Renovate

Before & After: from garage to guest house

A dumping ground becomes a divine retreat for visitors
Anastasia Kariofyllidis

Who knew a garage could look this good?

Queensland couple Sam and Samille once used this spot as a dumping ground for old furniture, baby goods and fishing gear. With frequent overnight visitors to their seaside home, the couple wanted to pamper them with a private space – and a little luxury – of their own.

Before & After - Garage to guest room | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
An occasional chair from Adairs adds contrast (Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

Using the existing floor plan of the garage to include a sitting area, the old garage doors were removed and an entry and new windows installed in their place.


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The insulation was replaced and plumbing installed for a kitchenette and ensuite, while timber flooring was fitted over the existing cement floor. Vertical-joint cladding from Easycraft was used to line the walls and ceiling, with part of the garage walled off to allow for storage.

“We thought the beams give character and warmth.”

Before & After - Garage to guest room | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

The studio is now enlivened by a quirky collection of artwork, hanging planters and sumptuous bedding. The unexpected style stand-out is exposed rafters transformed with lashings of white paint. “We’re not huge fans of modern and sterile buildings,” says Samille.

Before & After - Garage to guest room | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

Danielle McManus’s artwork ‘Home Coming’ (above, left) and Simonn Schumacher’s ‘Love Notes’ hang above a Domayne bed made up with a Shannon Fricke ‘Grace’ quilt and scatter cushions in muted tones. “From the bed, you can look up at the hanging plants and timber beams, and everything looks so relaxing,” says Samille. ‘Husk’ pendants from Beacon Lighting glow at night, while a wall-hung television adds to the guest-house vibe.

Before & After - Garage to guest room | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

“I love the clean and fresh feeling of white boards that can totally transform a room,” Samille

Before & After - Garage to guest room | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Compact but functional (Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

“Our budget blew out by 30 per cent, mainly due to labour costs,” says Sam. “The work was trickier than we and our builder first anticipated.”

Expert’s tip: Painting a freshly laid timber floor white requires a dose of bravery and the foresight to stick with your vision. For Samille, this was vital to creating a breezy, relaxing vibe, and she chose Feast Watson satin floor paint.  Any signs of wear and tear only enhance the appeal for Sam. “Some people may doubt their practicality but I like the way they wear,” he says. “It adds character.” 

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