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Garage Converted into a Beautiful Tiny Cottage

Have you ever wanted a to convert an existing structure like a shed, barn or garage into a tiny cottage or other type of home? It’s a great way to transition into a simple lifestyle especially if you have a solid structure that you can already use.

With a good architect or some of your own design and DIY skills you can create an amazing tiny house out of an existing structure.

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Beautiful Garage to Cottage Conversion

Smith garage to cottage conversion

Let me take you inside below:

Interior of Seattle Backyard Garage to Cottage Conversion


As you can see it’s a super simple design with a very basic and open floor plan.

This project was remodeled by Seattle Backyard Cottage. Original story here.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Dominick Bundy
    June 15, 2013, 4:02 pm

    Very nice , as a kid in the 1950’s I remember my next door neighbor doing the same thing for his mother. converting a one car garage into a tiny house.. Also I remember back then (before motels took over) there used to be tiny roadside tourist cabins. some were only one room with a small bath and kitchenette. (called studio cottages) One hardly sees any of them anymore. Like to find blueprints of these old gems .Because they would make nice tiny houses some even had little porches.

    • Laurentia McIntosh
      June 28, 2013, 1:13 am

      A few years ago, while visiting family in Pequot Lakes, MN, my husband and I stayed at a little motel exactly as you described. Our room was almost too tiny to contain the bed and there was a bathroom right off to one side. the entire yard of cabins was arranged, as I recall, with little flat stone walks and gardens. Cute!

  • Jerry
    June 15, 2013, 11:07 pm

    Back in the mid 1980’s, Armstrong Linoleum commissioned a design for converting a two car garage into an apartment/cottage. It had a closet at one corner just large enough for a washer and dryer. A wall extended from the corner of that closet diagonally about 2/3 across the space (the only wet wall). One one side of the wall was a fully equipped kitchen, and the design showed a dining room table in the space in front of it. On the other side of the wall was the bathroom, with a full bath along the wall, and the toilet against the closet wall (with a trap door above it to allow dropping dirty clothes directly into the laundry room). The sink and a linen closet went along the garage wall completing the bathroom. At the end of the main diagonal wall, and perpendicular to it, was the wall that completed the bathroom enclosure, with Murphy bed built into it. They even showed a loft above the bathroom that could sleep a small child (the garage pictured was open ceiling). The images in the article way back in 1984 made it look very roomy. Definitely something to consider, as it is much easier to comply with building codes going this route to a tiny house!

    • Jerry
      June 16, 2013, 1:09 am

      I threw together a SketchUp file of the basic idea if anyone is interested:
      (Link Expired)

      • Charmayne
        August 12, 2015, 11:51 pm

        Do you still have this plan somewhere? I’ve been looking for it since I remembered seeing it way back during the dark ages.
        Thank you!

  • alice h
    June 16, 2013, 2:39 pm

    Love this concept. We’ve already converted a large one family house into 3 separate apartments (one tiny, one smallish and one large) for our 4 generational family, now we’re eying the garage for another family member. Unfortunately we aren’t allowed to do it legally so I guess we have to wait until rules change, hopefully soon. There is a lot of pressure on to allow laneway houses here the way they do in Vancouver. Ideally we would retain a shop area on the main floor and extend living quarters above. There’s a perfect spot for a covered outdoor BBQ and movie theatre if we extend the roof on one side and with our local cinema closing to build more ugly condos it would be a perfect place for neighbours to gather. With the crazy real estate prices around here the only way younger people can get a start is in some sort of family compound or way the heck out in commuterville, unless they take on an unreasonable amount of debt. A person can live here quite comfortably without a car. There’s transit and shopping in easy walking distance. The theatre was in walking distance too.

  • Cahow
    June 16, 2013, 8:45 pm

    Very nice, the limited amount we see. Followed the link: it states it’s a one bedroom/1 bath but NO ADDITIONAL PHOTOS! Bummer, really would have liked to see them, how hard would it have been to take them when the place was empty?

  • Cyndi Ann
    June 18, 2013, 6:27 pm

    I have thought for many years now that people would be converting there garages and/or sheds into livable space for year round living, so economical, love it all 🙂

  • Doug
    June 19, 2013, 11:49 am

    Was that Armstrong Linoleum house 1984? Yikes! I’m old! (There was a followup design after. Does anyone remember that one also?)

    • Jerry
      June 19, 2013, 12:42 pm

      That’s the one, and yes we are getting old! My father ordered the garage conversion plans, and I was fascinated with the thought of moving out of the house and into the garage as a teenager! Guess I haven’t really grown up!

      Sorry, I don’t remember the follow up design.

  • Connie Fox
    June 21, 2013, 10:01 pm

    Wow! Very nice! 🙂

  • Darcy
    November 19, 2013, 4:44 pm

    I have been wanting to do the same thing. I tore down my old two car garage a few years ago as it was sinking away. I have been packing the parking pad for 3 years and when I went to pull the permit for a garage and a loft studio above with kitchenette and bathroom, the city would not approve it. I still have a parking pad. I want to downsize into the loft studio but I am up against a lot of red tape. I got mad at the city and bought a couple of empty lots the city was selling cheap and the goal was and is to build tiny houses, as it stands right now, nothing under 400 sq ft is allowed in city limits.

  • Virginia
    April 15, 2015, 11:15 pm

    Yes even in my state of South Dakota the state, county and town don’t want a house under 400 sq ft. and also one of the rooms have to be 120 sq ft. I have been reading up on the 2012 codes because they is the current codes they are following. I have been offered an old square oats bin. Built way before my time. I think I will surprise my brother and take up me up on it. the biggest thing will be setting it up for the elec. and water.

  • katherine r
    June 9, 2016, 11:54 am

    Last year I was reading an old 1985 mag. and inside was pictured a converted garage. I have tried several different places including armstrong flooring , as it was their ad, and was unable to come up with anything. I also e-mailed the plan from the mag. and received no answer back, after talking to some gentleman via telephone. Any idea where I may be able to locate that plan, as I really liked it. Thank you for your time.

  • Carol Perry
    November 20, 2016, 3:19 pm

    I love the tiny house from the outside. The kitchen looks like a good size. Is the kitchen a combination living room or are they separated. I would have loved to have seen it set up. But what I did see it was nicely done! The floors were gorgeous!????

  • Angela
    January 15, 2019, 7:05 pm

    Is there a bathroom? I take it from the picture that it is just one large room with the kitchen built on the back wall, which makes sense, it having once been a garage. You could work out the sleeping arrangements with a convertible sofa or a self-contained Murphy bed, but you would need a bathroom for it to truly be a house.

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