The humble backyard shed serves a simple purpose: Store the lawn mower in the winter and snow shovels during the summer. Unfortunately, this means that the prevailing aesthetic for most outbuildings is muted, barnlike, and—let’s face it—boring. So in 2005, Boulder residents Mike Koenig and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski set out to solve this aesthetic conundrum by designing a sleek, modern interpretation of the steadfast structure. The result? Studio Shed (, a line of prefabricated units with a nearly flat roof, multiple windows, and customizable features, including four wall styles and many combinations of exterior finishes. Prices start at $4,500, so this shed is about vanity as much as it’s about practicality—unless you’re going beyond storing rusty tools. To wit: Koenig executes the company’s administrative duties in the comfort of his backyard, in his own Studio Shed-turned-office.

The Specs

  • Sheds start at 6-by-8 feet, but can be built as large as 12-by-20 feet.
  • The designs use Forest Stewardship Council–certified wood from sustainably managed forests.
  • A small crew from Studio Shed’s Broomfield factory needs only one to two days (often less) to assemble the digs on site.
  • At installation, the prefabricated unit yields little waste—less than one garbage can full.
  • Studio Shed usually caps the units with corrugated metal, but it installed its first solar roof this past September in Lafayette.