Are you looking to add to your current living space? Before you invest in a costly home addition or renovation, there may be a more budget-friendly option available. If you have an unused garage, either partially or in full, it’s time to put that space to work for you and your family!
An open garage space, whether it’s an attached or detached garage, is like a blank canvas. It’s a large space full of possibilities.
In this guide, we are going to dive deep into the world of garage conversions, a growing trend across the country. This includes everything from creating a basic living space to more elaborate hobby-focused rooms, rentable spaces, home businesses, and more. With a little imagination and ingenuity, you can convert your garage to an outdoor living space that suits all your needs.
Here’s some inspiration to get you started…
Extend Your Living Space
With the rising cost of housing, many homeowners are looking for new ways to extend the living space in their current homes to avoid house hunting. If you find that your current home is feeling a little small, converting your garage into a usable living space is a great solution. The amount of work required for this conversion will depend on the type of living space you are looking to create. A simple living space can be created with nothing more than finished walls, comfortable flooring, a source of garage heating, adequate lighting, and some comfortable living room furniture. However, you can spice up the area with feature walls, french doors, green plants, built-in surround sound systems, fireplaces, and more.
Epic Man Cave
Guys, this one’s for you! Are you dreaming of a space where you and the guys can retreat to share a beer, watch the game, and just ‘be guys’? If so, you’re not alone. The idea of creating a man cave space for this exact purpose is nothing new. However, you may not have considered the possibilities when it comes to using your garage for this purpose. Depending on your garage and its construction, you can finish off the interior walls or embrace the brick design, find the perfect lighting, purchase a bar fridge to keep your beer cold, or add luxuries like a big-screen television or in-floor heating. Don’t forget the comfortable, casual seating so that everyone can relax.
Backyard Office Space
Working from home is gaining in popularity, with more companies than ever embracing the benefits of remote working. However, many remote works struggle with creating a healthy balance between work and home when the two are combined in a single living space. Instead of using your garage to create extra living space, why not take the opportunity to make an office separate from your existing home. By creating the illusion of going to the office (even if it’s on the same property), you will make it easier to mentally separate work from home, lowering your stress levels and improving your overall health and well-being. For those who may be joining in on Zoom calls or inviting clients into their office, this is also a great way to avoid bringing people into your home in any form.
She-Shed Style Retreat
Alright, ladies, we already discussed creating a man cave, but what about a space for the girls? You may have heard the term ‘She-Shed’ but who says that it must be restricted to just a shed? If you have an unused garage available, why not turn it into your dream hangout space strictly for your and your girlfriends? There are many ways you can transform this space including adding a pop of color for personality, building in a wine fridge or storage area, and, of course, don’t forget the plush, comfortable seating that will encourage you to kick back and relax. Follow your heart and make this space our own!
Cozy Guesthouse for Visiting Friends and Family
If you live a distance from your friends and family and enjoy having them come visit, then you understand the importance of having somewhere for your loved ones to stay. However, not every house has an extra bedroom available to use as a guest room. If this sounds familiar, here’s a solution! Turn your garage into a cozy space that you can use as a guesthouse. By including a bedroom, sitting area, and bathroom, you can make this a fully functional space for your loved ones to enjoy while enjoying quality time together in the shared spaces like the dining room and kitchen. The larger the garage, the more you can add to the space to make it the perfect ‘home away from home’ for anyone visiting.
This option is a complete luxury, but one that many homeowners dream of incorporating into their homes. If you are a movie buff, why not turn your garage into a private home movie theatre for you and your loved ones? When addressing any windows or doorways, be sure to incorporate blackout curtains or other light-blocking solutions to create the perfect atmosphere. Add a big-screen television or projector, surround sound system, and comfortable seating, and you’re fully prepared to enjoy your favorite movies in style. If you are really interested in taking your home theatre to the next level, you can also include a popcorn maker and soda fountain.
Stylish Backyard Bar
If you enjoy entertaining in your backyard, then you understand how a backyard bar can elevate any outdoor space. Like your outdoor entertaining space, your bar should reflect your style and personality. Whether you love the tropical feel of a tiki bar or the more polished and professional appearance of a sleek, modern bar, using your garage as a starting point will provide you with structure, space, and protection from the elements. Consider constructing an indoor/outdoor bar with the ability to open the space up fully to your yard or close it off during less-than-ideal weather. Entertaining during the cold of winter will never be the same! Accessorize your backyard bar with comfortable seating, string lights, a television to watch the game, and, of course, a stereo system.
Art or Music Studio
If you’re a creative individual, you may be on the search for the perfect place to tap into your artistry whether it be painting, sculpting, or creating music. This is a great option for making the most of your available garage space, whether it’s a corner of the garage or the entire structure. Install glass doors and ceiling windows to optimize the amount of natural light flooding into your new art studio. For those musicians looking for a place to practice or compose, soundproof insulation will provide you with a space where you can embrace your love of music without worrying about bothering the neighbors.
One of the more classic garage conversion ideas, a home gym is sometimes difficult to build at home due to the square footage that it requires. Embrace your concrete floors and brick walls to create an industrial-style gymnasium for weightlifting or CrossFit training. On the other hand, if you are setting up a space for Zumba or a spin studio, you may be more interested in adding a pop of color by painting some or all your walls with bold colors. The larger garage doors make it easy to move any big equipment into the space as well as providing plenty of airflow when left open.
Garage Yoga Studio
Yoga has gained a significant following in recent years, with as many as 1 in 3 Americans trying the practice at least once. Yoga offers several great benefits including reducing stress, improving flexibility, and even strengthening your overall physical health. While yoga doesn’t require too much room, a well-crafted yoga studio will provide you with a dedicated space to not only practice yoga but also to get into the calming mindset associated with many of the emotional and mental benefits. Hang motivational posters or artwork from the walls to motivate and inspire your journey or install a relaxing indoor fountain.
Classic Conversation Pit
A popular feature in homes across the country in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, a conversation pit featured a sunken portion of the living room with plenty of built-in seating to accommodate several people comfortably. The seats all faced one another, encouraging conversation and connection. While the concept may seem outdated to many, why not use your garage space to create your own modern take? Set up your furniture in a circular or square fashion, with a low central table to hold snacks or drinks. Leave out any distractions that could take away from the main purpose of this space – to enjoy connecting with one another.
Fun Game Room or Home Arcade
Another option for this unused space that focuses on entertaining your friends and family would be to convert your garage to an epic game room. There are many different approaches that you can take with this fun and unique conversion project. Create a traditional game room by adding a foosball table, pool table, or poker table to your space. But beware, each of these items will take up significant floor space, so if you’re trying to include other features like extra seating, you will need to account for it. If you and your friends are gamers, why not add a big-screen television with your favorite gaming system. For those with children, a kid’s corner will make the space enjoyable for the whole family.
Dream Laundry Room
While it may not be the most exciting use of your garage (or at least, not for everyone), this unused space could be used to make a large laundry room with everything you need to stay on top of your housework. This works especially well if your garage is attached or built-in, with a door leading directly into your home. Utility spaces like laundry rooms are often full of neutral colors and practical features, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add a little flare to make your space more enjoyable. With all the extra room that your garage provides, you can also include extra storage, keeping everything that you may need close at hand. You may even be able to convince the kids to pitch in on laundry day!
Speaking of children, this next suggestion is specifically for all the growing families. If you don’t already have a designated playroom or play space for your children, this is your chance. Not only will this provide a great place for your children to call their own, but it also helps to keep the mess and clutter contained in one designated area. Decorate up your playroom with bright colors, comfortable flooring, plenty of toy storage, and additional seating for the adults during a play date. Another fun feature to include is a projector and screen for a kid-friendly movie night. With the space being in the garage, away from the main living area, you may even want to let your kids decorate. After all, the only people that are going to see it are those that know they are walking into a playroom. Right?
Ultimate Walk-In Closet
If your garage space is situated right by your master bedroom, this is the perfect opportunity to create the walk-in closet that you have already dreamed of. Build one large walk-in closet, separate closet space for you and your husband, or even include an ensuite bathroom with the space that you have available. You can even add a space for your dog’s clothing and accessories if you’re ‘that dog owner’. Stick with a basic closet design featuring shelves, drawers, and space to hang your clothing, or bring your new closet to life with remotely controlled moving elements. Don’t forget to include a full-length mirror and good lighting.
Teen Hang Out Space
Are you looking for a safe place for your young teen and their friends to hang out? Rather than hoping that they can find somewhere outside the home, why not turn your garage into a dream hang out space. It’s far enough away from the home to give your children a sense of independence and freedom while still close enough that you can keep everyone safe. Putting this space together doesn’t have to break the bank, it’s more about making it a functional place that they can call their own. Some ideas to make this space memorable include a big-screen television with their favorite gaming system, casual seating made from wooden pallets (or you can repurpose the older living room couch that you have been planning on upgrading), string lights, and a bar fridge full of drinks and snacks.
Anyone that is invested in the world of arts and crafts, or home DIY projects understands that these hobbies can take up a lot of room in the house. We often start with the best intentions, setting up our hobby in a quiet corner and promising that we won’t let it get out of hand only to find that we are struggling with lack of space before long. If you’ve been there, you’re not alone! Converting your garage into your dream crafting or DIY space will provide you with all the space necessary for your latest projects and those that you have been planning on starting. Decorate using natural colors to create a relaxing environment or tie in a cheery color to inspire your creativity. You can also include extra storage for all your supplies, helping you to keep the space looking somewhat clean and organized while still fully functioning for your needs.
Dog people, this one’s for you! If you’re like me, your dogs are a HUGE part of your life and that often carries over into what we prioritize in our homes. It may seem crazy to some people, but why not convert your garage into a dog palace for your pooch. Not only will this space spoil your pup a little in their daily life, with everything they love in one spot, but it’s also a safe and comfortable place for your dog to stay when you’re not home. Try incorporating indoor-outdoor spaces to make it easy for your dog to do his business outdoors while also providing easy access to a covered and sheltered area to protect him from the elements. You can deck the space out with all the latest dog gear including filtered pet fountains, memory foam dog beds, and a pet monitor to keep an eye on him when you’re at work.
Garage Kitchen for Outdoor Entertaining
While most of the projects on here are focused primarily on creating an indoor space, why not try a garage renovation project that ties your indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces together to create a backyard that will have everyone talking. Elaborate backyard kitchens are every foodie’s dream, but the weather can easily interfere with your dining plans. You don’t have to work around Mother Nature’s schedule! Convert your garage into a beautiful outdoor kitchen space with garage doors that open to a patio area with outdoor seating. The indoor portion of your setup will continue to function through the cold winter months or during heavy rain. However, when the weather is favorable, you can enjoy an alfresco dining experience in your own backyard. It’s the best of both worlds!
Indoor Pool and Hot Tub Space
A fun way to leverage your unused space would be to convert your garage to an indoor pool or hot tub. This is particularly tempting for those that live further north where the usual pool season is cut short by colder temperatures. In addition to adding the pool or hot tub, you can also incorporate hooks and shelves to store your belongings, a change room, storage for your pool chemicals and accessories, or even a small bar for entertaining. When word gets out, your neighbors, friends, and family are all going to want to come to hang out at every possible opportunity. Be prepared to be the most popular house on the street.