Space of the Week: This Multipurpose Garage Is a Home Gym and Hangout Space
A former teacher and the owner of Smart Playrooms, a design service in Rye, N.Y., Karri Bowen-Poole transformed her underused detached garage into a family-friendly gym and play space. Her three kids range in age from 12 to 25, so the area had to be flexible enough to suit everyone's needs—and still leave room for the car on the few occasions that called for parking out of the elements. Here's how she turned this blank slate of a space into a multipurpose hangout zone for the entire family.
Make It Comfortable
When the kids need to study, the low, plush cushions are far more inviting than desk chairs. A vinyl mat provides the same softness underfoot as a rug, but it's easier to keep clean—especially when the doors are open. A coat of white paint freshened up the entire space.
Use Every Surface
To allow room for the car (or a yoga mat), Karri added hooks for storing sports gear, monkey bars for climbing to the loft bed, and clips for hanging interchangeable equipment, like a swing or punching bag.
Leave Room to Grow
By making the space easy to adjust, Karri ensured it would meet the family's needs now and in the future. She's also helping her youngest practice independence at a safe distance. "I organized the walls so my 12-year-old and her friends can access whatever they want, but without my help," she explains.