Meghan Rostovsky and her Providence Design Group partners share a shopping list to turn an unused garage into a stylish outdoor living area.

Annie Meisel

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Interior designer Meghan Rostovsky, one of three partners in the Providence Design Group collective in Los Angeles, was faced with a familiar two-part challenge at her own quaint cottage in the Windsor Square neighborhood of Los Angeles: How do you A.) Maximize a small-footprint house for a growing family of four and B.) Organize your home to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Her solution was to turn a garage space into an outdoor living room with all of the comfortable touches of a timeless, well-loved home.

Rostovsky and Vranich at a biergarten table in her driveway-turned-casual dining area.

Annie Meisel

“Our garage conversion was the first project we worked on as a team,” says Rostovsky, of the business she founded with her two partners, Catherine Sidon and Meredy Vranich, who all honed their design skills while working for interiors legend Suzanne Rheinstein. Rostovsky, Sidon and Vranich noticed a gap in the market—potential clients who did not have a money’s-no-object budget, but still wanted a boutique design firm experience and refined style— and with their mentor’s blessing, they venture out on their own with side projects.

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When Rostovsky began remodeling her garage with architect Shawna Poliquin, she consulted her colleagues when she was stuck on tricky decisions.

“We tweaked and re-tweaked the plan,” Rostovsky says. “They saved me from my lesser design angels.”

The result is a surprisingly versatile backyard with minimal square footage. There’s a patio with enough room for a table for 10, a sitting area near a painted brick fireplace, and the re-imagined garage. They installed folding French doors, generous paned windows, a wet bar and a small powder room, creating a small-scale entertaining oasis for adult cocktail hours or kids’ movie nights.

The Providence designers played with geometry, finding the the balance between hexagonal terracotta floor tiles, rectangular window panes, and seat cushions with vertical and horizontal stripes.

Annie Meisel

The Providence style is refined but accessible, traditional but not stuffy. They create the kinds of rooms that are hard to define but easy to live in.

A vintage rattan sofa gets a refresh with blue paint, striped upholstery and pillows in classic prints and cheery colors.

Annie Meisel

They were only able to tackle a few projects before everyone was forced indoors. And now, as the world slowly opens up again, they’re ready to address all of those pesky design problems we all noticed while stuck at home. Here, the team shares their suggestions for furnishing an open-air living room, either right at home, at a lake house, or a townhouse, and cozy enough to live in year-round.

A natural fiber rug, indoor/outdoor seating and matchstick blinds have a vintage coastal look. Rostovsky installed a kitchenette with a bar sink and plenty of storage, ready-made for a backyard party.

Annie Meisel

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