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Aging garage becomes stylish studio

After: Garage studio
See how a husband-and-wife design team found all the extra space they needed in their garage

Before you add square footage to your main house ― with the expense and complication that new construction always brings ― take another look at your garage. It may have untapped potential.

That's what a husband-and-wife designer–landscape architect team discovered when they gave their old detached two-car garage a new role as an office and studio.

The remodel enlarged the building to include a bathroom, a loft, and a small roof deck, so it can double as guest quarters. It can also still function as a garage thanks to a set of glass-paneled Dutch doors opening on the plywood-paneled office side.

The spare, contemporary aesthetic ― the doors, simple exposed-wood framing, visible pipes, and industrial-style lighting ― kept costs down.

As with any remodel, a garage conversion requires a building permit and must meet local codes. For instance, most communities mandate some form of offstreet parking. Check with local building officials before undertaking a garage transformation.

Why it works

Warm materials: Exposed wood framing and plywood cabinetry lend rustic character.

Separate spaces: Partitions divide the garage into areas for work and informal dining.

Flexible doors: Glass-paneled Dutch doors flood the room with light.

Design John Jennings and Sasha Tarnopolsky, Dry Design, Los Angeles (323/954-9084, ext. 21)