Room Envy: A LaVista Park family room opens to the outdoors

A garage door opens to a deck, perfect for entertaining
LaVista Park family room
Photograph courtesy of Epic Development

This family room in LaVista Park easily opens to the outdoors with a retracting glass garage door, inspired by the home’s modern-industrial look. “We wanted to incorporate something that wasn’t typical Atlanta architecture,” says Jim LaVallee, principal at Epic Development, which offers renovation and new construction. “We liked the idea of one space flowing seamlessly into the next.”

Strong yet light
Insulated glass makes the garage door energy-efficient. The aluminum frame means it’s also lightweight, and an easy tug on a cord sends the door upward.

Clear contrasts
An adjacent wall is covered in brick to contrast with the clear glass and add to the home’s loft-like feel. A simple fireplace doesn’t compete with the backyard view.

Easy chair
An L-shaped sofa fits the modern vibe. “Sectionals are very popular right now because they’re casual and can seat more people,” LaVallee says. “And visually, a sectional makes the room feel larger.”

Party perfect
The garage door opens to a deck, which can be outfitted with a bar for entertaining, or just more seating to extend the living space.

Floor play
Wide-plank wood floors inside and custom railings on the deck echo the room’s rustic materials.

Bugs be gone
A retractable screen can be added to keep insects out but let fresh air in.

Tip: Get the look  This trick isn’t only for new construction. A glass garage door can be added to an existing space, notes LaVallee, who selected the manufacturer Clopay for this project. However, he recommends it only for rooms with ceilings that are at least nine feet tall.

This article originally appeared in our May 2015 issue under the headline “Fresh Air.”