SEATTLE — Growing up in Russia, Natasha has always considered using saunas to be an integral part of life.
Her husband, Bill, who worked in Russia for years, agreed, so when the couple started looking to expand their Seattle home, they knew they needed a special space.
“It’s our weekly ritual to relax,” Natasha said. “It’s cleansing and rejuvenating. We didn’t really have space in the house to have it and we saw Modern-Shed products online. They pop up and catch your eye.”
Natasha also needed space where she could paint, a passion she hasn’t been able to fully pursue in the past few years while raising the couple’s three young sons, ages 3, 9 and 11.
“I’m just getting back into it and it’s working out nicely,” she said. “I’ve been painting for 14 years, but with three little boys, it’s nonstop fun but hard to get work done.”
The room Natasha had been using in their house is a small 5′ by 5′ closet underneath the stairs of their four-bedroom home.
“It was tiny and I knew I wanted a bigger space,” she said.
Natasha and Bill built an 8′ by 6′ Modern-Shed sauna on their back patio with steps leading down to Natasha’s 8′ by 10′ Modern-Shed art studio.
The art studio overlooks the couple’s yard, a small public park and Union Bay near the University of Washington.
“Modern-Shed was very attractive and matched our modern house,” Natasha said. “We had a gazebo in that footprint of the yard and knew we could fit a Modern-Shed there.”
The couple kept the sheds small to keep under Seattle’s permit requirements and matched the colors of the shed to their home.
They encountered some difficulty with the electrical wiring of the sheds, particularly the sauna, which required above average electrical needs for a shed.
“The only advice I would give people is to check with an electrician first because it was a bigger deal than I thought it would be,” Natasha said. “The sauna required a little more of a professional outfit. The set up took longer than anticipated, but it was not a big deal.”
The sauna shed was complete by December 2014, with the studio shed following in May.
Natasha’s husband and kids respect her space (though Bill tried to claim the shed for his office at one point), and she loves being able to step out of the house to work near home.
“I intentionally don’t have wifi so my husband is not tempted to use it,” she said. “I’ve always had a space I worked out of — a basement, a little room. This is my first real space. I feel more accountable just walking out the back door. It feels like I’m going to work.”