Rev Up Your Living Room

Thanks to beamed ceilings, stuccoed walls, and a cozy fireplace, what was once a garage became a perfect family pit stop.
Robert Martin / Photography Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Leigh Anne Montgomery

Replacing your garage with extra living area is a great way to take advantage of space. When Tulsa homeowners Robert and Jill Thomas transformed their garage into a living room, they made sure that no surface--ceilings, walls, or floors--would ever be associated with parked cars again.

Instead of building the living room floor flush with the adjacent kitchen, architects Stephen Turner and Jeremy Perkins used the existing concrete slab and covered it with flagstone. "This way, you step down into the room, creating a great way to usher you forward," says Jeremy. By vaulting the ceiling with a patchwork of exposed beams, the architects achieved even more volume and height. Surrounded by stuccoed walls and warmed by a flickering fireplace, this inviting room is certainly a far cry from its modest beginnings.

Don't Miss These Details:
Ceiling: Don't overlook the ceiling when it comes to giving a room something extra. This vaulted enclosure with eased-edge cedar beams and vertical supports turns conventional cross bracing into a work of art. You just can't help but look up and admire the craftsmanship.

Walls: Instead of gypsum drywall, whitewashed stucco injects a texture and depth reminiscent of mission architecture. The dark-stained cedar mantel provides contrast to the stark white surfaces and also matches the cedar beams above.

Hearth: When it comes to creating ready-made seating, a raised hearth is a surefire option. The central fireplace with built-in recesses on either side--one for wood storage and the other for the TV--balances the room.

Floors: A shag area rug softens the flagstone floors, providing welcome padding underfoot. It also establishes a boundary for placing the furniture.

Sources:
Page 88: Architecture by Jeremy W. Perkins Architects, Jeremy Perkins, Principal, Tulsa, Oklahoma, [918] 743-9444; builder was Don Kirberger, [918] 625-2883.

 

"Rev Up Your Living Room" is from the January 2008 issue of Southern Living.