Seattle, WA


Ella's Garden Shed

In a quiet Ballard neighborhood, this 360-square foot garage is tucked in a back-yard garden with stone paved seating terrace surrounded with planters full of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Ella longed for a more versatile studio space that would serve as a place to host neighbors and friends as well as continue to function as a garden shed for potting plants for her already flourishing garden.

 Ella’s garden inspired the concept of bringing the outside in by expanding the living space into the garden. The new design added a steel plate to the center roof support beam, removed all the interior partitions, and added a large folding window system opening to the garden.  Opening the entire interior structure as one space maximizes light and volume by that allows the garden shed to transform from exercise room, to office, to playroom to outdoor gathering space.

 Ella’s daughter requested a “secret door” at the start of the project.  We designed a special built in ladder to a new loft hidden above a new storage closet.  It’s a little hidden fort that she can see out of without being seen.  She now calls it her “hidey hole.”

The lighting of wood interior becomes a lantern for the garden at night.  The initial atmospheric vision was to make the interior glow out to the garden with warm interior wood walls.  With such a small budget economic cedar fence boards were used that are a little rough for interiors but have plenty of warmth.

 Completed in 2017, Ella’s garden shed has expanded Ella’s home with a refuge that connects her with the outdoors.

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Status: Built
Location: Seattle, WA, US
Firm Role: Architects
Additional Credits: Crescent Builds- Contractor
Rafael Soldi- Photographer