Converting a redundant, dusty garage into something more useful is a great way to add more living space and value to your home without encroaching on your garden or spending a hefty sum on a basement conversion. From handy home offices to extra bedrooms, chic cocktail lounges and even movie theatres, the possibilities are endless. Just remember, while in some cases garage conversions fall under permitted development, if you are changing the use of your garage into habitable space or enlarging or carrying out structural amendments the project may be subject to planning permission. Click or scroll to be inspired by these brilliant real-life transformations...
Rebekah Carey of A&B Creative has put her own spin on granny chic by transforming her actual grandmother's garage into a tiny home of dreams. The little cottage-style garage tagged on Instagram as #bittyberkeleybungalow is decked out in white cladding, warm wood floors and beams. French doors replace the original up and over garage door to flood the 200-square-foot space with light. A sofa with storage is a space-saver during the day while a wall bed folds down at night. Just remember, you might need to install heating and electrics and any structural amendments may be subject to planning approval.
If you are looking for somewhere to display your book collection – take inspiration from Noma Arkiteckter and transform the garage room into a contemporary library. Using natural materials such as wood, stone and concrete the space boasts a library, kitchen and workspace. Windows are integrated into the bookshelves to "create an exciting and geometrical space highlighting the beautiful daylight".
Make your garage conversion work harder by transforming it into a holiday let. There are many converted carports on Airbnb that are now beautiful boltholes. However, if your intention is to convert a garage into a separate house (regardless of who will occupy it), then planning permission may be required, so it's advisable to speak to your Local Planning Authority. This open-plan guest suite for two in Devon, UK could be coined a 'Gottage' as it comes complete with a split stable door, cute characterful windows and a country kitchenette.
For families who spend lots of time outdoors, a garage with a boot room like this one by Yolanda Cubitt makes perfect sense. The stylish space has built-in storage with a bench, vintage-style statement floor tiles and double barn-style doors painted a soothing silvery, olive green. It's pretty, practical and we love it!
Shanty Wijaya, founder of LA boutique real estate renovation firm Allprace, converted a two-car garage in California, USA into a chic ADU. It has plumbing, electrics and a HVAC system, which in turn makes the studio with kitchenette, bedroom and bath self-sufficient. A black exterior blends into the modern backyard while internally white shiplapped walls increase the sense of space in the 400-square-foot annexe. According to Forbes, the rise in popularity of house sharing has, in some communities, made garage conversion permits more difficult to obtain. Before beginning a similar project in the US, look into local requirements for turning vehicle space into habitable space.
Mr Kate jazzed up this double garage for a family that home schools their children in California, USA. It is now inspirational with functional and colourful bespoke open shelving, a large desk space and plenty of comfortable seating for downtime. The floor is actually made of cushiony floormats printed with a wood-effect print, and one wall is painted with dry erase paint for arty fun.
Proving that a garage can be an inviting and cosy space, this stunning hideout was transformed by the team at Essential Home. Thanks to a lick of paint, some wood panelling and mid-century modern furnishings, the once-dingy garage is now a comfortable and stylish space that's perfect for escaping the kids or enjoying some alone time.
Here's another 'garage conversion to Airbnb' to drool over. The Handmade Home created his multifunctional space in Nashville, USA. The ceiling has been opened up to create cute storage cubbies as well as an upper loft for extra bunk space. The studio space has a sleeping area zoned with vertical striped wallpaper. Always look into local requirements, as in some cases, you may need to provide adequate off-street parking to replace lost garage parking space.
Garage conversions can expand an existing footprint no end, but what if you still need a garage for its original purpose? We love this garage turned classy workshop by Home Made by Carmona who has wisely worked on the frame of her garage by adding chic paint colours, mounting functional bespoke cupboards and making use of all wall space with stylish storage solutions.
Philadelphia, Dubai and London-based interior design firm, Melissa + Miller Interiors, enhanced and elevated a client’s garage to offer a well ventilated approach to hosting. The space, which functions like any standard garage, has been completely transformed into a luxurious yet temporary setting that can be open to the elements .
This garage has been thoughtfully converted into a small cabin by @Habiterre_. The design practice founded by Jill Harrop aims to soften the edges between indoor and outdoor living with sustainable materials and this organic-look studio certainly does that. The eco home office is now the perfect calm sanctuary. Depending on the nature of your business, according to Planning Portal, in the UK you do not necessarily need planning permission to work from home. The key test is whether the overall character of the dwelling will change as a result of the busisness. You can apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use, to confirm it is not a change of use and still the lawful use.
We all need a space to escape to every now and again, so why not transform your otherwise redundant garage into the ultimate man cave or she shed? Give the room a clear out, paint the walls and fill it with games, sports memorabilia, and maybe even a bar, and suddenly you've got yourself the perfect place to relax and unwind. Planning permission is not usually required for a project like this, providing the work is internal.
This beautiful garage conversion was undertaken by Brad Pitt and the Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, for HGTV's makeover show, Celebrity IOU. Pitt helped the Scotts to convert a grimy, 400-square-foot garage into a guest retreat over a three-week period. The tiny, purpose-built space now boasts a Murphy bed, which can be folded away to save on floor space, as well as a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and a secret door bookshelf that leads to a walk-in closet.
If you can't sacrifice the carport and your garage has high ceilings, create a family room in the attic by adding a mezzanine floor. Kelly + Co. Design has transformed dead space into a bright and fresh den with white shiplap walls, fun pops of colour and black iron railings. With any project like this involving structural amendments it is advisable to consult a structural engineer and the project may be subject to approval.
This double garage conversion feels like a real home thanks to a few carefully selected details. Bachelorette Pad Flip gave the exterior a monochrome makeover in collaboration with Home Depot. Decaying garage doors were replaced with energy-efficient, black patio doors and new crisp white siding, while a black and white striped awning imparts plenty of kerb appeal.
This beautiful artist's studio was converted from an existing dilapidated carriage house by Ryan Leidner Architecture. It had to remain in keeping with San Francisco preservation requirements so the exterior is clad in reclaimed redwood siding, which was extracted from the original structure. A large skylight and sliding glass doors flood the creative space with light and draw the outside in.
The need for a home office has soared this year so converting your garage into a work zone can be a clever use of space. However, if your garage is windowless, extra thought may be needed to make it work. This studio garage, owned by set designer and stylist Chloé Fleury, features bright white walls and bright bursts of colour. There's an array of stations for different projects, while the desk is on wheels so it can be relocated to allow the garage door to open fully when needed.
Converting the garage into an extra bedroom can be a practical and low-cost solution for growing families. Teenagers will love the added independence of feeling detached from the main bedrooms, plus clerestory windows will create a den-like atmosphere that's cosy as well as cool.
This garage transformation is pretty genius. Instead of turning the space into another room in the house, Grove Restorations has blurred the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living with a shady covered terrace that acts as a garden living room. We especially love the cement tiles and painted wooden rafters, which create a cool monochrome look that’s easy to keep clean as well as weather-proof.
It took eight months for this labour of love to come together, turning a dank and dusty garage into a beautiful garden room with some handy extras plumbed in. The inner walls are clad with reclaimed scaffolding boards, sanded and painted by Instagram user projectno10. Plus there’s a mini kitchen, a wood-burning stove and extra storage in here too, so it can function as an office, a dining space and a utility room. Genius!
This former garage, now listed on Airbnb, has been converted into the perfect bolthole for a holiday, thanks to some clever tiny home-inspired design. Recycled materials have been used wherever possible, including in this cute kitchen cabinetry installed underneath a mezzanine floor that's used as a bedroom. Within the open-plan space there's also a sofa, a cosy log-burner and a two-seater breakfast bar. Plus, squirrelled away somewhere there's a fully-plumbed bathroom with a mini clawfoot bath! As with any garage change of use in the States, make sure you obtain a garage conversion permit.
By adding an extra extension to the back, this garage conversion has cleverly become three rooms in one. The main garage is now a utility space and shower room, while the extra square footage at the back was utilised for a home office/playroom. The team at Architect Your Home also managed to rearrange the layout to add plenty of storage, which is vital in a narrow space. For this project planning permission was likely needed as the footprint of the garage was altered.
This standalone double garage has been transformed into a luxurious movie theatre. The separate home cinema and entertainment room boasts a state-of-the-art TV screen and sound system and has a fully-equipped bar to the side. The dark and dramatic decorating scheme combined with rows of comfortable recliner seats makes this the ultimate movie house that's sure to impress.
Instead of bringing dirt and grime into your home through the front door, convert your garage into a mudroom that you can use after long walks and outdoor activities. This design in a Cornish beach house includes a small laundry space, making a perfect multipurpose room.
Here's another stylish example of adding a mezzanine floor into the eaves of a double garage. This multifunctional study and lounge area features fitted furniture to create a practical and stylish living space. The Juliette balcony and skylights ensure the new room is flooded with light. Again, with any project like this involving structural amendments it is advisable to consult a structural engineer and architect and the project may be subject to approval.
Adding stud walls to a double garage has completed transformed this structure into a stylish artist's studio. Conceived by Molly Frey Design, the layout features an open-plan workspace, living room, kitchen and bedroom, plus clever storage space tucked away in the eaves. A stylish bathroom (not visible) completes the impressive standalone tiny home.
Adding levels to a garage conversion creates the illusion of more space, just like this ingenious split-level layout. Dellicompagni, the designers of this luxury annexe, installed a high-level entrance with LED-lined steps to partition the room. On one side of the hallway sits a sunken galley kitchen with a glass brick wall, while on the other is a living area complete with a wall-mounted TV, realistic open gas fire and a sofa bed.
Converting the garage is an ideal way to give growing children their own space. A large family in North Carolina needed somewhere for their sons and their friends to relax without getting under their parent's feet, so The Redesign Company helped them turn their detached double garage into a clubhouse. The neutral white and grey canvas is filled with repurposed furniture. Using old beds as sofas means the cool conversion makes a great camp for sleepovers too.
A faux brick wall and modular storage have partitioned this double garage conversion into an apartment-style space with cleverly zoned living areas. Built by Good Fellas Construction, we love how the dining area is defined by a half-wall filled with house plants, which allows an airy flow to the open layout. As far as micro homes go, this one is up there with the best of them!
This stylish bathroom by Petit Suite is part of a 158-square-foot garage conversion in Ontario. The designer has created a plush room for relaxation and the luxurious retreat even has enough space for a sizable bathtub and even a washing machine. It couldn't look further from a dusty, cold garage!
You don't need to completely remodel a garage to make it liveable and stylish. Designer Mark Lewis has used existing industrial fixtures and fittings to create a rustic bedroom that oozes cool. Exposed brick walls add texture, while original garage doors have been modified with shiplap to create an oversized headboard. From the outside, you would never know this is no longer a garage.
It's extremely hard to tell that this enclosed family room in San Francisco by Maquette Interior Design was once a double garage. A strong red feature wall and dark wood flooring offer warm and homely touches, while patterned curtains and large comfortable sofas complete the relaxed living room scheme. Faux wooden beams have even been added to the sloping roof – a great tip to impart character to newly converted spaces.
Interior designer Kerrie Kelly worked on this garage conversion in Sacramento for HGTV, transforming the redundant outbuilding into a welcoming lounge complete with a faux fireplace. Wood cladding was added to the interior and painted with smart horizontal stripes to increase the sense of space, while a concrete chimney breast and electric fire warm the room and offer a cosy focal point.
Why move, when you can improve? From the outside, this garage conversion with corrugated iron walls looks industrial and commercial, but inside the space is packed with personality. Well-positioned lighting and soft furnishings create a welcoming atmosphere, while innovative storage solutions put every inch of the room to use. Architects Brown + Davis installed a glass and aluminium overhead door as a way of opening up the space to the outside world.
Blogger The Honeycomb Home performed a DIY makeover to convert their New Jersey garage into a stylish extra living area. They have added a window, vents, insulation, a subfloor and electricity to make it a functioning part of the home. A wall and faux chimney breast were built in front of the garage doors to house an electric fireplace and TV. Shiplap wall cladding and the traditional mantel add architectural interest.
Architects Fala Atelier have transformed a windowless garage in Lisbon into a bright and contemporary living space that still has room for a car. Ultra-minimal with a poured concrete floor, white walls and skylights, the whole space is completely open-plan (except for two small bathrooms), with living zones divided by thick, colourful curtains. The ingenious entrance consists of the original garage doors, which allow the owner's car to be driven into the living zone.
Located in the Lithuanian capital, this modern micro home has been spawned from a shell of a garage attached to a set of crumbling abandoned brick pantries. Designed by IM Interior, the home consists of one multipurpose room and a small bathroom, with the industrial-style metal exterior contrasting with the warm birch wood cladding inside.
Set over 2,900 square feet, this incredible two-bedroom conversion project is hidden behind blue garage doors on a residential London street. As well as a huge, fully-equipped living space with a wood-burning stove, it also houses an art and photography studio at the rear.
This bright and jazzy garage conversion in Los Angeles was undertaken by New Generation Improvements. The approximately 350-square-foot garage, originally used for storage and laundry, has been transformed into a vibrant living and kitchen space with curvaceous alcove shelving, natural greenery and whitewashed walls.
This apartment in Melbourne’s Carlton North was once a 1970s garage. Architects Hearth Studio designed a layout with few doors or separating devices to create an open feel in the living area. The space features glass walls, a raised platform bedroom and a two-sided bathroom vanity that acts as a room divider. Second-hand and salvaged materials were used in the project, including the doors, windows and bathroom fittings.
Once a four-car garage in Santa Monica, this space was entirely transformed into an extremely chic screening room and guesthouse by Spazio LA. The space squeezes in a bar and kitchenette, a bathroom and a Murphy bed for visitors. It's been elegantly kitted out with hardwood floors, sliding doors, recessed lights and reclaimed wooden beams for a cosy yet clean look.
A previously unused garage was cleverly transformed into the family kitchen you see here. Ahmann Architects maximised the room’s narrow, awkward shape by incorporating different zones into one open-plan design based around a long kitchen island with a breakfast bar and plenty of worktop space.
A French freelance photographer was struggling to find an affordable home until he found a decrepit garage on a small lane in Bordeaux. He tasked architects Fabre de Marien with turning the garage into a gorgeous one-bedroom bachelor pad. Featured on Home Blings, the formerly dilapidated space now features a courtyard, a white and chrome kitchen, a dining area, living area, office, toilet, shower room, dressing room and even a sleeping area in the loft. Any project like this involving changing a garage into habitable space may be subject to approval.
Talk about a great teen room! This vibrant, brightly-coloured games room in New Jersey has a fun all-American theme. Designed by Mimi & Hill, the former garage now enjoys a bold colour scheme of red, white and blue. It's full of surprises too, from a Pac-Man arcade game to a bed that folds down from the wall.
An 85-year-old Atlanta home was in need of a revamp so its garage was transformed from a sad storage space into a woodcarving studio for its owner by Handcrafted Homes. Large carriage doors allow plenty of light into the studio while he carves, as well as making it easy to transport tools and pieces of wood in and out of the studio.
Believe it or not, this incredibly cool home theatre, designed by B+G Design, was once a garage. Now used as a screening space, music room and home office, that can also sleep up to six people, the room is a popular spot with the owners and their teenage kids too. To avoid upsetting the neighbours, make sure you get adequate sound-proofing.
Designed by Beth Dana, this 400-square-foot space has been transformed into an idyllic guesthouse that includes a living room, kitchenette, tiny bathroom and mezzanine loft bedroom with ladder access. In the daytime, the barn doors are thrown open to allow the living areas to spill out onto the driveway, which has been turned into a sunny patio area. Of course, make sure a permit is obtained before carrying out a project like this.
The owners of this Los Angeles home can now work out in their former garage thanks to the work of Pearl Remodeling. The detached structure was converted into a light, airy gym studio, complete with folding glass doors that open up to let in the breeze during exercise sessions.
This wet room and utility room in Suffolk was once a large garage but after a lengthy building process by Parker Home that involved erecting stud walls, adding new electrics and installing plumbing, the owners were left with a gleaming new wet room and utility room; a much more efficient use of the garage space.
A decaying garage in Seattle, Washington was creatively turned into a studio apartment by SHED Architecture & Design. Sustainable materials such as salvaged wood and plumbing fixtures were used throughout to revamp the characterful structure, which has a bathroom, kitchen, living area and a cool loft sleeping area.
In need of a space to paint and fulfil her creative potential, one California-based artist transformed an old, dark garage into a colourful, cosy and sustainable art studio. Brought to life by Sol Haus Design, both the artist and her builder spent days on Craigslist and looking through dumpsters to find materials to upcycle, meaning everything in the new studio apart from two structural beams was sustainably sourced.
Kids and adults alike will love this fun games room, transformed from a formerly unused two-car garage. Created by Masterpiece Design Group, the ping-pong table, putting green, large light-up 'play' sign and wall-mounted bar make this the perfect hangout space. A wall of sliding doors lead out to a patio where there's a table for alfresco dining.
Even as a garage this period building would have enormous charm, with its gabled roof and mini clock tower, but we have to say that this custom kitchen really takes the space to the next level. Designed by deVOL Kitchens, the clean monochrome palette and restrained design creates a bright and airy space for cooking, eating and living. We love the Crittall French doors too!
This standalone backyard garage owned by @dove_and_lolly has been transformed into a contemporary outdoor home office that blends seamlessly into the landscaped garden. French doors and roof windows flood the small space with light while spotlights highlight the wooden oak wood exterior panelling. The finish is ultra-professional and high end. Depending on the nature of your business, in the UK, you do not necessarily need planning permission to work from home, but it is worth checking wth your local authority.
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