The Modern-Shed Boat House

GIG HARBOR — Down a winding path, nestled in the Evergreen forests near the Key Peninsula, Kerrie and Rich found a place they could call home.

Their home, however, left some things to be desired. In the meantime, they wanted to create a comfortable space where they could work, relax and entertain loved ones while enjoying the view of Henderson Bay and all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

“Our house just needs lots of work, and the Modern-Shed takes the pressure off,” Kerrie says. “It’s a two-bedroom house that was built in 1958. Now, with the shed, we have an extra bedroom and a nice place where we can bring our guests.”


The couple found Modern-Shed when Rich literally searched for “modern shed” online.

He wanted a modern-style shed to complement the home, and he was looking for sheds that had clerestory windows that mimic similar windows in their house.

“I saw images of Modern-Sheds online and knew that’s what I was looking for,” Rich recalls. “I wanted something that would go with the house.”

Rich and Kerrie wanted a multipurpose shed — one that could store their watercraft (they have four kayaks, a canoe, a rowboat and a small power boat) and supplies, serve as a guest house and extra bedroom and eventually function as an office for Rich, who works as a consultant for heavy industry.

A 12′ by 16′ Modern-Shed, totaling 192 square feet, was the largest shed they could build without needing a building permit from the city.

Beneath the shed, Rich and Kerrie store their kayaks.

Contractors built a deck around the shed and advised Rich and Kerrie to add more deck space in front of the large windows that overlook the bay.

The couple also took up the contractor’s advice to increase the overhang, which extends about 7 feet from the shed’s sliding glass doors, so that the posts wouldn’t block the doorway. A patio is in the works, and they plan to add rail around parts of the deck.

Inside the shed, the couple designed a space with personal touches that reflect their love of the beach and the Pacific Northwest — the curtain rod over the door is made from driftwood from their beach that Rich then sanded, and the shelving and side table are also constructed from driftwood from a beach on San Juan Island.

Functional uses: The sofa turns into a bed, the table stores bedding and the oars are both decorative and the actual oars used for the couple’s watercraft.

A blue sofa bed comes from Sleepers in Seattle, while the octopus pillow and the coffee table (which stores bedding for the sofa bed) are finds from Pier 101.

Kerrie, who works as a freelance blogger Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard, made the pillow covers for the other two pillows.

The couple chose track lights because there is no crawlspace to insert can lights, and vinyl plank floors that resemble the floors of an old ship.

“We wanted things to be durable,” Kerrie says. “We didn’t want it to be fussy. We also wanted everything down here because walking up and down the slope to our house for bedding and dishes is tiring.”

To that end, the couple stores several sets of silverware and dishes in a small buffet hutch that they found from Craig’s List.

Craig’s List for the win: Kerrie and Rich store dishes and silverware in this small hutch they purchased off the website. 

Other special touches include these hooks, from a shop in Gig Harbor called Sea Hags.


These shelves were made from driftwood from a beach on San Juan Island in Washington. 
Rich sanded a piece of driftwood from his beach to create this curtain rod.

The couple spends as much time as they can in their Modern-Shed. They grow Manila clams and oysters on their beach and have plans to build a dock box on the side of the shed to store life jackets.

Friends and family love the shed as well.

“This really was a way for us to get more square footage,” Kerrie says. “This is a very functional building that is storing all of our recreation, but it’s also an office, a guest room and a cocktail room. We call it our boat house. It’s our multipurpose space.”

Thinking ahead: Rich and Kerrie situated their outlets so that they could be used for Christmas or other decorative lights. Kerrie also envisions a sink or some type of outdoor kitchen space here.





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