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Woman Converts Backyard Garage into Studio

For Alex Kennedy this tiny studio in her mother’s backyard garage is perfect for her needs.

Plus she is able to have her own home without paying expensive property taxes somewhere else in Melbourne, Australia.

Converting this old two car garage in her childhood home back yard makes this space even more special. And how much better can it get living next to family?

With the help of designer Sarah Trotter of HEARTH Studio she was able to turn this garage into what you see below a functional yet cozy cottage for herself to call home.

Large glass French doors open up to the garden giving Alex a beautiful view all the time.

Almost all materials that went into re-designing and converting this garage into a livable tiny home were salvaged materials.

Woman Converts Backyard Garage into Studio

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Images © Lauren Bamford

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Images © Lauren Bamford

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Andrea
Andrea has lived simply in small spaces for more than 7 years and enjoys sharing her space saving (and space multiplying) tips from experience.
Andrea

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Cahow November 25, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Nice. I like the green bathtub. A 2-car garage stateside would be about 20″ x 30″ or 600 sq.ft. I’m NOT a fan of home’s with THIS amount of openness; I’d sure hate to be stuck in the tub, with nowhere to go if I had friends over. Well, I suppose if they were Friends With Benefits, we’d BOTH be in the tub, right? 😉 Alex has posted scores of grand homes that were beautifully designed in a 600 sq.ft. footprint that had both open and private areas;I’m more keen on that arrangement.

    But, for fans of this style, this is a very nice conversion. 😀

    • Sally November 25, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Cahow, that bathtub scenario looks a little drafty, too. 🙂 Classy, but drafty. Back in the macrame and Boone’s Farm days, tho, no one would have noticed.

      • Doc November 25, 2014, 5:27 pm

        Sally,
        you’re dating yourself!

        • Cahow November 25, 2014, 7:21 pm

          Sally may be dating herself but boy did I get a belly-laugh over her references…and joyfully, I STILL have a crackin’ good piece of macrame that I made at Uni. The Boone’s Farm Strawberry Ripple, not so much.

          Thanks for a *trip* Back To The Past, Sally. Cool beans, Farm Out, and Awesome Possum, Dude. 😀

        • Doc November 25, 2014, 7:31 pm

          I too still own a bit of macrame, that I made, but the boonesfarm days were actually TJ Swan Easy Nights days! But that’s a story for some other forum, or the therapists!

  • Doc November 25, 2014, 5:35 pm

    absolutely beautiful! i too would like a more private sleeping room and bathroom area. just don’t need people sharing “everything” with me. absolutely love company. love it when they leave too. 🙂

    really like the cottage like, been there forever feel of these salvaged materials in this tiny home. also like the one step up “loft” of a bedroom area. that raised floor will be warmer on the feet in colder times as well.

    keep up the good work!

    • Cahow November 25, 2014, 7:45 pm

      Hello, Doc! I’m wishing both you and Mustang Sally a wonderful, love-filled Thanksgiving!!!

      Now, back to the raised platform: Have you ever LIVED with one, Doc?We have, in two places in our lives and NEVER again!!! I don’t know WHY we were so stupid the second time around (well, I do know…it was more cost effective to run plumbing lines over the existing floor and build a platform kitchen) than it was to tear out all the floor joists and add another $50,000 to remodel our kitchen.

      Our 1st foray in bi-level living was in a Swingin’ Singles apartment (holla, Sally!) back in the early 70’s. It was a very rad, mod apartment with one of those ubiquitous metal cone fireplaces both in the lounge AND in the Master bedroom!!! You walked into the apartment unit directly into the dining room, which over-looked a drop-down lounge with the fireplace. (kitchen was to the left, down a hall was the loo and guest bedroom). Off of the main floor dining room, to the extreme right was another hallway which led to a matching footprint drop-down Master bedroom; the master loo was on the same level as the dining room.

      Now, don’t get me wrong: IT WAS F’ING GORGEOUS! And hip! Rad! Chic! Austin Powers would have felt right at home!! But….the dropped levels LOCKED in the dimensions of the rooms…FOREVER! If you were dining and wanted to add more people to the table, tough luck, Sunny Jim…because you’d be arse over teakettle with your chair falling off the dining room level onto the molten hot metal fireplace! Same goes for the lounge and master bedroom, too. If you wanted to add a sofa, bookcase, expand from a queen bed to a king with nightstands on both sides, you ran right into that “wall” of the elevated level, preventing you from grabbing those “two extra inches” you so desperately needed! And all Oriental rugs had to be bought to fit each space; NO large overlapping rugs, thank you very much!

      And then, let’s talk about the F.A.L.L.S.!!! By SOBER people, who were busy gabbing and just casually backed up (as people are wont to do) and they’d suddenly scream and pitch backward to hit their arse, shoulder or head on the wood floor below! Don’t even get me started on the people who KNEW the levels were there, but when putting on their coat and twisting to say “Good Bye”, they’d misplace one of their feet and go tumbling down, again.

      Now, I was young and as spry as a Forest Fox in those days, but I couldn’t count the amount of tumbles/spills that I took by moving too fast or just taking my attention away from walking for just a second. And in regards to children!?!? OMG, seeing your babe take a tumble down that one dropped step when you looked away for a second is what prompted us to move from Groovy-ville to the Flatlands Flats…until we remodeled our 2nd to last house when be became stupid again. LOL

      So, the different levels, if you’ve NEVER lived with them are incredible in concept and SUCK when you live with them!

      • Doc November 25, 2014, 8:03 pm

        Cahow,
        Have to agree with everything you said about those “sunken” rooms. I wouldn’t have one either anymore. Thing is this is a tiny house and just under the bed. I did this with the bedroom in our last basement apartment. Have to say, loved the effect on the tootsies. It was just a 3″ rise. Enough to keep the feet warm. Oh yes, still a problem for guests to maneuver! I would do it again though, but this time I would do the whole floor! 🙂

        Happy turkey day to you as well!
        Good to see your words on these pages too!

      • Angie June 2, 2016, 7:57 am

        Raised platforms or sunken rooms are also something to think about for anyone creating a place to retire in or “age in place”. I’m an occupational therapist, and have dealt with individuals returning home after rehab from various conditions, hoping to remain independent at home. We go to the home and see if they are safe there and if any modifications can be made. And consistently when a sunken room is involved, it’s a major safety issue for the individual, even if it wasn’t before. But there is very little that can be done to make it safer at that point. So it’s something to consider for anyone designing a space to live in through retirement.

    • Becky November 26, 2014, 2:02 pm

      I am loving the comments! Fun, which, in my opinion is what a home is about. I too like having friends over and would burst before, well, um, uh… This plan, though cute and wonderful would need modification before I could live there. 🙂

  • Jack Boal January 10, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Where does the waste water and sewage go into. Did you have a compost toilet. Did you put in a small septic tank. If your garage was close to the house you could have tied into sewage lines. But, I am talking when the garage is more than 100 feet from your main house, or on another lot.

  • Mark June 2, 2015, 8:25 am

    .. The concept of backyard studios/granny flats/extra bedroom for the eldest child are extremely common in Australia and usually, if they have plumbing at all, are plumbed into the main house system .. This is a nice example of a personal space ..

  • dea June 2, 2015, 12:40 pm

    I’d love to do something simple like this with my dumpy garage! give my daughter her own space for a change, she can do college without everybody in her hair (she’s a quiet child, her thing). she loves open space (we don’t have it, and simple necessities)

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