I think it’s safe to say that 2020 brought a lot of unexpected challenges for all of us. By the time the pandemic rolled around, I was nearing the end of my Austin townhome renovation. While we planned spaces for relaxing, sleeping, and hosting, we never anticipated that our home would need to fill so many new roles in isolation. Similarly, interior designer Lauren Evans and her family found themselves bursting at the seams. They realized that with a few additional amenities they could improve their quality of life during this time at home. Lauren found the perfect solution in a 14’ x 30’ ADU that added charm and function to an otherwise empty corner of the backyard. With intentional finishes, modern elements, and inviting layers, Lauren Evans Interiors transformed this space into a cozy getaway for guests, and a beautiful multi-purpose studio for her family.
The James Hardie exterior siding is painted Benjamin Moore “Cloud Cover.“
Situated next to the pool, this 420 square-foot structure challenged Lauren and her team to get creative. Since this “pool house” was primarily to function as a home gym, Lauren wanted to avoid it feeling too utilitarian. With the help of architect Brooks McDonald, contractor Matt Nejasamich, and cabinet fabricator Raymond Egan, they outfitted the small space with a kitchenette, guest room, living space, a full bathroom, and a home gym.
They split the structure into two rooms: the bathroom and the main room. The main room serves as the primary multi-purpose space with a kitchenette, a pull out sofa, and a custom Murphy bed that, when closed, provides enough floor space for a range of workout equipment.
The fitness portion of the structure includes a tonal and exercise storage area on the east wall. The center of the room is the designated stretch and workout zone complete with a Peloton and a weightlifting bench.
When it’s not being used as a fitness studio, the poolside ADU is prepared to welcome overnight guests. The workout equipment simply moves aside while the Murphy bed folds down into a relaxing guest oasis.
A fully-operational kitchenette along the north wall features custom cabinetry, a two burner cooktop, microwave, and sink. This addition houses drinks and healthy snacks for the fitness studio, and makes guests feel right at home.
In order to fit everything in one room without it feeling overcrowded, vertical space was a must. Per Brooks’ suggestion, the team added dormers to what otherwise would have been a simple, pitched roof. The dormers brought light, dimension, character and much-needed vertical space to the ADU. They layered more charm onto the exterior with shingle siding, a metal roof, these modern lanterns, and layers of natural elements.
Lauren prioritized practical, sustainable materials that could withstand all the wear and tear this multifunctional space will endure. She chose an easy-to-clean engineered wood with a cork subfloor to provide thermal flexibility for heavy weights and substantial activity.
While this beautiful multi-purpose studio functions predominantly as a daily gym, with thoughtful selections and floor plan designations, it effortlessly transitions into a welcoming retreat for overnight guests.
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