Producing Your Outdoor Vision

At A Place to Grow we pride ourselves on working with our clients to fulfill their dream of having their own unique “Place to Grow” whether it’s a greenhouse, artist studio, “She Shed” or outdoor dining area.
We are an environmentally friendly company that creates greenhouses, and other unique outdoor spaces out of recycled and reclaimed materials, keeping these materials out of the landfill and re-purposing them into functional art. Each outdoor structure is as unique as the reclaimed materials used to build it.

A Stunning Creative Space

Design Choices

At our first meeting with our clients we determine what their vision is, and start looking through our warehouse of available materials including windows, old barn wood, urban forested wood, and French Oak used in wine making. We do the drawings and propose several different design choices for them to choose from. Once we have finalized the design and have materials picked out for their unique structure, we meet with our craftsmen to begin construction.

Each of our structures is built as individual wall segments, with the roof consisting of two separate panels. So for example, a typical four-sided structure would consist of four walls and two roof panels. There may also be two additional gable end panels depending on the design. Each of these panels is loaded onto a trailer for delivery to the client’s site.
We also design two- and three-sided units, as well as custom arbors, to accommodate whatever purpose you can dream up!

Need your new greenhouse right away? Check out our inventory of Outdoor Lifestyle Spaces Currently Available for purchase today.

Prior to installation of the structure, the site needs to be prepared to ensure a solid, level surface to erect the structure on. We work with several different landscape contractors that are trained in preparing the site and installing our structures.

Design Gallery

Check out these photos of spaces we’ve created to find design ideas for your very own Place to Grow. Click here to see the full gallery.

  • newhome
  • newhome
  • newhome
  • newhome
  • newhome
  • newhome
  • newhome

Craftsmanship and Materials

Each of our structures is custom created with the highest level of attention to detail. We strive to provide our customers with a structure that is aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. We consider them to be functional art and as such they are constructed with this in mind. The reclaimed windows and doors are each unique in size and therefore need to be custom crafted to fit in each of our structures. We use various repurposed materials, from 100-year-old barn wood to repurposed French oak once used in wine processing, all materials are custom crafted into our structures with the utmost of attention to detailed craftsmanship.

To put a fine point on it, you can get “ordinary” just about anywhere, there is a unique story with each unit from where the windows originated, some having old wavy glass, to the use of old growth redwood that was on the way to the landfill to the use of modern construction remnants such as Cor-ten corrugated and sheet metal. We also have a source for urban forested lumber. What is “urban forested lumber” you may ask? This is lumber milled from trees that have fallen on their own or trees that an arborist has determined must be removed. We work with local mills that produce this lumber specifically for us to use in our structures.

Outdoor Lifestyle Spaces Currently Available

Need your new space right away? Check out our current inventory ready for purchase today!

The Nantucket

This beach style cottage reminds us a lot of Cape Cod. We believe it would make a great artist studio, ”She Shed” or meditative space where you can light a candle, sip your tea or wine and read your favorite book! This structure is truly a work of art from the tinted blue paint with a white wash over it to the vintage windows thru-out. Of course the bright red antique Dutch door with an antique crystal knob is a show stopper. It is complemented by another bright red door that drops open on the back wall. Both side walls feature windows framed in the shape of a diamond giving it that artistic touch that we love here at A Place to Grow. You need to see it to truly appreciate the artistic detail that went into creating this amazing structure.

Sales Price $15,500 
Spring Sale 10% off, now $13,950

Rustic Live Edge Cabin

This spectacular shed features urban forested lumber from a Monterey Pine tree that came down in Cambria, CA. They have lost up to 50% of these beautiful trees to Bark Beetle and the drought. Cal Fire contacted Pacific Coast Lumber to divert these trees from the landfill by milling them into a useable end product. This shed features this Monterey pine from Cambria and stunningly displays a live edge siding giving it that rustic feel! It also features a 3’ porch overhang in the front and a vintage door that drops open to a bar top on the side wall. Last but not least, the wood framed windows belonged to a long time SLO resident who was loved by many, Dr. DeVincenzo, a local orthodontist here on the central coast. The windows were in his orthodontist office and bring his beautiful energy into this shed!

Sales Price $12,500

Wait, There’s More!

Check out these additional products we create from recycled & reclaimed materials.

Amazing Arbors
Perfect Potting Tables
Gorgeous Gates
Light & Bright Custom Sheds
Stunning Chandeliers
Delightful Desks
Beautiful Redwood Slab Tables
Terrific Tables

What Our Clients Say

  • Magical

    “Dana, I had to tell you our number 3 granddaughter, Cadence, saw the play house for the first time today, she stopped in her steps and said “Oh Grandma, you got a glass cottage from the woods. Do fairies live in it?” Thanks again for even more magic. We are having so much fun, the whole neighborhood was in there today.”

    Cindy, Los Osos, CA

  • Inspiration

    “I cannot possibly find all the words needed to tell you how much I am enjoying my studio. It is beautiful and inspiring as well as being practical and useful. I have been using my sewing studio for about two months now and have found that I am so much more productive than when I just used an extra bedroom. I didn’t expect that, but this space has allowed me to really focus on the creative process. I also love that, when I open both French doors, I feel like my sewing space is right in the garden. I suspect the out-of-doors feeling is what allows me to spend so much time in the studio. I totally lose track of time. The light is perfect and even on an overcast morning I don’t need to turn on the light. Thanks Dana, this creative space has totally exceeded my expectations.”

    Lisa, Los Osos, CA

  • Meditation

    “From the moment we first met you at the home show in Paso last spring, we have been in love with the idea of having a greenhouse built from reclaimed building material from the central coast. Bill and I have lived here in San Luis Obispo county for over 35 years and we both treasure our community and appreciate the building material you have reclaimed from many local structures we were familiar with in years past.
    You were both so involved in making this a reality. The first time we visited your warehouse in SLO and chose that green door that was the anchor for the rest of the building, I felt like we were more than customers, we were friends. We had many connections in the community and with people and places we both knew, I felt like you really understood what we were looking for and you were an advocate for our vision. I enjoyed seeing the different phases of the greenhouse come together and I especially enjoyed meeting the men who built the structure and of course “the boys” who came out to the house along with you and Sean and put it together on our property. It even included a lucky horseshoe at no extra cost!
    The greenhouse, at this point, is still a meditation room, I have not moved any live plants in yet, that will come. We are just enjoying the structure you built for us, the uniqueness, the history, the quietness and of course, the Buddha. It all makes for a sacred place that will grow as we grow. Thank you again for making this happen for us, you guys can come by and visit anytime.”

    Ann and Bill (Coco, Marco, Chip and Bonito), Paso Robles, CA

  • One Year Later…

    “Dana, thanks again for the very beautiful and expert work you and Dave performed on our beloved structure. Ann and I continue to be extraordinarily pleased with it.”

    Bill, Paso Robles, CA

  • Serenity

    “I absolutely love my ‘little room’ up in the woods. It stays warm on windy days, I can work on my laptop out there, I can watch the birds, or my dogs while sitting inside or I can just kick back and read a book! Most days, I can’t wait to go out there!!”

    Loretta, Cambria, CA

  • Craftsmanship

    “Being in the construction trade for 35 plus years, I feel I probably have a more critical eye for craftsmanship than someone else would. I examined the recycled greenhouse after it was assembled and was thoroughly impressed with the craftsmanship. From the 45 degree joints in the fascia board, to the dog-eared cuts in the trim. Excellent craftsmanship! Based on this workmanship, I would recommend their recycled greenhouses to anyone!”

    Robert, Cambria, CA

  • Healing

    “As Dana, Sean and Andrew transformed our family’s 300 square foot playhouse into a greenhouse, I began to see a sanctuary. Through their process of structural renovation they were able to capture the energy hidden in the preexisting structure, combine it with the new windows, roof and doors, and channel it into the new space.
    By observing this new space, I was able to understand the concept that energy is neither created nor destroyed, it simply changes forms. I applied this same mindset to the deterioration of my mother’s health. Throughout her illness, her energy was not lost, it was transformed into bravery and strength quite beyond fathomable limits.
    I thank Dana and Sean for helping me come to this realization.
    We were able to turn the playhouse my mother had gifted my sister and me into a place to grow ourselves. Throughout the whole process, Dana and Sean were creative, practical and flexible. My family and I thoroughly appreciate the O’Briens’ time and hard work. Their mission of creating artistic spaces for growing and healing out of recycled materials is truly a task of love.”

    Natalie, San Luis Obispo, CA

Our Videos

What Inspired Us
Art Revealed Show: A PLACE TO GROW
What We Do

In the News

About Us

Living in San Luis Obispo, CA, the happiest City in America according to Oprah Winfrey, has been a huge inspiration for A Place to Grow owner-operators Dana and Sean O’Brien. With nearly 300 days of perfect weather a year, Dana O’Brien’s love of gardening and her investment in creating an amazing outdoor living space for her children to grow up in inspired her passion for A Place to Grow. “I watched the evolution of the modern age of green living while my kids were growing up, and it really spoke to me. I knew that I wanted to make a difference and repurposing items to keep them out of the landfill, while creating functional art, was just a no-brainer for me,” says Dana.
A Cal Poly grad with a degree in finance, Dana served as a San Luis Obispo county government employee for 23 years until August 2013, and is grateful that her skills as a county assessor are coming in handy as she builds her new business. Dana volunteers for Habitat for Humanity serving on their Finance Committee and has served as a board member for the San Luis Obispo County Pension Trust and San Luis Obispo Credit Union. She is a member of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and also has her California Real Estate Broker’s License.
Sean O’Brien, also a Cal Poly grad with a degree in computer science, worked his way through college working in construction. Sean has been a software engineer for nearly 25 years and over time has developed an eye for unique structures and a flair for using ordinary materials in extraordinary ways. He has maintained his love of building things as his creative outlet and has a California Contractors License # 980651.
This husband and wife team summoned their passion, commitment and talent to create A Place to Grow and demonstrate their promise to sustainable living. Sean and Dana have two adult children and are empty nesters looking forward to this next exciting chapter.

Giving Back

Here at A Place to Grow, giving back to the community is of the utmost importance to us. As children are very near and dear to our hearts, we focus on donating to causes that directly benefit children.

Montessori Children’s School
Supporting Local Charitable Organizations
Bellevue Santa Fe Charter
Habitat for Humanity

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us with questions, comments and feedback, or for a quote on purchasing your own Place to Grow.

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9-5:00, Saturday by appointment
Mail: 445 B Prado Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Call: 805.704.2161
Follow us on Facebook
Read our Blog
Get our Newsletter: Enter your email address
See our most recent Newsletter
Review our Privacy Policy
Send us your comments:

First Name:
Last Name:

APlace to Grow MapA Place to Grow Driving Directions