July 3, 2023
This article was originally published on July 3, 2023; it was updated on July 10, 2023.
When the family faced the problem of their 1960s home just not being large enough to give their two preteen daughters their own spaces, they turned to designer Cheryl Kees Clendenon of Pensacola, Fla.-based In Detail Interiors to resolve the situation. Clendenon was excited to work with the repeat clients on such a tricky project: converting a three-car garage into a suite that included a shared bathroom, bedrooms, a common room and a soupçon of storage off the kitchen (a request from the mother). But she admits, “It was quite the experience playing the intermediary and working with two preteens who had strong opinions. It was a really interesting dynamic.”
The existing conditions – a slab foundation, low ceilings, lolly columns and small, fixed footprint – posed some challenges to the design team that went beyond those of a typical residential building. These restrictions made the schematic layout a crucial element of the critical path.
“We worked tirelessly to determine the best allocation of space,” said the designer. “Consolidating the footprint of the wetroom really helped solve this challenge.”
The design allows the wetroom to operate as a steam shower as well as a conventional shower. The tiled ceiling and operable transom allow for proper ventilation under both conditions. The health benefits for the two young women to have this sort of a retreat space was a driving factor for their mother.
While aging-in-place wasn’t an immediate concern for the family, the team decided to incorporate some design features that addressed that concept with an eye on their impact on resale. These included low-threshold exterior entries to the renovated garage and a curbless shower enclosure. Blocking in the walls was added so grab bars can be installed at a later date should the homeowner decide to do so.
In this project the use of color was intensified by the opportunity to layer it into the design in different textural ways. From the tile and tub to grasscloth and lighting, Clendenon made sure each element established a particular tension with other components in order to make the space interesting but not chaotic. “It had to feel balanced, but in an asymmetrical sort of way, where one pattern carries the greatest visual weight (in this case, the wallpaper) and adjoining surfaces like the vanity and countertop are bold, but can stand up to the wallcovering.”
“My favorite part of this project is the layout, to be perfectly honest,” said Clendenon. “It is a joy to hit all the wickets a client wishes for. Transforming a garage and not making it look like a garage is quite the feat – and we think we accomplished this nicely without changing the footprint, the garage door openings or even the windows. Two bedrooms, a shared bath, a sitting area and storage for mom – what’s not to love?”
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB Managing Editor
Design: Cheryl Kees Clendenon, NKBA member, DGD, In Detail Interiors
Photography: Greg Riegler
Cabinet Hardware: DuVerre
Faucets: Delta Zura
Lighting: Roshambeaux (pendants), Crystorama (center sconce)
Mirrors: Made Goods
Shower Fittings: Brizo
Sinks & Tub Filler: Kohler
Tile: Tile Bar (shower floor), Porcelanosa (walls)
Tub: Victoria & Albert
Vanity: Custom by In Detail Interiors
Vanity Paint: Benjamin Moore
Wallcoverings: Lindsey Cowles & Omexco (WC)