Ways to Make the Garage Your New Favorite Room in the House
Need more living space? Before you consider an addition, take a look at the garage. This often-underused space can offer up lots of potential uses, from crafting area to home office to workout room and more. Here, see 16 formerly dark and dreary garages transformed into bright and comfortable rooms.

Fun and Multifunctional
To give a family in Santa Monica, California, the multipurpose guest house/screening lounge they’d dreamed of, the design team at Spazio LA turned to an unexpected place: the four-car garage. “We converted half of the space while leaving the other half as a two-car garage,” said the designers. “The space now includes a full screening room, a bar-kitchenette, a full bathroom and a Murphy bed for overnight guests.”

Home Office Update
“We had been using our garage as a dumping ground for tools, lawn equipment, toys and discarded furniture for years,” says designer Suzanne Dingley of Suzanne Dingley Interiors. But when her husband started his own business, the couple realized they had the perfect spot for a home office. They installed new windows, doors, floors, drywall, lights and insulation. “The garage had a peaked ceiling with rafters, which we chose to make a feature to bring some character to an otherwise rectangular box.” Replacing the overhead garage door with two sets of French doors brought in light and charm.

Make Room for Crafting
Replacing your traditional ceiling-mount garage door opener with a wall-mount model, like the LiftMaster Elite Series 8500W, can open up new possibilities for your garage by freeing up valuable ceiling space. Here, a bulky kayak was moved from the floor to above the garage door, making room for a fun, colorful craft area the whole family can enjoy. LiftMaster’s MyQ smartphone app lets you monitor and control your garage door no matter where you are, so you can rest assured your belongings are safe.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow
“This living space was created with flexibility in mind,” says architect Jennifer Martin of the cozy-cool hangout space she created for a family in Arroyo Grande, California. “Polished concrete floors give the room maximum durability but a finished look, and the door openers are both sleek and quiet.”

Grandkids’ Haven
“Our client was a lovely retired grandmother looking for a space to do projects with her grandchildren,” says designer Tritia Gustine of Beach Bungalow Designs. “We added fun colors like yellow, orange and green to brighten up the once-dark garage make it a welcoming kid fun zone.”

Outdoor “Addition”
“When our client decided they needed more space, we took an unusual approach,” says designer Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. “We transformed their dated garage and turned it into a family-oriented lounge full of color and personality. The white rafters and ceiling keep it feeling open and spacious while the stripes add a fun sophistication. The new garage door even lets in natural light!”

Lofty Project
It’s hard to imagine now, but this charming living space was once an unassuming commercial garage. To make the most of the compact, 1,260-square-foot space (including an upstairs loft area), Frazier Associates minimized the number of walls within. Exposed brick walls and concrete flooring on the first floor were retained and a new staircase, crafted of reclaimed wood and metal railing, was designed for access to the second floor. “Providing more natural light was the biggest design challenge,” say the designers. “A new recessed patio was designed behind the historic garage doors to allow for more light on the first floor, as well as to create a front entrance and a small exterior seating area.”

Revved-Up Retreat
The owner of this multipurpose space wanted to use his garage for more than just vehicle storage. Designer Jeanne L. Griggs treated the room—which houses workout equipment, a dog kennel with outdoor access and space for two cars—to a mix of rich details, including custom cabinetry, a stainless steel refrigerator, granite countertops and a TV and sound system for workout entertainment.

Raising the Bar
Sure, a freestanding garage is a convenient spot for storage—but why not make it a mini getaway? Here, Erin Bucy of Holland Remodeling & Building converted a garage into a fun and funky tiki bar using simple outdoor materials on the walls and some bright splashes of paint to add energy.

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