Gaming Your Garage: making the most of small spaces

My gorgeously talented friend Lisa Donovan doesn’t just lend her voice to the Kiss 108 Matty in the Morning trio, as she replaces your early morning commute scowl with a hint of a smile.  It’s impossible not to find her laughter enticingly contagious. The clever wit, strong opinions – sometimes most clearly communicated when she draws out a single utterance “ohhhhhhh” – and generous heart of her on-air personality are all evident in another, perhaps less well known, passion she and I share for design.

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Converted garage exterior

I first met Lisa when she lived in the South End on Harrison Avenue.  Her industrial loft space was beyond fabulous.  I’ve dubbed her style coastal chic, forgive me Lisa if this isn’t at all how you see  yourself!  From the South End to Hingham, Hingham to Milton, and most recently Centerville, I have watched Lisa renovate, and gently manipulate homes with an amazing consistency in her delivery.

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Original plywood structure and Ship Lap – in happy harmony.

As a Cape Codder, I warmed to her aesthetic immediately.  She would have made an excellent Project Manager.  She sets a budget, she gathers the trades, she makes compromises that leave one asking why she would have done it any other way.  I admire this skill in particular.  What to reuse, what to replace, where to skim coat, and perhaps most importantly how to ensure the new and old compliment one another, rather than showcase deficiencies.  I say that I admire this skill, and I do, but there’s more.  Her spaces always feel like a fresh ocean breeze has swept through them and they’ve been awaiting your arrival.  Corny right?  It is, but the feeling you get when you are in them is just plain good.

This most recent reno included the conversion of a garage and adjacent screened in porch. As a summer get away, the garage wasn’t super important for storing the car, and I bet you all have known a home or two, whose garages stored a whole lot more than intended.  Quel domage, what a mess.  Lisa solved this dilemma by converting said garage into a game room.  We are currently awaiting the arrival of the ping-pong table, but it will come.  Garage doors replaced with blacked framed French doors that open wide to the interior of the space, screen doors installed on the exterior to keep the bugs out at night, are the projects biggest investment.  The pitched roof, exposed frame plywood, 2 x 4 ceiling remains in tact as does the concrete floor, both painted – the ceilings and walls in white, and the floor in grey.  If you know me at all, you know this is where my color heart lives.  A final addition of Ship Lap Siding to the front and back walls gives it just enough polish to convey the intention.  Let the games begin.


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