Want a better life…live in your garage

When John and Jill bought there 5 bedroom home on the norther beaches, they both had high paying, but very stressful jobs in the design industry. One day as they were cleaning out there garage for the 10th time that year, they had a bit of a eureka moment. Why not convert the garage to a new living space and rent out the rest of the home to have someone else pay the mortgage for them?

Both John and Jill are outdoorsy types, they both surf, mountain bike and love nothing more than to pack up the land rover and head for the south coast on camping adventures. However their jobs basically left them no time to actually enjoy life, freedom or doing the things they liked most in life. Both were designers in a leading interior architecture studio in Sydney and saw the chance to change their life for the better.

Once the decision was made, the couple did most of the work themselves, only getting experts in for plumbing, electrical and the dreaded plastering. The end result is quite remarkable, with a funky 60 square metre living, dining, sleeping and entertaining space created for the couple to live in. When they are having a party, or wine tasting at their new space, people often mistake their place for a bar or restaurant, and ask whats on the wine list.

Part of the reason for this is the large indoor/outdoor area that they have created by replacing the original garage roller door with a full width set of glass sliding doors using Brio top hanging, bottom rolling door hardware that can be completely opened out. This effectively increases the overall living space by double as the deck and small garden are completely one with the interior. Inside the space is designed around a very functional industrial style kitchen and dining area that can accommodate a whole football team if needed. The benchtops were all made by John from salvaged blackbutt timber that he found at auction, with a custom made concrete sink and Island bench giving the cool industrial vibe a real kick of modern elegance.

So where do they put all their “stuff”? Well, the couple decided to do very severe cull of all their belongings, only keeping the things that according to Japanese Zen, give them joy. The things that remain, are artfully hidden behind custom made storage cupboards that span the length and height of the space. They love it, there is no clutter at all to see, with only their bikes and surfboards on display as modern art objects in all their glory.

The couple are very content in their conversion, they get much more time to do the things they love and spend much less time stressing about mortgage repayments. It may not be for everyone, but if you can, why not downsize and create a unique home that lets you enjoy life, whilst reducing you impact on the planet.