Any homeowner hates wasted space—and those with kids, even more so. All parents know that with young, active kids running around, every inch of space is sacred. So, when publicist Alice Ryan felt that her home was lacking the right area for her three young kids to play, work, and hang in, she turned to the most overlooked part of her California home: the garage. "It was miserable, poorly-lit, pathetically unappealing," she recalls.
Having worked with Pottery Barn in the past, Ryan turned to the company—and its in-house design services—"to wave their magic wand and make it the ultimate homework zone and movie hangout spot." But, Ryan was adamant about one thing: She didn't want the decor to feel dumbed-down or too childish. "I made clear my style and palette," she laughs. "I wanted it to be child-friendly, but I didn't want a primary color in sight." The result is a space that feels functional for kids and chic enough for adults.
Activity in the new garage revolves almost completely around one central item: an expandable, multi-functional table. "It anchors the room," says Ryan. "It can function both as the place where we have Friday night pizza night and watch a movie, the place they're doing homework every day, or someplace for arts and crafts." Ryan's youngest, she notes, spent the past weekend making her Valentines there. A variety of seating around the table makes a variety of uses even easier. "Depending on what we're doing, the black metal chairs will move around," says Ryan.
Plus, the raw wood finish masks any nicks or stains. "It will just patina over time," notes Ryan.
For more loungey hangouts, Ryan put in the closest she could stomach to a beanbag. "They all wanted beanbags," Ryan says of the kids. "Did I want that? No. So we found this great seat that feels like a beanbag but reads like a fabulous piece of modern furniture." As the success of many movie nights proves, it's a hit.
So while the once "miserable" garage has become an ideal kids space ("They've really taken ownership of it," says Ryan. "Because it was designed for them."), they're not the only ones who love it. Says Ryan, "It's really my favorite room in the house now!"
Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.
You Might Also Like