Once Sharon and Jeff decided to add a shed, they faced every homeowner's first decision: where to put it. Almost every inch of their 85-by-110-foot lot was spoken for with the studio and established gardens that feed Sharon's work. But there was an unused spot, about 7 by 12 feet, near the front of the house, just inside the stucco wall that surrounds the property. So they decided to build there, steps from their front door and next to a patio with a metal arbor, which they covered with inexpensive reed fencing for a shady potting area. In such a prominent place, "the shed's proportions were very important," says Jeff, a real-estate broker, who played chief designer on the project.
Shown: Home-center reed fencing turned a metal arbor above the flagstone patio into a shade structure for Sharon's outdoor potting. A teak table serves as a potting bench for small projects; she just brushes or hoses it off when she's done. Then the table resumes its original role, holding a cup of hot tea or a cool drink.