COVID-19 has spurred an unexpected surge in families who are now homeschooling. Homeschooling, which is at times initially seen with skepticism, is now increasing in popularity due to the current risk of the virus. The idea of children being on zoom-call lessons instead of in in-person classrooms has created a newfound openness to the idea of homeschooling. Homeschooling benefits children by providing a learning environment that is free of restrictive studies and allows for them to be in a different environment.
We spoke with Starr, mom of two, who decided to convert her garage into a colorful classroom – with the help of Miami based interior designer Elizabeth Ghia. Possessing an extensive knowledge of the history of furniture and textiles, coupled with conceptual excellence and execution, Elizabeth is known for translating her clients' vision into timeless, harmonious, and functional interiors.
Learn more about Elizabeth and her work here.
“When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the kids could not return to school. Both were participating in virtual classes, but we did not have a dedicated area in the house for them to play and do homeschool. My husband also started working from home during the same time and having the kids in the house all day was a huge distraction. Needless to say, it was difficult for anyone to be productive and get work done and the house was a mess with the kid’s toys and art supplies sprinkled around the living room and dining room. As we were spending more time at home than we ever had before, it was clear that we were running out of room and would either need to move or change things up. One day, I had a crazy idea that we could potentially convert the garage into a “garage school” where the kids could do their virtual learning and hang out. We figured that when the kids could go back to school in person, it would still function as a playroom and area for them to do their homework and hang out.
We had worked with a decorator (Elizabeth Ghia) on the rest of our house and I consulted her for this project as we have specific tastes and wanted to create a fun, unique and creative space for the kids that would flow with the style of the rest of our house. While we wanted to use a portion of the garage for storage and still have a functional garage door that could open to the outside, we did not want the room to feel like a garage. With Elizabeth’s help, we ended creating an amazing multifunctional space that is super stylish and fun. It is now the kid’s favorite room in the house and I admittedly hang out in there too after they go to bed.
Some benefits of having this bonus room:
-The kids’ toys and art supplies are now all organized in the garage in cute bins and there is much less mess in the house.
-The kids have their own space that they can play on the weekend and after school and it is great for rainy days as well. They have a record player in there and can be as loud as they want and the room is insulated, air conditioned, closed off by a door from the rest of the house.
-The garage door opens for easy access to go bike riding and do outdoor activities and exploring. Additionally, if the kids want to have a play date, we have the option to open the garage door for learning and playing “al fresco” so that it is safer in terms of risk of COVID exposure.
-The kids are back in school now, but we feel prepared that if they do need to return to virtual learning we have the perfect space for them to do it in.
-All sorts of successful businesses (Amazon, HP, Mattel, Google, and Microsoft etc) started in garages and many bands did as well (Nirvana, The Kinks, The Who!). The kids now have their own cool space to rock out, be creative and come up with the next great thing!
-The room is so aesthetically pleasing and fun and provides the perfect backdrop for Insta-worthy photos!
Click here to shop comfortable Pitusa Kid's styles your little one will love learning in!