Maria Bennett would probably still be painting in the rented studio space just 10 blocks away from her Northern California home, if the owner hadn’t sold it.
“I appreciated its rustic charm but it wasn’t very comfortable,” says artist Maria Bennett. “I tried to find another rental but everything was too expensive and I didn’t want to share. So I started looking online for build-your-own garden sheds,” says Maria. “I quickly realized I wanted someone else to build it for me. That’s when I found Studio Shed. The right price. The right space. Once I ordered, I was impressed with how quickly everything happened.”
Maria selected an 8’x10’ Collins Design including a finished interior wired for electricity, extra awning windows and a glass door. It’s positioned in her backyard, angled for privacy, about 40 feet from her kitchen door. The shed is a warm yellow, exactly the same color her 1910 Victorian cottage is painted. Studio Shed matched her paint chip.
“And it is so well insulated,” says Maria, “I don’t even hear the lawn mowers and occasional commotion coming from the elementary school across the street.”
Maria admits that her husband was dubious at first about putting her studio in the small space that was their only lawn. He worried that its modern lines might make it look like an alien spaceship had landed next to their traditional cottage.
But it worked beautifully and provided an unexpected bonus: their yard suddenly worked better: it was more charming and more livable, too. The studio’s placement created a series of intimate spaces, some separated by different levels. They added a fire pit in one area, a deck in another. Behind the shed, which completely screens them from their neighbors, they added a deck with a cedar hot tub. There, next to the magnolia tree, they happily soak under the stars.
For Maria, having her own studio is bliss. “I love being in there,” she said, “It’s quiet, peaceful and no one can see in. It’s like entering another world where I have absolute privacy. The way the windows are positioned I get great light and great ventilation, which is important when you paint with oils. Best of all: it’s my space and my three kids respect my privacy there.
In the end, the only thing Maria had to give up were her chickens. Her studio now sits on their former turf. No problem, her neighbor took them in. They live next door.