Simon Foxton on the importance of sheds

Simon Foxton on the importance of sheds

Photograph Simon Thiselton

 

Menswear stylist Simon Foxton relaxes the strict door policy on his ‘hole-and-corner’: the shed that is his refuge from emails and a space to ‘tinker and mend’…

A ‘hole-and-corner’ is an old English term meaning a secret place: somewhere you go to escape the world, to be inspired, to contemplate and create. Where is your ‘hole-and-corner’?
My hole-and-corner is my shed. It’s an 8ft x 8ft kit that was erected on site in my back garden in Ealing, West London. I’ve had it about 20 years now. It’s a kind of refuge for me. It’s where I like to mend and tinker with things. I tend not to take any computers or iPads etc to the shed, otherwise I just get bogged down in work emails and the like. It’s a hands-on, analogue environment. Music is my one concession to the modern-day in there.

Do you think it’s true that every man craves a shed?
I’m pretty sure that they do. There are very few men I know that don’t either have or want a shed. It’s that primaeval cave-dwelling thing. Or maybe more a grown-up playroom. We’re all just big kids really.

A hole-and-corner lifestyle is one that’s lived hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world – do you find that having a place of escape is increasingly important today?
Well, that is certainly true for me. As I get older I become less and less enamoured of the pace of life in the city, and the travelling, and the noise. It’s a very comforting feeling to squirrel yourself away, surrounded by your own things. I’m sure I’m not unique in feeling like that.

Is the shed for you a place for ‘doing’ or for contemplating?
During the daytime it tends to be a ‘doing’ kind of place – rewiring lamps, painting things… In the evening it’s more of a contemplating / drinking space. I like to listen to music in there while enjoying a glass or two of wine.

What’s the latest creation to have emerged from your shed?
I’m attempting to fix an old art-deco-looking HMV room heater I bought last week at a car-boot sale. I’m no expert, so it will probably end up burning the house down!

Do you have a view from your shed?
The view is of the garden and the back of the house. The garden is quite lush and leafy. ‘Rousseau-esque’ is what I’m going for, but my partner has a somewhat park-keeper mentality, so things tend to get pared back or corralled with twine and wire a bit more than I’d like!

What elements are needed for the perfect shed?
Light and heat obviously, then I think it’s all a matter of personal taste. Music, comfortable seating and plenty of knick-knacks all work for me.

Do you let other people into your shed, or is it just for you?
I do allow people in, but only a very select few. It has quite a strict door policy actually.

 

and-son.co.uk

Welcome to Hole & Corner celebrating and promoting creativity, craftsmanship and heritage through digital, print and events.

We have updated our privacy and data policy to reflect current requirements and in accordance with our existing registration as a data controller. This includes clear information on how we use cookies on this website. By using this site you agree to our use of data and cookies.

View our privacy and data policy