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 and each Outdoor Space we build is:
  • Created from recycled and reclaimed building materials
  • Re-purposed into functional art, keeping waste out of landfills
  • Custom designed and handcrafted
  • As unique as the reclaimed materials used to build it
We can help you produce your outdoor vision.

A Stunning Creative Space

This beautiful She Shed is featured on the cover of the recently published book, “She Sheds, A Room of Your Own” by Erika Kotite. Read more about it at, “She Sheds That Will Inspire You”.

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.

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’ve partnered with an excellent local mill, Pacific Coast Lumber, that produce this lumber specifically for us to use in our structures.

  • To see how it all comes together, click the image and read “The Story of this Unique Structure”.

Outdoor Lifestyle Spaces Currently Available

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

Stunning Three-sided Shed!
Complete with a Drop-down Bar!

Hidden Gem

We designed and built this unique three-sided structure to provide an elegant space where you can comfortably enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to dine in your backyard or enjoy a nice glass of wine or tea, we believe this would be the perfect space to do so. One of the side walls features a drop-down door that acts as a window when closed, but can be used as a serving counter when open. The back wall features gorgeous vintage diamond windows, where we replaced the center pane with custom purple stained glass. The windows and door of this structure are all painted a beautiful forest green to complement the purple glass. Last but not least, this structure features a very special piece of marine wood that came off of a bait barge on the coast of San Diego. There is so much color and character in the wood, we knew it would make a stunning accent piece in the front of the structure. Altogether, this show-stopping “Hidden Gem” would make the perfect addition to your outdoor space!

Sales Price: $9,500

Recently Sold Outdoor Lifestyle Spaces 

Life is Good–Sold!
Perfect Party Place–Sold!
Room with a View–Sold!
Live Edge Beauty–Sold!

Wait, There’s More!

Check out these additional products we create from recycled & reclaimed materials. If you don’t see what you are looking for, give us a call. We love to create custom specialty items!

Click on any image to see the details.

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

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 re-purposing 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 was 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.  In December 2015, Sean purchased Pacific Coast Lumber, located about 100 yards away from A Place to Grow, and now is fully immersed in the milling of urban forested material and happily supplies A Place to Grow with this unique material source.
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.

In the News

Watch Our Videos

Carousel Ranch Welcomes New Greenhouse

Carousel Ranch welcomed a new, accessible custom greenhouse for their "Ready to Grow" component of Carousel Ranch's Ready to Work vocational training program. The greenhouse was made possible by a $5,000 grant from the city of Santa Clarita, combined with the generosity of A Place to Grow, a San Luis Obispo based company that donated the remaining $7,000 cost of building the custom greenhouse. MORE =>

Posted by SCVTV Santa Clarita on Friday, June 22, 2018
Our Latest Donated Greenhouse: Carousel Ranch
Move over, man caves! She Sheds popping up in Central Coast backyards
See One of Our She Sheds on NBC’s Today Show!
See Our Latest Commercial!
Art Revealed Show: A PLACE TO GROW
What Inspired Us

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What Our Clients Say

  • Playhouse with Sunburst Window and Dutch Door
    Playhouse with Sunburst Window and Dutch Door

    “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

  • Beautiful Santuary
    Beautiful Santuary

    “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

  • Lovely
    Lovely “She Shed” Sewing Room

    “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

  • A Sacred Space
    A Sacred Space

    “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. 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. 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. 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

  • Meditation Room, View 2
    All Settled In!
    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

  • 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

  • Green House
    Green House

    “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. 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

Honors & Awards

2015 Green Innovation Award from USGBC
2015 Green Innovation Award from USGBC
Rustic Live Edge Cabin won both 1st Place
Rustic Live Edge Cabin won both 1st Place & Best in Show at the 2016 California Mid State Fair and Best in Show at the Spring 2016 Inspired Home & Gourmet Expo of Paso Robles
The Savor Structure won the 2015 Green Innovation Award from USGBC
The Savor Structure won the 2015 Green Innovation Award from USGBC
The Nantucket won both the 2015 Green Innovation Award from USGBC and Most Inspiring to Improve the Home Fall 2015 Inspired Home Expo of San Luis Obispo
The Nantucket won both the 2015 Green Innovation Award from USGBC and Most Inspiring to Improve the Home Fall 2015 Inspired Home Expo of San Luis Obispo
Sunrise Over the Ocean won both 1st Place
Sunrise Over the Ocean won both 1st Place & Best in Show at the 2013 California Mid State Fair and Best Booth Design Winner of the Spring 2013 North County Home, Garden & Gourmet Expo

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.

Click on any image to read more.

  • Monarch Grove Elementary
  • Bellevue Santa Fe Charter
  • Montessori Children’s School
  • Supporting Local Charitable Organizations

Calendar of Events

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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.

  • Monday-Friday, 9-5:00, Saturday by appointment

  • 445 B Prado Road, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • 805.704.2161

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