When lockdown hit due to COVID-19, some took to Netflix, some started baking bread, and Jenna and Iain Kinghorn decided to tackle some yard projects around their Riverside home, which they’ve lived in for just over a year. Plans pivoted when Jenna spotted a greenhouse made of architectural salvage on both Instagram and Pinterest and was smitten. “When I learned the greenhouse was built using recycled windows I was intrigued,” she recalls. “Our budget was extremely tight due to the shutdown, so my goal was to reuse what we had, find what I could on a budget or for free, and buy only the necessary items needed.”
To keep things simple, the Kinghorns decided on a small footprint for their outbuilding, and at 6’x9’ the modest structure is smaller than your average shed and thus didn’t require a building permit. The couple already had piles of leftover lumber from a deck they tore down along with some wood discovered in the attic of the garage. With most vintage and antique shops closed at the time, Jenna took to Facebook
Marketplace where she scored 15 windows and a door for $25, and side transom windows for free. Other supplies like paint and clear corrugated panels were purchased from nearby hardware stores.
Armed with supplies, basic construction skills, and time, the next step was to plan out the space, which Jenna did with paper on the ground. “Once you know the width and length, you can start to map out your window layout. I laid out the windows on our lawn several times to get just the right configuration. The challenge is adjusting your plans to fit your found windows and doors,” she says.
Jenna offers the following advice for anyone inspired to follow suit and build a backyard greenhouse: “Have the vision to be flexible when something doesn’t fit. Our goal was to use as much reclaimed materials as we had on hand to keep costs down, but sometimes you’ve got to spend a little bit on new stuff.” In total, the project cost $250.
Today, the building affectionately known as Le Petite Greenhouse is used as a potting shed/she-shed. “It’s now the centerpiece of our yard – which we are going to re-landscape around it to create a sweet little pottage style garden,” says Jenna. “Every morning this is where I come to have my coffee. My sweet greenhouse still has some things on the checklist to be done in it, but for now it is the best place to start my day.”
Editor’s Note: Jenna Kinghorn is co-owner of Blanc + Blue, home interiors shop. Follow @blanc.and.bleu on Instagram for updates on the relocation from Hope Artiste Village to Wood Street Historical Mill Complex in Bristol.