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If your garage is going spare, then it could be time to get this space working harder. A garage conversion is one of the easiest ways to create new functional space in your home. These are also the most cost effective.

Your garage space is the perfect blank canvas for getting creative because this ground floor space is basically an empty box. With nothing holding you back but your imagination, let’s look at some of the ways you can use to transform your garage…

1.   Tuck the kitchen into a hallway 

Kitchen hallways for garage conversion
Kitchen hallways for garage conversion (Source maxablespace.com)

In this conversion idea, the skylight brings the sunshine into this tidy kitchen. This is designed as a departure from the more typical design that has the kitchen against one wall of the living area.

2.   Give the bed its own nook

ADU bedroom design
ADU bedroom (Source maxablespace.com)

You need closets in a bedroom. You can turn them into an architectural feature. Because of the bed’s inset, this studio ADU also gains floor space.

Click here to find some great small bedroom ideas for your ADU: https://engineerinc.io/small-room-bed-ideas-for-your-adu/

3.   Let your collection inspire your design 

Hobby inspired interior
Collection or hobby inspired interior design for garage conversion (Source maxablespace.com)

For a one-bedroom garage conversion, the inspiration was a beautiful collection of plates and cutlery. This home owner used the same primary colors on interior doors and cabinetry. It has created a playful space that’s irresistible to Air BnB vacationers.

4.   Open up the ceiling of your garage conversion

Open ceiling
Open ceiling for garage conversion (Source maxablespace.com)

When you convert your garage space into an ADU, you might have to reinforce the rafters of your garage to meet the building code for habitable spaces. Finishing the beams and opening the ceiling is definitely an added expense. But, it will be a payoff for sure.

5.   Splurge on a big porch for your garage conversion

Outdoor ADU space
Outdoor/ exterior porch for ADU (Source maxablespace.com)

Outdoor space is livable space. This equally matters to long-term tenants and weekend visitors. Consider a porch like this to increase your ADU’s appeal. Even if you don’t like to expand the footprint of your garage, this will give your ADU more space and beauty too.

6. Include a workspace 

Work space
Home office work space (Source maxablespace.com)

With the way the world is moving, you will be travelling, eating and sleeping with a laptop by your side. Even inside your ADU, you need a space where you can work without getting disturbed. Creating a designated work station means the ADU’s dining table won’t be permanently hijacked. This kind of a corner desk with three deep shelves can serve as flexible storage space too.

7.   Use privacy film to maximize light in your garage conversion

Privacy glass designs
Privacy glass designs (Source maxablespace.com)

Most of the urban garage conversions are going to be situated close to the main house. With the use of privacy films you can let in much more light than shades. The quality of the diffused light is beautiful too. This artistic application is a showstopper for sure. The film comes in a variety of patterns. It is easy to install.  You can take the film two-thirds the way up the window and leave the top third clear if you like.

8.   Put a window over the sink and a shelf across the window 

Window over the sink
Window over sing design for garage conversion (Source maxablespace.com)

Your kitchen sink should have a window over it if there is a possibility. In a garage conversion, get extra storage by installing a shelf right across the window. At the same time, make sure that it doesn’t obstruct the outside view.

9.   Install an under-counter combo washer/dryer

Washer and dryer
Under-counter washer/ dryer for space saving ADU designs (Source maxablespace.com)

This method has been used in Europe for ages. We finally have access to models that do a fine job of washing and drying clothes in the same machine, now in the US. The process takes a bit longer than standard washer/dryer sets. In a space-crunched garage conversion the trade-off is really worth it.

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