9 Sources for midcentury modern sheds — prefab, DIY kits, and plans

midcentury shedOur recent story about Backyard Eichlers generated tips from readers reporting more sources for modern style sheds and outbuildings. Since we suspect that deep down, everyone would love to have one of these tiny midcentury modern sheds to use for storage, an art or music studio, home office or just a getaway in your own back yard, the search was on to find every available option on the market. In total, we found eight options varying in price and DIY effort for anyone considering the addition of a mini mid mod retreat in their own back yard.

1. Backyard Eichlers:

backyard-eichler-house-miniWe’ve already profiled Backyard Eichlers, a modern shed company based out of San Rafael, California, that was started by Scott Balser, a designer, builder and remodeler in the business for more than 35 years. Scott, a fan of the work of Joseph Eichler, wanted a modern shed design that paid homage to Eichler’s style of home design. The company offers four customizable models with base prices starting at $12,900 fully installed (for homes geographically nearby), or $9,800 plus shipping for a DIY kit.

retro-modern-mini-house

2. Modern Shed:

midcentury-modern-shed

Based out of Seattle, Washington, but with 59 dealers in states across the US and Canada, Modern Shed was founded in 2005 after Ryan Grey Smith and Ahna Holder, a husband and wife team of architects, constructed their own stylish Modern Shed to supplement the living and storage space in their 1940s era Seattle home. The couple claims to be the original Modern Shed builders, who began the movement of adding aesthetically pleasing, modern outbuildings for extra storage, work or relaxation space to back yards across the country.

midcentury-modern-shed midcentury-modern-shedEach Modern Shed is custom designed and built to meet the unique needs of the customer, allowing for a wide range of choices for interior and exterior finishes, windows, doors, roofing and the size of the shed. Because every shed is custom and there are so many variables, Modern Shed doesn’t list prices on its website.

3. Kanga Room Systems:

modern shedKanga Room Systems is based out of Waco, Texas, and offers modern sheds in sizes from 6′ x 8′ to 12′ x 14′, as well as studios and cabins — which are basically pre-fab houses. Kanga will install your shed, studio or cabin if you live within a 60 mile radius of the manufacturing plant, otherwise you can purchase a kit to construct your own that can be shipped anywhere across the country.

modern shed modern shedBase prices for their shed styles range from $3,250 to $5,495 installed or $2,580 – $4,650 plus shipping for the kit with several custom add ons available. Kanga prides itself on helping its customers achieve “better smaller living.”

4. Modern Spaces and Sheds:

midcentury shedsModern Spaces and Sheds is based in Chico, California, and began in 2008 when owner Eric Enns, a general contractor by trade, noticed a niche he could fill building small modern outbuildings to be used as extra rooms, studios and offices. The company has six different designs. Kits range from $7,500 for a fully finished mini 6′ x 8′ kit to $9,850 for a fully finished 9’x11′ space.

midcentury shedsCurrently. Modern Spaces and Sheds only delivers and installs kits within California, but you can purchase architectural plans for any of the six models through the website to construct your own or to be used by your local contractor.

5. Studio Shed

midcentury shedStudio Shed began in 2008 in Boulder, Colorado, after Mike Koening and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski — two friends who shared a love of mountain biking and modern design — needed storage space. The pair tried to find a pre-made shed that could both store their bikes while looking sleek and modern, but when they came up empty handed, they decided to create a better option.

midcentury shedmidcentury-green-houseToday, Studio Shed offers mini sheds for storage, several sizes and of sheds that can be customized from a variety of options to be used as outdoor rooms, and have also just introduced the shed sprout — a midcentury style greenhouse. Studio Shed had a helpful shed configurator tool to help you see how different sizes and customization options will affect the overall price — for example very basic 6′ x 8′ shed with no extras is about $6,586. Studio Sheds can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.

6. Sett Studio

midcentury shed

Set Studio, based inAustin, Texas, has a line home office or studio sheds. Base price for a small home office — 8′ x 12′ — starts at $14,999 plus shipping if you don’t live in the Austin area.

midcentury shedLike many of the other modern shed companies in this story, Sett Studio offers a myriad of customization options for both the interior and exterior, including their signature blackened wood siding, inspired by the Japanese Shou-sugi-ban process that weatherizes the wood and prevents bugs and rot.

7. Tuff Shed

modern shed

Tuff Shed, a company known for their traditional style sheds, now offers a Premier Pro Studio shed with a modern look. The shed is available in sizes from 8’x10′ to 12’x24′ and the base price starts at $4,329 for an unpainted shed.

modern shedTuff Shed has factories and showrooms across the country, making it possible for them to build and deliver sheds locally, possibly reducing shipping costs, depending on where you live. Though they are new to building modern style sheds, the company has been in the traditional style shed business since 1981.

8. Aston from Costco

midcentury-modern-shed-costcoAdded May 2016: Thanks to reader Marc for this tip: This cute little midcentury modern shed — the “Aston” — is currently on sale for $999 through May 29, 2016 — shipping to your door included — via Costco. It’s not a biggie, just 10′ x 7’5″, and it appears you must assemble it. But it’s a cutie, for sure. See this link to the product listing page for all the details and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to construct it safely.

9. Build your oww midcentury style shed

If you are handy, building your own modern shed is always an option. With time, patience, and hard work, building your own modern shed can save you oodles of money like homeowner David van Alphen did when he built his own modern style shed for less than $3,000.

You may also remember one of our readers who built his own midcentury modern style playhouse and chicken coop to complement his 1955 home:

Pam also found plans for the MD100 (Modular Dwelling) by Edgar Blazona originally made for the now defunct Readymade Magazine. The MD100 is 10’x10′ and can be built for about $1,500 in materials. You can see the plans via a link on the blog Relax Shacks, though you’ll have to pay at least $8.99 through the website Scribd. to download or print the plans.

Personally, if I ever decide that I must have a modern shed, studio, playhouse — or that awesome greenhouse — in my backyard, I will be building my own to save cost, have a custom design — and because I really enjoy tackling home improvement projects. For those who are not as handy or ambitious, it is great to know that so many great modern style shed options exist.

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Comments

  1. Katie B. says

    Here is a free download link for the Edgar Blazona plans:

    http://www.redcoverstudios.com/?p=642

    I used to love Readymade magazine. I was so sad when it folded.

    All of these options look pretty cool to me. We will probably be custom building a shed, possibly tiki themed, but I would also love one of these. I think I need a bigger lot. 🙂

  2. Jennifer says

    If you DIY, don’t forget Sunset Magazine and its publications! They have been showcasing and offering plans for small outbuildings for decades.

  3. Robin, NV says

    For those of us in mid modest homes, DIY is probably the more authentic way to go. Mr. and Mrs. Midcentury probably would not have invested a lot in a shed. I know my grandparents would not have. I have a small lot and no garage, so the main purpose for any shed I build is to store lawn furniture and equipment in the winter. These designs are lovely but I need something specific to my needs. Luckily I have a hubby who can build stuff for me.

    Looking at the above examples gives me lots of ideas though. I like the shed roof with windows under the eaves. It looks like almost like a clerestory window. That would be a good way to bring in light without sacrificing security and durability.

  4. hannah says

    These are very cool. All of a sudden I find myself daydreaming of building one of these in the back yard for my office instead of trying to build out in the basement.

    We have a HUGE back yard, quite lush with trees, bushes and flowers – it would be a fabulous setting in the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. Winter not so sure. Then, after daydreaming for a spell, it hit me about running electricity, etc. So, the day dreaming ended and back to thinking about a corner in the basement. 🙂

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Hannah, I love your description of your thinking process! I helps the rest of us remember some of the things we need to consider when building an outdoor space.

      I have one more thing to add. You need to check on the zoning in your town and/or the restrictions in your HOA’s bylaws and regulations (if you are part of a home owners’ association). In our town, we need to apply for a building permit for a shed, involving submitting plans, even if we are not going to electrify or heat it.

  5. Scott says

    The Studio Shed is so beautiful I’d want to live it in. The concrete shape and placement is breathtaking.

  6. Michael Dunning says

    You just keep having the best posts!! Can’t tell you how much we’ve used the info that you have gathered for your readers. Thanks again for all of this great stuff on your site.

  7. linda h says

    Been considering a shed. Good to know we have Kanga Room Systems nearby. Too bad I have never seen them at the Texas Home and Garden Show. Now I need to go map whether we are within sixty miles of the company.

    • Larry says

      I just bought this one for my 1959 mid century modest homes back yard. It was on sale for $999 and we are using it for bicycles and the lawnmower. It is really awesome and the price is amazing. It includes them delivering to your house!

  8. Lauryn says

    I’m so glad I’ve been stuck on hold, so I could spend all this time looking at these wonderful sheds. Something about small, clean spaces and I start to fantasize and dream about a space like that for us. We are a child-free couple living in a two bedroom home with a finished attic AND a two car garage (not typical in 1939, either) so it’s probably not at all necessary and not likely to happen any time soon, but it’s so fun to look at these. Thanks for posting all the links!!

  9. says

    This is such a great and timely post. We’re looking to clear out part of our garage and couldn’t find a shed that would tie in to our 1958 mid century modest house. Thank you!

  10. Scott says

    If you are on a budget, lowes has a shed called th. Heartland Metropolitan. It costs 1900 dollars as a kit and 2500 dollars installed. This is less than half the cost in the next least expensive shed mentioned above. The dimensions are seven and a half feet by 12 feet.

  11. Sam says

    I have a shed in the back of my mcm home, it’s needing repair badly! I saw photos of it when the home was first built and my jaw dropped to the floor in mcm awesomeness! How I wish they had kept the panels of different colors, very Eames like, that were sliding sections. It would be helpful if I could find a site that would give instructions on remodeling it, since the bones and cement floor are all good, it just the cheap wood siding that is warped, and the roof may be salvaged but I’m not sure. I bet there’s more than just myself with an old shed in their backyard dreaming of an upgrade like me! Lol!

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