Part of a series: Living the Good Life with Chris Olsen
Often when we buy a house, we inherit rooms or areas that we don’t get enough use out of, or that we simply don’t care about. Just because a room is part of the structure, with a defined use, doesn’t mean you have to use it as it was originally planned. The room you’re going to see in this post was never actually a room; it was a garage. Actually, a carport—something with even less dignity. I had one already, so I decided to make this a functional room, with a door directly into the outside. I wanted more areas for seating, good light, and elements that echo the Spanish colonial design of my house. What does that last part mean? I needed terrazzo floors, architectural arches, a fireplace with a hearth, and stucco walls. By extending the theme of my house with this new room, I was able to keep it from looking like it had been added on. I wanted seamless design throughout.
Looks like a nice room, right? No traces of cars or exhaust. In keeping with the Spanish design of my house, I brought in elements that underscored it. A worn farm table, wrought iron anything—including chairs and candelabras—a simple rug that zings with color, and plants associated with the desert southwest. Attention to detail can pay off. Nothing was pricey, but all fit within my design guidelines.