Theirs was a classic case of “now what?”
Marco and Kayla Morelli loved their 1,000 square foot, 2-bedroom house in a wonderful downtown neighborhood in Longmont, Colo. From the get-go, the property gave them everything they wanted: charm, location, a long deep backyard, friends nearby and a friendly five minute walk to the many restaurants, coffee shops, library and parks of this vibrant small town just 37 miles from Denver.
“We’re homebodies,” said Marco, a creative writer and partner in the couple’s graphic design firm. “We hate commutes. We both work at home. We like having a small house, it feels more aligned with our values and style. But once our daughter needed a room of her own, there went my office,” he said.
Marco quickly realized that, while Kayla was comfortable working anywhere in the house, what he needed wasn’t just a new “space to work” – he needed a space-all-his-own offering privacy, flexible hours, few interruptions and, most of all, quiet.
For six months he searched for a nearby office space to lease but everything he saw seemed either too noisy, too ugly or too expensive.
The Morellis then considered converting their attic into living space but decided that the cost and disruption involved in a major home renovation were not optimal. Finally they turned their gaze towards the untapped space in their own backyard. Bingo, they thought: this is it. With this we get everything we want, with minimal pain involved.
“We looked online for options in sheds and pre-fab micro houses,” said Marco. “Nothing looked right until we saw the smart designs at Studio-Shed.com.” Marco flipped over Studio Shed’s Shed Configurator: “I used the configurator almost incessantly, trying out all the style and feature options, mixing this with that, different shed sizes, etc. It’s an awesome tool, it lets you match your desires to your budget and vice versa.
Marco’s 10’ x 14’ shed was installed over three days last fall. After all his tinkering with the Shed Configurator, he found the standard features package gave him exactly what he wanted – with one exception, he added a glass door for added light and openness. He positioned the shed facing south for warmth in winter and shade in summer. The door faces the side yard for privacy, with the big square window positioned to overlook the full length of the backyard. His commute is 20 seconds.
Upgraded Glass Door
For design he went with a warm but dramatic look, inside and out. His interior features white walls, wood trim and radiant-heated Brazilian slate floors. (The shed’s cement slab foundation is insulated with layers of foam and cork per the instructions of SunTouch, the radiant heating supplier Marco chose). The shed’s exterior is sheathed below with corrugated steel panels and above by brilliant red Collins Block siding. “The red is a strong passionate color I love,” said Marco. “It complements and contrasts nicely with the creamy-yellow color of our house.”
Overall, his investment came to under $20,000 including the cost to buy and install his Studio Shed, with the balance going to the foundation, heat, interior finishing, fencing, landscaping and electric work.
In the end, Marco and Kayla each feel they got something spectacular from their Studio Shed installation.
“For me, my Studio Shed has been a dream,” said Marco. “It’s a space where I can work, where I feel creative and contemplative. It’s where I do my best work.”
“For Kayla, the project got me out of the house plus lead us to redesign the whole backyard,” said Marco. “We replaced our fence and added new garden beds, play spaces and a utility shed. While we were at it, we took down the overhead wires crossing the backyard by moving our main electric box to the back of my studio and burying all the cables and wires to the house. The end result: we use our backyard differently now.”
Added Marco “Instead of paying for an office lease, we got a Studio Shed at a price we can pay off within five years, while adding to our quality of life and the value of our house.”