Magazine article Sunset

Live, Work, Play: A Seattle Artist Transforms Her Backyard into a Spot to Unwind and Find Inspiration

Magazine article Sunset

Live, Work, Play: A Seattle Artist Transforms Her Backyard into a Spot to Unwind and Find Inspiration

Article excerpt

AS AN ARTIST, Kristie Severn's livelihood depends on inspiration--something her former studio in downtown Seattle lacked. "It was cold and white, with a view of Highway 99," says Severn, who creates mixed-media pieces that often incorporate elements from nature. "And I had to drive there."

Looking for a space that would foster her creativity--and cut down on her commute--Severn decided to build it in her own backyard. Five years ago, she hired local architects Jim Graham and Leann Crist to add a modern, airy art studio onto an existing shed in her yard. Then she hired friend and landscape designer Brandon Peterson to plant a garden full of meadowlike grasses. "Brandon designed a spot that felt like it had been here forever," Severn says. "It's a perfect place to relax with friends--or a sketchbook."

INFO Kristie Severn, kristiesevern.com

ARCHITECTURE Jim Graham and Leann Crist, grahambaba.com

LANDSCAPE DESIGN Brandon Peterson, thepalmrootn.com

THE SOCIAL SPACE

In the firepit area (page 40), Peterson repurposed stone from a former raised bed to build a semicircular bench. It's surrounded by Northwest natives and backed by a grove of maples for a tucked-away feel. …

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