Design snapshot: Board-and-batten garage and connector

All too often our garages appear to receive only cursory design attention, as if we've only a finite supply of design energy, which our homes have exhausted. Not this spunky garage.

There's a lot to like about it. First, it's modestly sized. Its single stall is clearly subordinate to the main house, as a garage should be. Its casual Scandinavian-like board-and-batten siding and gable roof complement the main house's French Second-Empire-inspired tidy clapboards and sophisticated Mansard roof, rather than mimic or ignore them. Its yellow exterior body color and white trim visually tie it to the main house. And the green garage-door surround kicks up the garage's playful vibe.

My one complaint is with the intermediate space between the main house and the garage. Though I appreciate that a one-story, flat-roofed, recessed structure can be an appropriate connector between the two, I wish it had been better differentiated as a distinct entity. Ideally it would have been more transparent, either screened or glassed in, but perhaps it functions as a utility work or private living space; in which case, I'd have clad it in white-cedar shingles stained a natural color like the garage doors.

In any case, this ensemble is in lively conversation.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast