This exterior renovation is a home run
Tthere probably aren’t too many exterior renovations inspired by the national hobby, but the love of baseball is precisely what inspired this sports-loving family in Poland, Ohio. The beloved game led to the transformation of a carriage house on their property, resulting in an outdoor oasis.
“We have three young children, all of whom are active in sports,” says owner Kate, who requested that the family’s last name be kept anonymous.
“Their baseball teams always come in the summer. I just started to think about how this structure could be turned into what we needed. “
And then some.
Working with Shadyside interior designer Alisha Gwen, the family converted the detached two-stall garage into a pool house and added a covered patio. There is both an indoor and outdoor kitchen, as well as an expansive swimming pool in which Andrew, 12, and twins Luke and Ella, 7, along with nearby family members and all their friends. , love to relax.
“We always have lots of kids coming,” says Kate. “We are on four baseball teams this summer.
After the pool was completed several summers ago, Gwen began transforming the garage into a glamorous (but kid-friendly) pool house filled with smart and practical touches.
The existing garage door openings were turned into windows. Gwen also opened up the wall facing the pool, creating a seamless transition between the indoor kitchen and the outdoor space, which includes a grill and pizza oven, beer taps, and refrigeration. There is also a sitting area, with a TV hanging over the fireplace, and a dining area.
“Rain or shine, the outdoor space provides an outdoor experience under the roof with the benefits of fresh air,” says Gwen.
To keep the view of the pool unobstructed, the sparkling white fireplace designed by Gwen has an extra-wide opening that allows owners and their guests to keep an eye on those in the water from all angles.
“You can be in the kitchen and see everyone hanging out,” Kate says.
Further inspiration came from Kate’s love for the ocean, as well as a pair of already-purchased large-scale pearl chandeliers in teal, her favorite color. The chandeliers remained in storage for three years, until Kate asked Gwen to incorporate them into the outdoor space. She also requested a black and white decor scheme, with teal as an accent color.
“[Gwen] I knew I loved the teal, the white and the black, and that’s kind of where I ended up and started, ”Kate laughs. “She really just ran with it.”
A series of white pendant lights in different shapes and sizes add a stunning factor, creating a striking juxtaposition with the black paneled ceiling in the kitchen. Gwen says she found the pendants at Selamat Designs, a San Francisco-based boutique furniture design company rooted in sustainable and eco-friendly practices.
“After a simple sketch, I assembled a collage of the different varieties, and a light installation was born,” she says.
The designer has also gone big when it comes to glamorous black and white outdoor flooring. Gwen says she knew she wanted a bold pattern for the floor, but couldn’t find any material to withstand the changes of the seasons (let alone the freezing temperatures of winter). So after convincing the entrepreneur that it would work, she had it created.
“I found the perfect large-scale hexagonal porcelain tile, available in black and white, and the material was cut in half by the seller so we could pit the two colors against each other to create a pattern,” says Gwen.
Inside, the contemporary kitchen features tall black cabinetry with a striking teal backsplash above the oven, ample counter space with modern teal seating, and a walk-in pantry. Hidden are a washer and dryer. Combined with the full bathroom, it eliminates a trip inside the main house on pool days.
“People can just be outside all the time,” says Kate.
While Kate wanted the space to be aesthetic, she also knew it had to be practical. As such, outdoor ottomans are easy to clean vinyl. There’s also an extra-long 25ft padded bench seat (also in teal blue) against a wall that’s covered in outdoor fabric, making it friendly for wet swimsuits.
“We’ve always wanted the space to be a real getaway or a destination for guests, so we’ve incorporated unique materials and amenities,” says Gwen.
Since its completion, the outdoor space has been the site of a plethora of celebrations, including the twins’ birthday parties in August – with more to come.
“Honestly, the space is mostly used in the summer for baseball nights,” Kate says. “A lot of kids show up right after games in their uniforms.”