pinterest

I love the New England post and beam style of this.

Source: via nan on Pinterest


This recording studio is set away from the house. Smart move.

Source: via nan on Pinterest


Part of an historic mill in Virginia has been converted to a studio.

Source: via nan on Pinterest


A studio vacation rental has a hammock on the porch for relaxing. Isn’t that what vacations are for?

Source: via nan on Pinterest

Let your studio express who you are, but remember to allow yourself enough space for storage, supplies, furniture and a sink or bathroom. If you are using toxic materials, be sure there is enough ventilation. Hire a professional to make sure the building is up to code and suited to your needs.

Other than that, have fun creating!

For more ideas, here’s my Pinterest studio design board.

Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.


  1. Why not post the pictures? This is a general problem with “BuildDirect”: all of the blog posts could use more pictures to illustrate the many complex ideas that you all bring up in your posts.

    And many of you do not go into enough detail in your posts to explain clearly what you are talking about, IMO. Without pictures right there, it gets frustrating. Easy to lose interest in your post. Why make me keep clicking back and forth all the time?

  2. Hi Lyone!

    Thanks for your input!

    This is an older post that was on the Green Blog. When we merged the Green Blog with the main blog over a year ago, some of the images got lost. I’m not a webmaster, so I can’t explain how or why or how to fix it.

    On newer posts, if there are a lot of images, it’s not practical to post them all. Speaking for myself, I direct readers to other pages that have an image and more ideas that I hope will inspire someone.


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