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Designing For Chaos

March 6, 2015


I was at a client’s this week when a neighbor came over. She walked in the door, took a look around, and declared the client’s middle name to be Chaos.

The client laughed, hugged the neighbor, and declared the neighbor’s spiritual gift to be bluntness. She then invited the neighbor in to tour the project while she made dinner, talked with the designer, and answered the kids’s questions while the contractor moved a light fixture.

As the neighbor walked through the project, she announced, “I understand the family room addition. I understand the kitchen remodel. What I don’t understand is the garage.”


If I can design a garage that is not understood, I feel I’ve accomplished much. Garages are generally ugly and are often placed on the front of the house. They have big out-of-human-proportion doors and when the doors are open, everyone sees what you no longer need.

How to design a garage?

I’m not convinced garages need to look like one is driving the car into the master bedroom. I’m also not convinced they need to look like a storage shed addition …even if they are …like this one is. On this project we’re adding both a third garage stall and storage space big enough for a fourth car. This is on an average size one-story rambler. Half the front of the house is now garage, but it actually looks better than it did when it was just a two car garage. It works.

The neighbor with the spiritual gift of bluntness confirmed it.

As did the smile across the face of Chaos.







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