10 Surprising Garage Transformations

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By Byron Loker / Published by Dwell
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Though garages have traditionally been used to hold the household vehicle or miscellaneous storage, homeowners have figured out creative ways to revive the area that can sometimes evolve into a dingy, unloved space.

Whether it's been turned into a living room, workshop, playroom, or kitchen, these transformations show the vast possibilities that exist with garages.


1. A Partly-Sunken Home is Rescued

An architect and designer couple rescued their partly-sunken home and transformed a dilapidated garage into a modern living room.

An architect and designer couple rescued their partly-sunken home and transformed a dilapidated garage into a modern living room.

A few years ago, SHED Architecture & Design was approached to remodel a decrepit, standalone garage in Seattle that seemed beyond salvation. Built in the 1920s, the 320-square-foot space was coated in decades of grease and oil from serving as an auto repair shop. 

A few years ago, SHED Architecture & Design was approached to remodel a decrepit, standalone garage in Seattle that seemed beyond salvation. Built in the 1920s, the 320-square-foot space was coated in decades of grease and oil from serving as an auto repair shop. 

An 800-car parking structure is transformed into a subterranean shopping experience in a Tokyo fashion icon's latest venture. In a city as dense as Tokyo, hot spots pop up in the most unexpected places—after all, it's not uncommon to find restaurants in office buildings or under train tracks. 

An 800-car parking structure is transformed into a subterranean shopping experience in a Tokyo fashion icon's latest venture. In a city as dense as Tokyo, hot spots pop up in the most unexpected places—after all, it's not uncommon to find restaurants in office buildings or under train tracks. 

To allude to the nearby ocean, Architects Magus designed a seaweed pattern for the interior of the garage door. It successfully reads like a leather padded wall and makes "the cube" feel that much more customized.

To allude to the nearby ocean, Architects Magus designed a seaweed pattern for the interior of the garage door. It successfully reads like a leather padded wall and makes "the cube" feel that much more customized.

Architect Cary Bernstein transformed a dated garage into a modern playroom for clients in San Francisco.

Architect Cary Bernstein transformed a dated garage into a modern playroom for clients in San Francisco.

Andrea McClean took a garage in Vancouver and turned it into a minimalist work area. The designer credits the geometric tile and reclaimed windows for making the space pop.  

Andrea McClean took a garage in Vancouver and turned it into a minimalist work area. The designer credits the geometric tile and reclaimed windows for making the space pop.  

With no space to waste, London-based designers Kim Colin and Sam Hecht turned a 1924 garage into a perfect kitchen.

With no space to waste, London-based designers Kim Colin and Sam Hecht turned a 1924 garage into a perfect kitchen.

An architect reimagined an outdated brick garage by designing a graceful new family home atop its foundation.

An architect reimagined an outdated brick garage by designing a graceful new family home atop its foundation.

A vacation home’s renovated garage fuses art and architecture. When Bill and Ruth True bought a second home, overlooking the shores of Puget Sound on picturesque Vashon Island, it came with a compact, detached wood garage-cum-toolshed which they transformed with remarkable results.

A vacation home’s renovated garage fuses art and architecture. When Bill and Ruth True bought a second home, overlooking the shores of Puget Sound on picturesque Vashon Island, it came with a compact, detached wood garage-cum-toolshed which they transformed with remarkable results.

When Libby May and Eoghan Mahony purchased a 1950s post-and-beam house in Los Angeles’ Santa Monica Canyon, they envisioned someday transforming the garage and adjoining workshop into livable space, with an office for each of them and a family room they could share with their sons, Wes, 14, and Duncan, 10.

When Libby May and Eoghan Mahony purchased a 1950s post-and-beam house in Los Angeles’ Santa Monica Canyon, they envisioned someday transforming the garage and adjoining workshop into livable space, with an office for each of them and a family room they could share with their sons, Wes, 14, and Duncan, 10.