Whidbey Island Garage

Hoedemaker Pfeiffer dreamed with their clients to turn an old 12-car garage into a kid-friendly family space with entertainment, extra sleeping areas, and plenty of corners for fun, as an addition to the Whidbey Island, Washington home.

With four active children and an extended family of 40 our client was eager to take some pressure off the main house and create a great place for kids of all ages at this island retreat. A large structure created to house the previous owner’s car collection was the right choice, but what to do with a rambling 1980’s 12-car garage was the question. The client, architect, and designer walked the building and imagined space by space the fun we could have with each area until a project was born.

Combining the largest set of garages into a play room was the center point of the project. The space is large enough for a TV area, foosball, pool, dining, a bar, and still enough room for four queen sized bunk beds. A “wall” was created that helped us re-proportion the space. Into that wall were placed the beds, a hidden powder room and back stair, the TV, and a laundry room. Just off the play room is a catering kitchen and additional powder.

The back stair and a separate exterior entrance access a second-story apartment with two bedrooms, a bunk room, large bath, kitchen, and roof deck. Additional bays of the garage were used for storage, a craft room, and indoor sports.

Along the back of the building was a long space fitted with a hydraulic jack for servicing vehicles. The most dramatic feature of the room was one long window looking out into the woods. The room made a perfect spot for the rare but important extended family dinner. Renamed the Last Supper Room, this former shop also doubles as a party room. The dining table is on casters, hooks on the wall allow the chairs to be hung up out of the way, the chandeliers crank up, and the disco ball stands ready at a moment’s notice. A back terrace gives guests a place to step out or caterers a place to set up a smoker, pizza oven, or grill. Landscaping just outside the long window are dramatically uplit at night creating a powerful graphic image and source of reflected light.

The material palate was light and durable. Existing concrete floors were ground and polished to a high gloss making them impervious to wear. Locally-sourced wood paneling was painted white to bounce light. And solid garage doors were replaced with aluminum and glass doors allowing the indoor space to connect directly to a large new terrace and fire pit. Rather than recreate the exterior of the building landscaping was brought in to soften the appearance of the building, break down its scale, and create distinctive outdoor rooms.

Architecture & DesignHoedemaker Pfeiffer
Builder: Chrysalis Custom Builders
Landscape: Kenneth Philp Landscape Architects​
PhotographyAndrew Giammarco