In need of space for basic yard storage at their Seattle home, Ahna Holder and Ryan Smith, who together run Grey Design Studio, decided to design and build a simple 10- by 12-foot garden shed. "All it needed to do was hold tools," explains Smith, "so we thought we would have a little fun with it."
The fun is in the use of Hardipanel, a cement-based exterior siding material, to cover the standard, uninsulated, 2-by-4 wood frame in an elegant grid pattern, and in the gently sloping galvanized metal roof, which creates the impression of a lid being lifted.
The narrow wedge of space under the slanting roof is open to keep out rain but allow in light and air. The shed "floats" on pier footings, allowing air to circulate beneath it so the room remains dry.
Smith chose to seal the siding to "keep the green down," referring to the moss that sprouts on just about any north-facing surface in the Northwest. (Note: The manufacturer says all of its siding products should be painted with 100 percent acrylic paint for the warranty to be effective.)
Design: Grey Design Studio, Seattle (206/524-2223)
Resources: Hardipanel, by James Hardie Siding Products (866/442-7343)