At Home in the Shop
Built for living as well as working, a woodshop in Maine evolves with its maker
Synopsis: Some 32 years ago, Charles Durfee built a home that truly housed his whole life, with a shop for his furniture-making business downstairs, and living space for him and his wife upstairs. With its pitched, gabled roof, divided-light windows, and shingled walls, it was—and is—a homey place. But Durfee’s expanding family soon outgrew the upstairs living space, and he eventually built a new home just up the hill. Now his shop his still homey, but there’s a showroom upstairs. It is, as he describes it, a “plain, simple, practical, efficient, and straightforward” workspace. And it’s still just a short walk from home.
Yes, it looks like a house! That’s for several reasons, but primarily because it was one. When I built it 32 years ago, my shop served as an all-in-one building for my life: woodworking on the first floor, storage in the attached shed,…