A space of your own

This Modern-Shed home office sits under a Redwood tree and provides a quiet spot for reading and relaxing.
This Modern-Shed home office sits under a Redwood tree and provides a quiet spot for reading and relaxing.

BAY AREA — “I’ll have what she’s having.”

The iconic Meg Ryan scene from “When Harry Met Sally” comes to Fay’s mind whenever she shows off her Modern-Shed craft studio turned home office to friends and family.

“That’s pretty much the reaction everyone has,” says Fay, who bought her Modern-Shed nearly a year ago. “They think it’s really cool that I have my own space. They ask, ‘What do you do out there?’ and I say, ‘Whatever I want.’ I can make it as neat or as sloppy as I want. It’s my space.”

A year after Fay and her husband, Russ, purchased their 10’ by 12’ Modern-Shed, the couple is happily pleased with how much the shed has exceeded their expectations.

Fay initially wanted a Modern-Shed because she needed room for her craft projects — the couple lives in a two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot home, so they’re accustomed to living in small spaces.

However, Fay has found numerous uses for her Modern-Shed.

“In terms of functionality, it’s been great,” she says. “In terms of quality of life, it’s been a huge addition for us … It exceeded my expectations with how useful the room would be. It’s evolved. While I still use it occasionally for crafts, I use it more now for studying.”

Fay is working on becoming a Master Gardener through the University of California extension office, so she spends copious amounts of time studying. The program requires more than 50 hours of training with UC specialists and professionals in the nursery and landscape industries.

Fay Mark purchased her Modern-Shed a year ago. The shed has exceeded her expectations.
Fay purchased her Modern-Shed a year ago. The shed has exceeded her expectations.

“I actually use the space more now for a quiet place to read and not be distracted by the tasks at hand in the house,” Fay says of her Modern-Shed. “I do my project work out there.”

The couple also plans to remodel their home this year and are working with an architect to do so.

The Modern-Shed gives them the room to look at large, bulky architect drawings, Fay says.

“The drawings you get from an architect are quite large, but with the way Modern-Shed built my desk, I can spread the drawings out on the desk and stand,” she says. “We can look at the drawings and do any measurements. It’s all there, and it’s in a very nicely laid-out setting.”

As an “ambassador” for Modern-Shed, Fay shows off her shed to prospective Modern-Shed customers if they’re in the area.

“Sometimes I think, ‘Oh I should tidy up,’ but then I realize, ‘No, I want people to see how I use the shed,’” she says. “I love showing it off. It makes it so real for people. They see stuff in it and it gives them an idea of space and where to put things.”

Fay Mark uses her Modern-Shed for a variety of uses.
Fay uses her Modern-Shed for a variety of uses.

The quality of the Modern-Shed has also held up well in the past year, Fay adds.

“The unit itself is really well-constructed,” she says. “So I’ve been very happy with the functionality of the window and the door. The Hardie wood siding has held up really well. There haven’t been any leaks. It’s as solid as it was a year ago.”

The couple has plans to build a larger deck surrounding the shed, which they call the “Fay Cave” — it also sits under a Redwood tree and has a view of Richardson Bay.

“It’s very peaceful,” she says. “It’s the place where I seek privacy and quiet and calm … Once we have that deck in there, with the view of the water, then in the summer time we’ll spend more time out there. It’s a cute little reading spot.”

Fay spends between three to five hours a day in her Modern-Shed and is out there at least every other day, except when she’s socializing during the holidays.

Even though she and her husband are planning a remodel, she doesn’t expect the functionality of her Modern-Shed to change.

“We’re expanding the house, but the additional rooms will be guest bedrooms and they won’t be set up with a desk or an office environment,” Fay says. “My Modern-Shed is my space. That’s what I love about it. It’s the one thing that is only mine. My husband is very respectful of that.”

The Fay Cave feels like an extension of the home rather than a separate entity, she adds.

“It’s just been such a great addition to our living experience here,” she says. “At this point, I don’t know how I ever lived without it.”

Fay Mark's Modern-Shed has a view of Richardson Bay in California.
Fay Mark’s Modern-Shed has a view of Richardson Bay in California.

— Arla Shephard

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