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Adding one wall for a corner greenhouse.

Adding one wall for a corner greenhouse "It was always a sunny corner," says Diana Nicholas of the spot outside her laundry room door. An existing concrete pad, a retaining wall, and a deep roof overhang further recommended the corner as the best place in her Los Angeles house to add the greenhouse she had long wanted.

Her son, Bill Nicholas--an architecture student--designed the structure, which is technically an outside, unheated space. Built against two exterior walls and over the retaining wall, the room needed only one new wall. A Dutch door opposite the laundry door opens to the oak-shaded hillside garden.

The wire-glass roof consists of two planes that follow the house's roof lines and rest on the rafter ends, as well as a new hiproofed section. An L-shaped gutter carries water away from the valleys. All windows are fixed.

Along two parallel walls, Nicholas designed redwood cabinets to store supplies. Poured-concrete slabs form countertops; little concrete curbs at the rear hide trays of pebbles that help retain moisture when Mrs. Nicholas mists around plants. A copper sink sits in one countertop. Above it, a shelf of spaced 2-by-2s holds orchids; similar shelves climb to the ceiling above the opposite counter as well. They hold plants, baskets, other supplies.

To create a nonskid floor that is also easy to clean, Nicholas built a removable duckboard grid of redwood 1-by-2s screwed together.

Mrs. Nicholas uses a portable electric heater when needed, and an oscillating fan to aid ventilation.
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Date:Jan 1, 1990
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