After actually considering sharing an office, because we work together so often, Kathryn Everett called me to say she decided it just made too much sense as a landscape architect to convert her unused garage into a home office.
Having been to Kathryn’s home for parties, I knew her garden was amazing and her basement office was fine but not something that would inspire clients until they walked out back.
We decided to build the office in a manner that could be used as a home office or guest suite, so we invested in running plumbing for a full bath and for a kitchenette.
To make up for lost storage, we decided to dig out and underpin under the sunroom and wrap-around side porch of the house, creating garden storage, home storage, and adding built-in display space for displaying the many wares and accessories that Kathryn finds through her travels for clients. With the existing old original brick and octagon vents, we added built-ins, lighting, and a v-groove ceiling to make this a special showroom.
We replaced the roof with new Spanish tiles to match the house.
We replaced the original garage doors with carriage house-style French doors, with charming windows and patio doors out to the side patio.
Originally we had hoped to use the existing rafters, but after demolition decided they were not as attractive as we had hoped. So I brought Kathryn to Vintage Lumber in Frederick, which specializes in reclaimed lumber. We chose some reclaimed beams and designed them into a new ceiling design. We also selected reclaimed pine and selected a solid stain for both the wall paneling and the ceiling.
While there, we fell in love with some antique oak flooring they had and decided to use it in the showroom under the main house wrap-around porch.
We thought about a stained concrete floor, but the slab was not in great shape after so many years as a garage, so we decided to both repour it and use a large format porcelain tile that gave a good distressed look that was similar but more durable.
Kathryn fell in love with a table from RT Facts, a restoration and antique furniture store in Connecticut that we both love.
Custom built-ins for books and drawings surround the room.
The bathroom picks up on a hand-baked ceramic tile and Spanish decorative accent tile feel that respects the original architecture of the main home.
And of course, the best part is the expansion of the garden. Alternating loose-lay pavers create a front sitting court that nicely blends with the side flagstone patio – allowing for meetings to flow out into the garden. We redid the driveway with new pavers and redid the gate to create a nice garden entrance for clients.
All lighting is by Urban Electric.
Built by Rubert Salgado of RC Construction.
All interior and exterior design by Seth Ballard, Ballard Mensua Architecture. Decorating by Kathryn Everett.