A recent project by Outer Space. Courtesy photo

Editors' Pick

Best At-Home Getaway

Imagine a peaceful backyard retreat just steps away from the noise and chaos of your house. That’s what friends Bruce Lerman and Jennie Rosenberg envisioned when they brainstormed about a new business venture while walking their dogs in their Kensington neighborhood last spring.

By August, Lerman, a professional contractor, and Rosenberg, a public relations and marketing specialist, had started Outer Space, a company specializing in outbuildings for year-round use. “We were motivated by the pandemic and realized what everyone needed right now—a retreat from home, at home,” Rosenberg says. “All the moms were talking about ‘she sheds,’ but we decided it would be more than that.” The structures are a blank canvas that can be used for anything from a home office to a gym, art studio or game room. They’ve had four orders as of early November; one couple uses the structure as a virtual learning center to keep their daughter motivated by “going to school” in a special space that she was allowed to decorate.

The company offers three floor plans, all under 200 square feet, which simplifies the permitting process. Lerman and Rosenberg say they can complete construction in about three weeks and deliver a turnkey, move-in-ready space. Based on size, the standard models range from $27,000 to $29,000 and are Wi-Fi ready, fully insulated, heated and cooled, and come with flooring, trim, and interior and exterior painting and lighting. Upgrades such as landscaping, a firepit, an alarm system, cable TV, built-in shelves and storage are available.

Outer Space, outerspacehome.com