Before and After: An Astoundingly Chic Carport Makeover
The project we’re about to show you is what gets us excited about the Internet—and our jobs as editors. Day in and day out, people do incredible outside-the-box things, and we get to discover, be inspired by, and share them. Today we’re bringing you a sophisticated home makeover by our food contributor, chef and author Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen. Claire’s project wasn’t your average outdoor patio, balcony, or poolside space, but instead her carport. “My husband and I love hosting outdoor events like barbecues, but our yard didn't have the space to accommodate a large dining table or lounge area,” she says. “The first few times we visited the house, I noticed that the carport runs the length of the home, at least 50 feet, which is pretty silly when you only have two midsize cars. We had all of this extra space, so I thought, why not put it to use?”
After laying out her furniture plan, which incorporated a picnic table and benches, and a lounge chair, she realized the project would be quite easy. The biggest challenge was to give the concrete space a lush vibe. “I had to bring in a lot of plants to give it a secret-garden feel,” she says. “There are five ficus acting as a hedge, and then five more filling in spots that needed a bit of love (like in front of the water heater).” Thomas also brought in Star Jasmine, which she loves for the scent, and numerous cacti from The Cactus Store in Echo Park, L.A.
The key to creating an outdoor space, she says, is mixing in lots of texture and cozy layers. “It can’t feel austere and uncomfortable.” Luckily, the protection of the covered carport—and California’s concerning lack of rain—allowed Thomas to choose unlikely outdoor furniture. “I really tried to make it feel like a living room that accidentally found itself outside.”
As for the aesthetic of the space, Thomas went a little bit midcentury-meets-boho. “The house was built in 1964 and very much belongs to that time,” she says. “It is ultra–California midcentury modern, and I didn't want to turn away from that.” Not wanting to make the space feel too retro Palm Springs–esque, she mixed in some midcentury pieces with “vintage bohemian vibes.” “All of a sudden the patio took on a Laurel Canyon circa the ’60s energy, and I loved it.”
Be it a place to host Cinco de Mayo margaritas or DIY parties with girlfriends, Thomas’s converted carport is the ultimate spot for casual get-togethers.
Do you have any unusual spaces at home that you could consider transforming? Tell us below.