Customer Q&A: How Mary Morris Ordered a Salon and Got an Art Studio

by Jan 15, 2021Our Products

Heritage Portable Buildings | Art Studio | Portable Building with Porch | Mary Morris

In 2020, illustrator Mary Morris began spending her days in a portable building situated on a grassy corner of her farm in Ferndale, WA. From that quaint art studio (one of our Winthrop designs), she now draws small animals, happy people, and pleasant scenes. Her work decorates the greeting cards, notepads, family portraits, home illustrations, and other wares that she sells through her online shop,

Mary says she adores her studio, even though it’s not what she originally planned. She ordered the building from Heritage Portable Buildings to further her career as an esthetician. However, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down her business, and the small building has now turned into something unexpected.

Check out how Mary’s salon has become an art space that soothes her soul and fosters a new career path.


Heritage: Why did you want a backyard space instead of using a room in your house?

Mary: My intention as an esthetician was to offer my esthetic services to rural-living clientele as well as have my studio in town. I also thought I could spend more time at home raising my daughter if I had a cute mini spa on my property instead of spending most of my days away from home.

I ordered my shed around January 2020, with a 6- to-7-week window of time between ordering my shed and “her” arrival. COVID-19 started to trickle into the country, and shutdowns began to happen. This included my business because it was nonessential.

When my beautiful shed was delivered, we were a few weeks into Phase 1, and I didn’t see a glimmer of hope reopening my esthetics business at the time. But I had started to draw again. I went to college to be an art teacher and have drawn and painted for my own pleasure. With the stress of the world and being stuck at home, drawing became my outlet.

Heritage Portable Buildings | Art Studio | Portable Building with Porch | Illustrator
I was pulling out my art supplies from boxes and started painting in my cold basement. And then one day, I thought, “What am I doing in a dark and cold basement when I have a beautiful space in the bright sunshine just a few yards away?!?”

Although unfinished at this time, the shed was still going to be an esthetics salon. I started heaving art supplies and furniture across my yard, set up “shop,” and started painting in my own space. It was magical, quiet, and ALL MINE!

As the months ticked on and regulations changed to go back to work, I realized my soul needed this space more than my career. Instead of my Pinterest she-shed pins for a mini spa and designing it for my clients, I just went for what made me happy. Of course, the art studio isn’t ship-lapped with stunning floors like planned…but she’s just perfect for soggy boots, music turned up loud, and a dog or chickens roaming through from time-to-time.

Heritage Portable Buildings | Art Studio | Portable Building with Porch | The Winthrop
Heritage: Why did you choose The Winthrop? Did you add any special options or features?

Mary: I loved many of HPB’s designs, and it was really hard to decide. It basically came down to budget and space. What captured my attention was the Winthrop’s adorable front porch. I was willing to trade square footage to have the cutest little porch to sit on in the summer months. Eventually, I will have a little path and flowers planted around her adorable stoop.

Heritage: How did the Heritage staff help you select your building?

Mary: Everyone I talked to was very kind and helpful…but I am the kind of person who knows exactly what she wants. There wasn’t any need for help selecting. I basically walked in and said, “This is it; let’s make it happen!” And they responded with, “Yes, ma’am. Let’s do it!” So, I appreciate their fluidity and trust in my opinion instead of talking me into something bigger or a lot of add-ons.

Heritage: Did you have to do any work on the art studio after you purchased it?

Mary: Yes, we installed insulation in the walls and ceiling before completing the walls and adding electrical outlets. I still plan on finishing the floor, but for now, I tossed down some primer and paint and a few throw rugs. Simple and basic, but it does the job!

Heritage: What thoughts drove your interior design? Why did you choose the white walls? And why did you make these choices for the art studio’s decor?

Mary: She was basically a shell when she arrived. And the options were endless. But with being out of work, the budget went from great to almost nil. There wasn’t much choice in the matter. It was reuse what we have and make do. After purchasing the necessities, I rummaged around and found a few things. We had an abundance of white paint. I liked that the white opened up the space, creating a bright space to work in.

Heritage Portable Buildings | Art Studio | Portable Building with Porch | Washington | The Winthrop
Heritage: How does it feel now to work in your art space?

Mary: How does it feel? Well, when I walk into the space, I say out loud, “Hello you!” And when I lock up, I say, “Good night, you.” I am very mindful of the energy and environment I am in. Creating in a space that is all mine offers me the chance to be vulnerable, be myself, and forget that an entire world is happening outside. I didn’t know a 600 square-foot space could unlock a chamber in my heart that I didn’t realize needed releasing. It feels like love.


353 Pease Rd Burlington, WA 98233

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