Haven Floors Founder Laura Boring Hopkins upgraded her garage from an eyesore to a family retreat
Laura Boring Hopkins didn’t set out to be a flooring entrepreneur. She grew up in Dalton, Georgia—often dubbed “the Carpet Capital of the World”—and once equipped with an MBA from Vanderbilt University, she found success in marketing and finance. However, when she and her husband bought a house in Buckhead in 2017, she discovered the garage was the one part of the home she dreaded visiting.
“There was no functional use for our family,” recalls Hopkins, who will welcome twins later this year. Finding limited options to upgrade its cracked and oil-stained floors, she connected with Engineered Floors about the company’s LifeTiles, a line of 100% polyester flooring previously only available for commercial projects.
After giving her garage a major upgrade, she launched Haven Floors in 2019, making it the first direct to consumer retailer of the mold and mildew-resistant modular flooring that’s become popular for garages and gyms. Here, she shares her mission to help others create indoor-outdoor spaces that are safe and functional.
How do you use your garage now?
The upgraded flooring helped turn our garage, which was a pain point in our home, into kind of a multifunctional space where I can work out with my Peloton, and the boys [10- and 13-yearold stepsons] play pickle ball, even when the weather is bad. It’s become a useful part of our house.
Aside from aesthetics, what are some other benefits of adding flooring to a garage?
Garages are a common area for slips and falls. Even when LifeTiles are wet, the product is more slip-resistant than carpet, making it a popular choice for seniors, families with small children and anyone who’s concerned about safety.
Why was it important to turn your garage into a functional living space?
A garage tends to be 600 to 800 square feet on average. With any house, you can be pressed for space, and it’s important to maximize the use of your entire home. The garage used to be the eyesore of our house. I’ve turned it into a space that I love. Having a safe, functional garage has created bonus space.
What tips can you share for those who want to create more useful indoor outdoor spaces in their homes?
I like to bring indoor design elements to outdoor spaces. For instance, we painted the garage walls the same color as inside so it feels like an extension of our home. On our outdoor patio, we made sure that the color palette matches the look and feel of the rest of our house, with a dining area for entertaining and an outdoor living room. We added cozy elements like pillows, an outdoor rug and a TV on the covered patio. Choose colors and textures that flow, so the design feels cohesive. Consider the durability of the materials, so what you choose will stand the test of time.
Sustainability is a buzzword across industries. How does it play a part for your company?
There’s so much ocean plastic, and it’s become a hot topic. One box of our product contains the equivalent of 492 recycled water bottles. To cover an average two-car garage, our flooring will contain approximately 4,000 recycled bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Available through havenfloors.com.
Senior Contributing Editor and Beauty Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Travel, Food and Design Writer and Author.