A Washington Couple Built a Gear Loft to Stash Sports Equipment. Now They Practically Live There

In 2017, Leslie Garrard and Heidi Durham, both 48, decided they were spending enough time in Eastern Washington’s Methow Valley that they wanted a place to store all their sports equipment, including multiple skis, bikes, kayaks and paddle boards. They bought a five-acre lot for $225,000 in Winthrop, Wash.

The couple wasn’t ready for a full-on house, since their jobs, and their 13-year-old son’s school, are in Seattle, about a four-hour drive away. The solution: A gear loft. Designed by Johnston Architects, the main floor of the 750-square-foot space has a four-person sauna, a workbench, a bed that converts to a sofa, a bathroom and a wood stove–plus lots of racks and bins to hold all their gear. Up a ladder is a loft with a bed, a kitchenette and a storage closet with a washer/dryer. Light pours in through wraparound corner windows and a floor-to-ceiling glass garage door opens to the outdoors. Construction was finished in May 2019.

Fast forward to Covid, and the couple now lives about 90 percent of the time in the gear loft, using the workbench and a small table in the kitchenette as workspaces. Their son does online school in the sauna. “It feels very Zen,” jokes Ms. Garrard, who is the chief operating officer of clothing company TomboyX. The walls are plywood, the floor is concrete and the exterior is corrugated metal and black-stained cedar. The plan is to build a main house, which will be 1,100 square feet with two-bedrooms and one bathroom, in about four years, when their son goes to college and they can move to Winthrop full time.

Architect Ray Johnston says this kind of gear loft, which cost around $260,000, can go anywhere, but the design would have to work around the specific site in order to get the views framed and the equipoise of the structure right. “It’s cool to figure out how to live on that scale at that level of detail but at the same time to give it an aesthetic quality of somewhere you just want to hang out,” he says.

Article Source: Mansion Global