Home Workshop Plans, Introduction


The workshop is a building of ancient origin.  Archaeologists claim that the oldest known workshop was used to fashion bones and ivory into tools and art (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, circa 33,000 B.C.), perhaps so, and this a mere 5,000ish years after what has been termed by anthropologists “the evolution of the modern mind”, that first evidence of creative cognition.  We can wonder if Germans of 40,000 B.C. would agree, but those Germans are silent of opinion, so scientists are loud in speculation, inventing from bone and ivory the tools necessary to fashion political debate.

102 Workshop A Color Elevation re

102 Workshop A, Color Elevation. M. Curtis, des.

There are remnants of workshops in Greece, notably Phidias’ workshop where he fashioned the gargantuan (41’ high, seated), chryselephantine (ivory) statue of Zeus Oly’mpius; there is in Egypt a humble pottery workshop dating to c. 2,550 B.C.; there is at Williamsburg, Virginia, numerous XVIII Century workshops of carpentry, leatherwork, metalwork, et cetera, even now in operation, yet creating, yet selling fine products of the workman’s craft.

For some 35,000 years we children of Eve have crafted the chaos of Earth into use and beauty, into tools and art, into furnishings and fashion, into luxuries and necessities.  The workshops pictured below are intended for the typical requirement of Adam’s hobbies, for home maintenance and care, for the creation of useful crafts and necessary arts.  Each workshop presented here is formed to serve some particular requirement of use.


Workshop A

Doric Tempietto, 160 gsf, Plan # 102A

Home Workshop Plan A

102 Workshop A, Plan & Color Elevation. M. Curtis, des.

This Doric tempietto is designed to serve the necessary maintenance of home.  There is space adequate to storage, crafting and care:

112 sf of shelf for storage*
14 sf of work surface
28 sf of tool shelf storage
18 cu ft of locked storage
8 sf of sink space
16 sf of undersink shelving
56 sf of pegboard (garden tools)
20 sf of pegboard (fine tools)
160 sf of attic storage

I recommend a rear lean-to for can, pot, and garden supply storage; side hooks for ladders, et cetera.  You will want bright, directional lighting, and outlets conveniently located, populated closer than codes dictate.

This building can be constructed in one week (if all materials are on-site before starting), longer if inexperienced in the trades, and if restricted to weekends, which, if you are, plan on filling the weekends of two months.

* I like to keep my storage in clear plastic bins, each bin divided by discipline (electrical, plumbing, etc.).


Workshop B

296 gsf, Plan # 102B1&2

 Home Workshop B1&2

102 Workshop B2, Color Elevation, B1&2 Plan. M. Curtis, des.

This two-room workshop is intended for the weekend craftsman, for those with a beloved hobby or second business, id est, ceramics, weaving, leathers, jewelry, printing, florals, metals, woods, et cetera.  This workshop has two rooms, one for clean work, one for dirty work.  There are walls sufficient both for large projects and for tool arrangement, double doors adequate to comings and goings, abundant space for shelves and cabinets.  Shelves, cabinets, and the various machines necessary to each craft are not shown, because arrangement would be peculiar to each craftsman by the practice of each craft.

You will notice here variations in design.  One workshop (B1) includes a porch for labor in the shade, in the breeze of pleasant days (74 sf).  The other workshop encloses the porch to expand space for machines or storage (from 296 gsf to 350 gsf), and here (B2) the opportunity for a long front porch (not shown); if in want of storage, an interior wall can be added, and this could serve to provide space for mower, bicycles, and the numerous things that householders accumulate.  I recommend that the third room, if there is to be a third room, be squared, proportionally (8’ x 8’), as shown in the reflected ceiling.  The elevation offers a suggestion of sympathetic colors, Athenian in precedent, harmonious in practice: Home Workshop Plans Featured Image


Workshop C

342 gsf, Plan # 102C

Home Workshop B3

102 Workshop B3, Plan & Color Elevation. M. Curtis, des.

This three-room, classive workshop is intended for the serious craftsman, for the professional artist, for the production of pictures, statues, violins or whatever object of beauty that wants space, light, time in its creation.  The wall of windows will like to stand North (to offer an even, easy light); there will be strips of directional light to spot objects, and area-lights behind soffits, to reduce glare and to shadowless wash the room.

There are three rooms, each to a purpose.  The room stage right (should mention: the first intention of this design was for statuary, so a description of the sculptor’s craft) is intended for storage of materials and molds and tools; the room stage left is intended for pouring and casting and finishing; the centered room is intended for modeling, its ceiling is high, it offers more light, and there is space on the frieze shelf sufficient for display of busts, statuettes, fragments.

I recommend the gray-neutral of Michael Aviano for use on walls; a faux-tile on the concrete floor (easy to accomplish with masking tape straight laid over which a roller to applies fields of color, over that, a delightful stipple and tight seal … then too, you might approximate granite or fine marble); pilasters serving the corners and edges of the interiors, each room a different Order so that reference to the architect’s art (a necessary sister art) can be kept always to mind (you might detail the rooms in the Orders, left = Ionic, right = Doric, center = Corinthian, or whichever arrangement suits your temperament).

Workshop Jon

Jonathan Curtis, age 15, building the Home Workshop “A”.

And then, you might like to decorate the walls in pictured scenes (since the walls are of masonry, buon or seco fresco are suitable) as in Pompeii; this an opportunity to unite in purpose the sister arts … you might even wire for speakers for the performance of Wagner, Bach, Beethoven, Orff or Offenbach, as I have done, each musician suiting this statue, or that mood.  And of pictures, you might do as I have done: illustrate favorite scenes from mythology and life pleasantly onto the walls; a wall of nature in its variation of bush and flower, bird and the happy woodland creatures curious of Aphrodite’s burbling fountain; a wall of projects in statuary, monument and memorial, those civic buildings and unrealized projects beautifully realized in an ideal setting.

Tight, sliding doors can divide rooms, allowing for assistants, the division of dirty and of clean work, et cetera.  And, the central façade can be removed to accommodate transportation of large statues, and lifts or tracks can extend along a central, metal beam at rest upon a king post.


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For more on the history of workshops, you might visit “The Home Workshop: Making the Man“, posted at The Beautiful Home, June 9, 2022.

To acquire building sets for one of these home workshop plans,


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