An outdoor dreamscape

Seattle — When Sara first bought her small home in Seattle a decade ago, there wasn’t a single tree sitting on the 3,800-square-foot lot.

Now, Sara’s beautiful garden — complete with cobblestone pathways, evergreen shrubs and, of course, a lovely 98-square-foot Modern-Shed — has come a long way and has even been featured in the latest edition of Country Gardens magazine.

Sara, after discovering her Modern-Shed on the cover of Country Gardens magazine.

“I knew nothing about gardening when I bought my house,” she says. “I designed my garden myself. It’s a sort of whimsical type of style. I wanted lots of color and for it to be pretty and to flow, but be organized. The Modern-Shed, it just gave it another level. It doesn’t look like a garden shed.”

Sara learned about Modern-Shed through an advertisement in Dwell magazine, but she saved that ad and didn’t act on her plans for several years.

After she inherited her mother’s sewing supplies, Sara knew she needed more space for all of her arts and crafts, which had been spread out between storage in a Tuff Shed outside and in her office.

“My office was not set up for that,” she says. “I’d work on something and leave it out and the cat would jump up and walk all over it. It’s hard to leave stuff out when you don’t have your own designated space. Now I have a place for all that, and it’s not in boxes in my Tuff Shed.”

Sara got her Modern-Shed in 2013, and in 2014 she entered into the Country Gardens “Outdoor Dreamscape” contest for amateur gardeners, showing off in a Power Point all the hard work she’d poured into her garden, now complete with a Modern-Shed.

“The Modern-Shed has a tiny home feel,” she says. “It ended up sitting perfectly on my property, with the cobblestone path leading up to it. It looks like it’s always been there.”

Sara’s garden is full of perennials and wouldn’t be complete without her 9′ by 12′ Modern-Shed. Photos by Dominic Bonuccelli.

Sara won the contest, but it takes a couple years before contest winners are featured in the magazine — the magazine’s photographers wanted to capture the garden at its peak, which they did in July 2015.

Seattle-based writer Debra Prinzing, a field editor for Country Gardens, interviewed Sara in February 2016.

Debra, author of the award-winning “Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways,” which features an interview with Modern-Shed owners Ryan Smith and Ahna Holder, also wrote about Modern-Shed in the July issue of Alaska Airlines’ Beyond magazine.

“Sara was a reader’s garden award winner and we’re so jazzed that the story made the cover,” she says.image

Debra is also a speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers and is the producer of, an online directory to American grown farms, florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers.

Each Wednesday, about 1,200 listeners tune into Debra’s Slow Flowers Podcast, available for free downloads at her website or on iTunes and via other podcast services. She is the author of 10 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet.

A Modern-Shed is the perfect complement to a garden, as Sara learned.

“It’s been a great addition to my craftsman bungalow,” she says. “It fits perfectly into the old style of my house, which was built in 1910. Even though it’s modern, it fits really well.”


Learn more about Sara in a video about her Modern-Shed experiences.


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