The Modern-Shed Dallas Home Featured in White Rock Home Tour

Extracted from

Heidi Brunet’s house is not a shed. Although it was designed and prefabricated by Modern-Shed of Seattle and then shipped to Dallas for assembly and finish out, it is decidedly not a shed.

With more than 2,000 square feet and lots of windows, the house basks in natural light and a view of White Rock Lake.

“There are no houses between me and the lake,” Burnet says. She has relatively little backyard, but a 1,000-square-foot-deck in front of the house provides splendid views.

The unusual house on E. Lake Highlands Drive is one of five included on the White Rock Home Tour, April 26 and 27. Proceeds benefit the neighborhood’s Hexter Elementary School.

Brunet, who has lived in the structure about a year, says it has several advantages. Since the frame was constructed in panels in Seattle and shipped here ready to be installed on the site, walls went up quickly.

“It was walk-in tight within five days,” she says. That meant building materials were not exposed to the elements before being installed.

There also was little construction waste, which pleased her. The house is ecologically friendly inside as well, says Brunet, 44, with high-end finishing materials.

While the home’s construction is a little unusual, Brunet, a coomercial mortgage banker, believes it will serve her well in the future with low maintenance and upkeep.

Brunet does have a true backyard shed, in terms of size. But it is another modern, clean-lined pre-fab number also designed by Modern-Shed. It’s her 100-square-foot office.

Not all homeowners are thrilled when they are asked to open their home for a tour, says David Goltl, a designer who has been involved with the White Rock tour for several years. They worry the rooms might not be up to magazine display standards or that the patio has not yet been furnished.

Goltl, studio proprietor at Design Within Reach, an event sponsor, says he has helped owners out by staging less-than-perfect rooms for tour weekend.

“We tell them everything is fine. We’ll add a piece to this room and a piece to that room so there won’t be any big holes,” he says.

For a couple of years, he also has styled outdoor rooms with borrowed accessories to give them a more complete look. This year he’s helping with the tour stop on Wildgrove Avenue.

“Everyone’s home is a work in progress,” he says.

Karel Holloway is a Terrell freelance writer.

Go touring

The ninth annual White Rock Home Tour is from noon to 5 p.m. April 26-27.

Homes on the tour include:

8643 Groveland Drive

9211 E. Lake Highlands Drive

6558 Avalon Ave.

8712 Rolling Rock Lane

7151 Wildgrove Ave.

Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at tour houses. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Children 11 and younger are free.

Advance tickets are available by cash or check at:

White Rock Coffee, 10105 E. Northwest Highway and 4216 Abrams Road

Green Spot Market & Fuels, 702 N. Buckner Blvd.

Tom Thumb stores, 6333 E. Mockingbird Lane, 8698 Skillman St. and 7700 Northwest Highway

Hypnotic Donuts, 9007 Garland Road

For more information, see

To learn about Modern-Shed designs, see

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Closed Cell Foam Insulation – Texas Home

By: Heidi Brunet (Modern-Shed Dwelling Owner, Dallas, TX)

According to the US Dept of Energy, air infiltration can account for 30% or more of a home’s heating and cooling costs. Traditional types of insulation allow air leakage throughout your home. This draftiness is responsible for high heating and cooling costs, an uncomfortable home during the summer and winter months, and allows allergens to freely accumulate in your home.

To maximize energy efficiency, I chose to use 2 inches of closed-cell spray foam insulation in combination with rockwool, a green insulation made mostly from rocks and minerals. Rock wool insulation contains 70-75% recycled content. 

Why closed cell foam insulation?

  • First, its high R-Value which provides outstanding thermal performance, so it minimizes hot and cold spots that can affect the efficiency and comfort of a home.
  • Second, its rigidity provides added structural integrity to your walls.
  • Third, it acts as a secondary moisture vapor barrier to help reduce the risk of moisture or mold in the walls, roof and crawl space of the house.

This insulation combination (closed-cell spray foam and rockwool) will achieve… 

R-value of R-28 in the 2×6 exterior walls [R-13 (closed cell) + R-15 (rockwool)]. Compare that to traditional fiberglass insulation of R-11 to R-15. The higher the R-value the better – the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.

R-value of R-39 in the 2×10 roof panels [R-13 (closed cell) + R-26 (rockwool)]. 

The combination of energy efficient spray foam and rockwool insulation will provide excellent insulation, save on energy cost, protects against moisture reducing the chance of mold or mildew, provide excellent sound control and superior indoor air quality.

To see the most recent photos of the Modern-Shed dwelling, visit:

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Inside Scoop: The Texas Modern-Shed Dwelling

The following interview is with home-builder, Heidi Brunet, who is constructing the first modern, pre-fab, home built by Modern-Shed. Modern-Shed recently launched its “dwelling” line, which is an extension from its pre-fab “room” specialty. Heidi’s home is a full-sized family style home, and is being built in Dallas, Texas.  

Q: How is the building process going thus far? There has been tremendous progress in the past couple of weeks – the foundation was poured, floors were installed, walls were built, and most recently the roof was added. Is the process as fast as you thought it would be? Have you come across any hiccups this early on in the process?

A: No. The entire shell of the house went up in 3 days with very basic tools. It was faster than I anticipated. Next week we will frame the internal walls in the house, assemble the carport, rough in electrical wiring throughout the house, install the fireplace and start putting up siding.

Q: What is the most “green” aspect of the home? Upon finishing the house, you are adding Haiku fans, cement floors, recycled glass tiles, as well as composite counter tops – what other features will add to the eco-friendliness of your home?

A: Led lighting, non-V.O.C paints, soy based spray-foam insulation, and composite decking.

Q: Tell us about the water feature. You are building a hot tub that will be located to the side of one of the two guest bedrooms – what inspired you to include a water feature? How are you insuring that the feature will be efficient and “green”?

A: The water feature is really a spa/hot tub, which I like to call “plunge pool” inspiration from the Rosewood Mayakoba voted #1 Resort in Mexico and #18 Hotel in the world. Led See attached photo. I wanted to create a relaxing resort style stay-cation type experience with the spa. Green features, built with cement which is made %50 recycled material, spray foam insulation, SilentFlo 5000 circulation pump continuously circulates spa water using less energy to operate than a 40-watt light bulb, and dimmer-controlled LED lights that use less energy than a standard light bulb.


Q: You like to cook; the kitchen is bound to be absolutely incredible. Tell us about some of the features that you will be incorporating into the kitchen.

A: The kitchen has a cooktop, 2 ovens, built-in plumbed coffee station, commercial fridge, dishwasher, wine fridge, and a Faber vent hood which is stylish and function. The countertop bar area and open floor plan to the dining and living room will be great for entertaining.

Q: In terms of decorating, the amount of light that Modern-Shed’s transom windows allow is unparalleled. How do you work around so much natural light when choosing paint colors and additional lighting, which will change depending on the natural light in the space?  

A: I keep things clean and modern with paint selections. For more on the lighting layout, see the interview below with Lighting Designer, Suzanne Branch.

Q: Are there any additional features you would like to share? What are you most excited about?  

A: I’m most excited about living in the house of my dreams and living near the lake. The peninsula area is the only area in Dallas I would want to live in. I love seeing the lake in such a natural setting, enjoying the beautiful of the city park and seeing all the activity with people running, biking and walking along the lake. The lake is such a draw for people in the city coming from suburbs as far as Plano on weekends. It’s a gem!

By: Jamie Nicole Johnson

Modern Urban Retreats

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Light Me Up: Modern-Shed Dwelling Lighting Plan

Suzanne Branch, Lighting specialist, Licensed Architect in the State of Texas of LuM Lighting Design, describes in detail the lighting plan of the first Modern-Shed Dwelling. This home is in the process of being built in Dallas, Texas and will be completed this year.

Lighting is one of the most important elements of building a new home. New homeowner, Heidi Brunet sought out a lighting specialist to ensure that the lighting is just perfect.

To read more about the home, visit our prior blog post: 

LED Lighting

The entire lighting specification of this home will be LED, which really fits into the energy conservation story of the house. I wouldn’t select LED lighting if it didn’t achieve our goals of a warm, inviting environment in which the architecture, furniture and artwork are the focus.

Lighting Layout

In lighting a home, I stay away from doing a simple grid of downlights in the ceiling, which gives a uniform amount of light everywhere in the space; that is the goal of an office environment, but not a home. What we do is strategically place and aim specific types of lighting to highlight various pieces of artwork or furniture that are important to the owner as well as architectural details that add so much to the space. Then we go back and fill in areas where additional ambient lighting is required such as in the kitchen, or where people might be reading at the sofa. We place the lighting where it’s specifically needed.

Control Fixtures 

One of the biggest elements of achieving a highly functional lighting design is not only the proper layout of the fixtures, but the control of the fixtures through zoned dimming and switching. This is important so that we get a balance of the various lighting types used. For example, during daylight hours, we might only want the art accent and kitchen under-cabinet lighting on. During the evening, we might want the art accent to be up pretty high for a dramatic “pop” of color with the art and the ambient lighting down pretty low.

For large spaces that encompass multiple use areas such as this home’s living/dining/kitchen space where there is typically a minimum of wall space and many lighting control zones, we don’t want to clutter an entire wall with banks of wallbox dimmers. Nor do we want to sprinkle dimmers around the space so that when she wants to turn it all on, she has to run around to multiple locations. We want to provide a pre-set dimming control such as a Lutron Grafik Eye or Spacer, which allows for multiple zone control from one wall station.

This allows us to program in various “scenes” such as Day or Evening or Party so that she can recall them easily at various times of the day.

These control systems can also be interfaced with security systems, AV systems and the HVAC system if desired so that an owner can control things remotely (even from their iPhone) if they want to; no more trying to remember if you turned the lights off when you left.

The Vision Coming to Life

We work closely with owners, architects and interior designers to understand the vision and goals of the project – this means everything from architectural details both inside and out, the landscape and hardscape details as well as finishes, furniture and artwork. We select the most appropriate lighting strategy and product for each particular application and project. No two are ever alike. They may employ similar strategies such as art accent lighting but the product selection criteria are entirely project-specific. Because we work so closely with other design and engineering professionals, it’s helpful to have a design background.

A view of the lighting plan is provided below. Stay tuned for an additional post about the unique features of this Modern-Shed home.


By Jamie Nicole Johnson

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Everything is bigger in Texas, Including Modern-Shed!

Everything is bigger in Texas, Including Modern-Shed

Finally an affordable, custom designed, modern, energy efficient, green, prefab home available nationwide. 

By: Jamie Nicole Johnson


Modern-Shed, a Seattle based company, founded by architect/designer Ryan Grey Smith, has been delighting thousands of clients with prefab structures throughout the US and Canada since 2005. Over the years, Modern-Shed has garnered a wide range of attention, from features in The New York Times, Sunset Magazine and Dwell, to public acclaim by outdoor living guru Jamie Durie (host of HGTV hit The Outdoor Room).

Last year, Modern-Shed expanded its product offerings to Texas and its very first dwelling shed will be built in The Peninsula neighborhood in East Dallas. The house is an Energy Smart, custom designed, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,100 square foot one-story house with a large outdoor living space.

In addition to being prefabricated and “green”, this home will add a contemporary, modern, flare to the neighborhood and will also be an eye pleasing sight to passing-by cyclists.

The shell of this prefab home will be manufactured in a small town near Seattle, then shipped flat in sections to Dallas, where it will be assembled and wrapped with a weather tight casing in only four or five days. Once the shell is assembled, subcontractors will complete the interior finish-out work, all of which is will be completed within only a few short months. Start to finish, this house will be move-in ready in 150 to 180 days, as compared to up to 12 months for typical new home construction.

For more about the benefits of prefab living, click here:

“As we designed this house, our approach was simple: modern, high quality, energy efficient, good design and green – inside and out,” said soon-to-be new homeowner, Heidi Brunet.

“Making smart decisions about materials, and smart use of space, has always been the primary objective for Modern-Shed from day one.  While the company’s product offerings have evolved over the years, the company mission has always been rooted in efficiency and green thinking.”

“Like many other homeowners, I’ve become increasingly more concerned about rising energy costs,” said Brunet.  According to the US Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 50% of 70% of the energy used in the average home. This Energy Smart, green home, was designed with that in mind.


We’re excited to share this new project with you. We have posted exclusive photos and information on this build on our Facebook page.

For project updates on this house and many other exciting new projects, you can find us on Facebook at:

For more information about the construction of this home contact:

Construction by: Ikon Residential and Steve Tortolani

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First Modern-Shed Prefab Modern Home

modern prefab home, modern modular house, modern prefab house, prefabricated homes, modern prefab homes texas, modular homes texas

The first family-sized Modern-Shed! Coming to Dallas soon.

Dare to dream up your perfect home?

This beauty is coming soon to Dallas, Texas! The first of many Modern-Shed prefab homes. This unit is still in its design phase, but the imagery says it all… this is a masterpiece on the brink of fruition.

Eco-friendly, sustainable, efficient, customizable… you’re imagination is limitless. Why can’t your home be the same?

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Modern-Shed in the News!

Check out Modern-Shed in the local Washington news.

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Vlog: Prefabricated Houses – Endless Possibilities

Prefabricated houses are on the rise. Just one example of what you can do.

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3 Benefits of New Prefabricated Eco-Friendly Homes

By tadas:

Prefabricated homes aren’t really that new of a concept in the building market. For many decades now, modular prefabricated homes have been built and sold as a less expensive alternative to buying a home on the market. The difference today is that prefab has become trendy. With a bit of an aesthetic facelift and a rebranding scheme, modular homes have become the hot new thing in home building and buying. As statistics on unemployment, a failing economy, crippling debt, soaring college costs, and so much more bombard our views, the thought of owning a house is almost impossible. Many young professionals struggle to pay off college loans well into their adulthood and years after they have completed their degrees. This causes major adult life steps like getting married, buying a house, and having children to get pushed back further and further. But, the prefab homes that are on the market today may be just the answer. Keeping many modern-day issues in mind, prefabricated eco-friendly homes have a lot of offer the young home buyer.


1. Inexpensive

One of the most enticing things about prefabricated homes is that they can really cut back on the price of purchasing and owning a home. Though not all prefabricated models are a cheaper option than buying an existing home, they can offer many aspects of financial relief. For one, many prefab eco-friendly home companies are focused on using reusable and highly efficient materials. By working hard to create the most energy efficient constructions, prefab homeowners can actually save a lot of money in the long run. Builders (and therefore owners) save money on materials using recycled or sustainable lumber and other things. Because the construction is done in a controlled indoor environment, the homes and buildings tend to have superior insulation, cutting energy costs in the future. Moreover, many of the design and construction costs are reduced by the prefabricated nature of the process. Because things are not built onsite, there is less material waste and workers do not have to combat with the elements.

2. Aesthetic, Modern & Pleasant

Another reason that prefab homes are become such a trend in the market today is because they have become synonymous with a hip modern aesthetic. Prefab homes have found their design place in clean lines, multifunctioning spaces, and sustainable materials. These are three elements that define modern architecture and design. Prefab construction companies like Eco Offsite in San Jose, California and Blu Homes headed in Massachusetts and San Francisco are wonderful examples of this modern aesthetic. For individuals looking for a truly modern design at a reasonable price, prefab eco homes are likely one of your best options.

3. Environmentally Conscious

Lastly, but certainly not least important, prefabricated homes enter the true realm of modernity by being environmentally conscious. In an effort to create the best construction with the smallest eco-impact, prefab homes make strong use of recycled and sustainable materials, put careful thought into land use, and waste as little material as possible. Many companies put particular thought into where the home is positioned so that it is utilizing natural factors as optimally as possible. This helps reduce energy costs and waste. Also, materials like recycled metals, concrete, glass tiles, and bamboo are used in the construction for their sustainability and durability. Because homes are built within a warehouse, natural elements like rain cannot cause damage to the structure during its vulnerable stages. This greatly reduces material waste. Eco-friendliness and quality can go hand-in-hand with prefab construction, combining cost effectiveness, sustainability, and design.

For the original copy of this article, see:

GUEST AUTHOR: Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing aboutonline colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed

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Radiant Roof Sheathing (Thermastrand) & Tankless Water Heaters

Sam Marquit is a entrepreneur, home improvement specialist, and part time blogger. Fee free to visit Sam’s blog, and don’t forget to connect with him @fmarquitv. If you’d like to place a link around my name to my blog, that would be great! (

As a homeowner and private contractor, I understand the importance of sustainability. Having worked on Long Island Homes for over 3 years now, I’ve seen a lot of things that are commonplace, along with some that are newer to me.

Tankless water heaters and radiant roof sheathing are among the most innovative energy-saving home improvement technologies available today. Many homeowners overlook these devices. However, they can help people save a lot of money on energy expenses.

Radiant Barriers

HVAC systems work hard during the summer and winter seasons. As a result, utility bills can be high during these times of the year. This is the main reason why radiant barriers can be very valuable. They are made of sheet aluminum and installed below the roof sheathing. These places become the hottest parts of the house during the summer. The dark areas of the house generally absorb and attract heat. This is a big problem in locations where the climate is very hot. A lot of heat can build up near the roof of the house, and this can increase cooling costs. There is less heat transfer from the roof to the house when radiant barriers are installed. The attic remains cool. As a result, homes require a lot less energy to keep them cool and comfortable. With radiant barriers, the air conditioner will no longer have to work too hard.

Another advantage of utilizing radiant roof sheathing is reduced carbon emissions. Because of the low levels of energy consumption needed to heat or cool the house, there is also minimal energy loss. With this, only a small amount of carbon is released into the atmosphere. This helps create a greener environment inside the home. The entire family can breathe the cleanest indoor air when radiant sheathing is installed. Most importantly, the environment remains unharmed.

Furthermore, radiant barriers can help cool down areas of the house that air conditioning cannot reach. This includes the garage and the attic. With less radiant heat in these areas, they are much more usable. This provides more space for homeowners and the entire family. With radiant roof sheathing, everyone can enjoy a comfortable, eco-friendly and economical indoor environment at home.

Tankless Water Heaters

People living in cold areas suffer from very high heating costs. These expenses hinder then from doing more home-improvement projects. Fortunately, there are many ways to lower heating costs. One of the best ways to save on energy bills is to use tankless water heaters. These water heaters may cost a bit to install. However, the savings that homeowners experience can pay for these units over time.

Tankless water heaters only operate on demand. Unlike conventional heaters, tankless heaters do not require storage tanks. Water held in storage tanks experiences high levels of thermal heat loss. When this happens, heating costs rise. Tankless water systems eliminate this problem. In fact, they can reduce the cost of heating water by over 50 percent.

In addition, tankless water heaters can provide hot water whenever it is needed. Homeowners can leave these heaters on all day without the worries. They heat water to safe and reasonable temperatures. Compared to conventional heaters, tankless systems lower the risk of scalding. According to the United States Department of Energy, the reduction in water temperature allows energy savings of up to 5 percent.

Tankless water heaters require very little system maintenance. Because they do not have water storage tanks, these heaters are not prone to leaks. They can last a very long time without having to be repaired. Many of these systems can last for over 20 years. Homeowners can save a lot on repair charges alone when they switch to tankless water heaters. All of these savings can even pay for the system itself. Additionally, tankless water systems are portable. They are perfect for homes that do not have a lot of floor space. Many condo owners prefer these systems.

Tankless water heaters and radiant roof sheathing provide a lot of advantages. They are some of the smartest investments that homeowners can make to save money on utility bills.

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