5 Ways to Kill a F.R.O.G.

Good Morning, Design Rompers.  Getting up in the dark was hard this morning.  Does anyone have a trick that makes this unpleasantness any easier?  I am thinking about getting one of those lights that simulates the rising sun and gently tricks you into thinking it's later than it actually is.  Hhhhmmmm. I wonder if they come in antique brass?  That will be a post for another day. Today, I want to talk about a tricky room that many people struggle with.

The first time a client told me that they had a FROG and needed help with it, I suggested they call Terminix. Seriously. I had never heard a room over the garage referred to as a FROG (finished room over garage) before.  Where I come from, we just called them Bonus Rooms. Depending on the size of the garage below, these spaces can be enormous or petite.  They can be light-filled with skylights, dormers and Palladian windows.  Or they can be dark and dingy with one sad little window all the way at the end of a dark tunnel.  One thing they all have in common is sloped ceilings.  That, when coupled with a smaller area, presents a major design challenge.  Furniture placement and consequently functionality is tricky in such spaces. Here are some suggestions for how to make the most of this bonus space if you are lucky enough to have one.

1. Built-Ins!

The end wall is where you want to create a focal point and increase function by creating storage.  This is true whether you are using the room as a guest room, child's room, home office or just a place to chill and watch tv in peace.  (I sneak up to ours to binge watch Chip and Joanna). 

This room has a large window which brings in great light on the end wall.  Notice how they have used bookcases that are the same height as the short wall giving a nice surface area for lamps and objets.

Tracy Harden Designs

Tracy Harden Designs

Cabinets are fantastic here for storage in this clean and serene home office. The recessed niches are a great way to further increase function.  I also love the beams and the sconces here.

Built-ins can get more elaborate in a wider FROG.  The storage in this home office is giving me some serious office envy.

cotedetexas.blogspot.com

cotedetexas.blogspot.com

The built-in beds and bookshelves make a darling sleeping nook for kids or visiting grandchildren in this FROG.  Since closet space is usually lacking in FROGs, adding storage wherever possible is a great call.  The drawers underneath the beds are a big plus.

domainehome.com

domainehome.com

2. Divide and Conquer

If you have a long narrow space, divide the room into sections by changing the flooring and creating separate zones.  This will help the proportions of the room feel better. 

Trip Momma Blog

Trip Momma Blog

3. Add Color

When I am faced with a ho hum room that lacks good bones and has limited light, I go to my paint box and use color to make the space feel happy.  Don't be afraid to splash some color around, even if its a small space. 

yetanotherdesign.com

yetanotherdesign.com

Be brave with wallpaper.  Here is a great use of paper in the Southern Living Shophouse FROG:

Meg Braff

Meg Braff

4. Treat The Ceiling

With sloping, slanted ceilings, you may be tempted to try to take the focus away from them. Instead, I say make them an asset by installing glossy shiplap and highlight them with a cool chandelier!

Tim Barbor Ltd

Tim Barbor Ltd

5. Don't Neglect The Approach

Finally, don't make the mistake of ignoring what comes before your FROG. Create a bit of anticipation and a taste of things to come by using good materials on the staircase leading up to your room. I recommend removing the wall and door at the top of the stairs if the room is not being used as a bedroom. This brings in more light as well as makes it feel more connected to the rest of the house.

That's all for today.  See you on Friday.

Happy Wednesday!