60 Garage Conversion Ideas For More Living Space

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The garage is one space that has the greatest potential when it comes to having an additional living space. Since the garage is a small space, garage conversion has to be intentional and smart. I started using my garage as an extra living space a long time ago, and there are garage conversion ideas that I have used over the years to make it a habitable space.

Here are some ideas that I have loved exploring.

Garage Conversion Ideas

When converting a garage, this is a chance to create an ideal living space because of the open nature that the garage offers. Here is how.

1) Natural Light

Image Source: designfor-me.com

Natural light will make any space look bigger any day. The garage door gives the best chance to have natural light pour into the garage. Natural light can come in through the roof and not just the door. If your garage has a side on which you can fit a window, do so because that is an opportunity to have more light come in.

I have noticed over the past that garages are almost the same size as most kitchens. However, kitchens feel more open because they have windows on all sides, while garages feel more closed up because there is no lighting.

2) Mirrors

Mirrors are one of the simplest ways I use to make space look bigger. However, I use mirrors in strategic ways. For example, I avoid just placing mirrors in spots that might look distracting and creepy at night.

Image Source: aisglass.com

I can use mirrors on one wall to reflect the rest of the room. For example, I can use mirrors on one side of a bookshelf to make it look longer. This is the trick used in supermarket shelves to make the items on the shelves look more and to create an illusion that the space is bigger than it is.

3) Large Windows

Image Source: resi.co.uk

There is a lot of good that large windows do apart from making the space look bigger, including letting in more light. In addition, large windows create oneness with the environment outside, creating the illusion that the space is larger than it is. For example, my garage has large windows, making the space less claustrophobic.

4) Large Doors

The advantages of installing a large garage door opening are higher because it is not much you will be changing except the previously used door. For example, my garage has transparent glass doors running from one end of the garage to the next.

Image Source: diygrannyflat.com.au

Installing the door was not a pain because the garage door opener is already large enough to let in a car.

The door works perfectly to let a lot of natural light into the converted space.

The garage offers a chance to experiment with the different types of doors to blend the space with the rest of the house and make the landscaping look better.

5) High Ceiling

Image Source: combit-construction.com

When converting a garage, you want to use all the space to the maximum potential. Therefore, I decided not to have a low-hanging ceiling over my garage. I know that most people prefer ceilings because it soundproofs the noise if there is a room over the garage. However, great ceiling soundproofing ideas will let you enjoy quiet while still saving on space by having a high ceiling.

6) Garage Plants

Image Source: manofmany.com

Indoor plants give us the illusion that we are outdoors and the garage space is one of the places to use this trick. It is easy to blend the plants from inside the garage to the space on the driveway because of the large door that presents the opportunity. This is a chance to have a good looking landscape.

7) Raise the Floor

Image Source: gardenista.com

My garage floor was lower than the floor in the rest of the house. This made it feel like the garage was not part of the house every time I stepped in. I had to raise the garage floor space to move from the house to the garage, a seamless one. This makes it feel like the garage is just another room that is part of the main house.

8) Extendable Dining Tables

Image Source: home-designing.com

I had to look for the best extendable dining table in town to use in my dining space. While I do not use the table in my garage, I recommend it if you plan to convert a garage into a dining space. This will work perfectly because the tables collapse to make smaller tables if needed and vice versa.

9) Use a Projector

Projectors are the new way of enjoying entertainment. Many affordable, powerful projectors for small spaces can be game changers in your garage. For example, I use a projector in my garage to watch movies and do sports. The biggest advantage I have with this kind of setup is that I can always pull out a projector screen and start watching.

Image Source: themasterswitch.com

There are a lot of projector screen ideas, and you do not have to worry about installing one if you do not have the space for it. For example, I do not have a permanent projector screen in my garage.

10) Use Heaters

Image Source: istockphoto.com

While converting your garage may feel like a completely structural decision, making the space habitable will make it feel larger. Using a heater to bring the garage temperature to the same level as the existing house is one way of having a cozy space in the garage. Garage conversions should focus on making the space habitable, and having a cold garage is not an option.

11) Lights

There is a lot that lights do. If you know how to light a room, you can create any illusion. There are many options for lighting, including natural or artificial lighting. When using natural lighting, I tend to prefer the door or the windows. However, artificial lighting can have a similar effect.

Image Source: businessinsider.in

Having more lighting sources gives the brain a lot of freedom to wander around, making the space seem larger than it is.

12) Sky Light

Image Source: houzz.com

The skylight not only makes my garage look larger, but it also makes it look more luxurious. I had a good chunk of my garage roof converted into a skylight, one of the best ideas for the garage.

13) Wall Papers

Wallpapers are perhaps the most used wall space decorations. The wall is too large to ignore and presents a chance to make the room look bigger. There are a lot of wallpaper ideas to go around since it is very common to find wallpapers being used today.

Image Source: pol-built.co.uk

Wallpapers help put your room together, and the garage is no exception.

Better, you can get textured wallpaper to make the garage quieter than it would be with a normal wallpaper. Most garage conversions are for gamers, who can use soundproofing options such as using the appropriate wallpaper.

14) Minimalist Furniture

Image Source: garageage.com

Most of the furniture in our living spaces takes more space than necessary. If you have a single-car garage, there is a need to go for a minimal setup when furnishing the garage. Everything in my converted garage is there for a specific purpose, not just a decorative piece.

15 Large, Comfortable Carpet

We do a lot in a converted space to over-compensate for the purpose the space previously had. I try to avoid such traps. The important thing that comes to my mind when converting space is how to make it comfortable.

Image Source: blog.ruggable.com

A comfortable carpet doubles up as a sitting surface. This gives the chance to have more space in the new room without installing any extra furniture.

This is especially true when converting the former garage into a kids' playroom.

16) Electric Fireplace

Building a fireplace in the existing structure will likely take up space. So I ensured I made the garage warm without going the extra mile of building a fireplace. Instead, I took full advantage of the option of using an electric fireplace.

Image Source: lowes.com

The fireplace is smaller and barely takes up any space in the garage. As a result, I can use the garage during winter comfortably without worrying about the cold.

17) French Doors

French doors are the secret to making any space look larger. The garage is no exception. During my garage conversion, I converted the door coming from my main house into a French door. This makes the garage open and feels more spacious.

Image Source: milagard.com

If you have ever wondered, the patio or a well-decorated deck looks like a large space. But, in reality, these spaces are smaller than the garage. The only difference is the illusion created by large spaces; the French door will likely achieve this illusion.

18) Murphy Bed

The Murphy bed goes into the wall, a game changer for anyone who wants to convert their garage into a bedroom. Once the Murphy bed is folded away, you can use the underneath side as a bookshelf or a storage space.

Image Source: wallbedsbywilding.com

The Murphy type of bed is one of the most popular interior design ideas trending the most today. I have this bed in my living room if I have guests in the main house. The bed immediately converts my living room into a guest house.

19) Loft Bed

A loft bed would be handy if the garage conversion allowed higher ceiling space. In addition, these beds allow for other furniture, like desks, to be set up underneath the beds, allowing for more living areas.

Image Source: westelm.com

Loft beds give enough room and are beds you should use in other bedrooms if you want to increase living space.

20) Home Bar

Image Source: hillhouseinteriors.com

The home bar and the dining room are two spaces that need their vibe. Therefore, I avoid mixing the two spaces and one idea to help give independence to the bar is to install it in the garage. The garage makes for a perfect home bar because it is secluded from the rest of the house and is a more practical setting if the house has kids.

21) Kitchen

Image Source: housebeautiful.com

If a previously unused garage is lying around and you have a small kitchen, now is the time to turn that around. Garage spaces allow for the best kitchen ideas, including a small dining space. Imagine being able to park two cars in your kitchen. That would make for a large kitchen. In addition, the garage allows for a state-of-the-art kitchen installation.

22) Garage Bedroom

We aim to have more living space in the house, and converting your garage into a bedroom is practical if you ask me. So once I knew I would convert my garage, I started shopping for the best futons for small spaces I could find.

Image Source: hgtv.com

Futons help me convert the garage into a bedroom in a matter of seconds without having to move everything out of the way.

The garage can be a bedroom if you are hosting someone for a long period. For example, if you have grown kids who can no longer share a room, the garage is a perfect space for one person to use a bedroom.

I converted my garage to create space for myself while everyone enjoys using the main house. Having personal space is important.

23) Shower Room

Image Source: bhg.com

I have always loved having extra shower rooms and toilets if I have guests. The garage is a perfect space to use as a washroom. Whenever I have guests in the house for a party or a get-together, I like having enough restrooms for everyone's comfort. However, I wouldn't say I like the idea of many guests using the family bathroom as that is exclusive to my family and me.

24) Storage Room

Image Source: notinggrace.com

If you have ever seen a neighborhood sale out in the yard, most of it is people trying to clear their storage room. The garage makes for a perfect storage room. Before I converted my garage into a living space, I used it as storage for everything I was not using. The space doubled up as storage for my business supplies.

You will be good to go if you have designed the garage to accommodate items better.

25) Pool Table Room

Image Source: homestratosphere.com

My friend has a pool table we like hanging around whenever I go to his house. Since the pool table can not fit anywhere in the house, the garage seemed a perfect idea and has worked well since.

26) Family Room

Image Source: housebeautiful.com

When undertaking garage conversion, it should be for a worthy cause. For example, whenever I visit my dad, we spend most of the time in the garage, which he converted into a family room. This makes it possible for us to monitor the kids playing outside while enjoying our time together.

27) Utility Room

Image Source: nytimes.com

If you have a growing family, having a utility room will save you a lot of headaches. A utility room takes up a lot of equipment that the rest of the house might not accommodate comfortably. A utility room makes the rest of the house less cluttered, with more space.

28) Art Studio

Image Source: mymodernmet.com

As an artist, I have always wanted more space. While my garage is not a full-on art studio, I only use it whenever I need to paint. The garage is a perfect art studio because it allows for the free flow of air, which is a perfect condition for painting.

The garage has a nice wall space if you want to exhibit your art.

29) Home Gym

Image Source: houzz.com

The gym in the house is a struggle, especially if you live with others. I am not registered in a gym, but I work with a friend who made a gym out of a converted garage.

30) Home Cinema

Image Source: thespruce.com

The garage makes for a perfect home cinema because of the secluded nature. No one in the house will be distracted by the noise, and you can watch your favorite blockbusters in peace. While my garage conversion was not to have a cinema, I like watching my favorite shows from the garage using a projector.

31) Guest Suite

Image Source: houzz.com

Guests require some privacy to settle in. I have noticed how anxious I sometimes get when visiting family in other towns. Having my own space gives me the liberty to get myself calm and ready to interact positively.

Guests appreciate being given space to be comfortable and maintain their exclusivity.

32) Garage Office

Image Source: decoist.com

Office spaces have seen some of the most garage transformation projects. Having a home office is a must for anyone who has a lot of work to do. Think of the world's biggest companies and discover where most started in garages.

33) Garage Workshop

Image Source: snaplap.com

My wife has never liked the idea of me working on my projects from the verandah. I would use my garage, but it is already used for other purposes. If you have a lot of building to do and you love embarking on DIY projects, your garage is your best friend.

34) YouTube Studio

Image Source: unsplash.com

YouTube is a serious business now, and it has a lot of revenue. I started my little channel to talk about my blogs. However, it was never ideal for my wife, who was trying to catch some sleep whenever I was editing. This is how I spend most of my time editing in the garage.

35) Music Studio

Image Source: musicteach.com

Every great band started from a garage somewhere. Almost all high-school rock bands had their first album made in a garage. So if you have a drum set, please use the garage for everyone's sanity.

36) Garage Playroom

Image Source: proejctnursery.com

One thing my kids enjoy most is playing with their friends. While I am lucky enough to convert one of the rooms in my house into a playroom, not everyone has this chance. The garage is a perfect playroom because of the potential to merge it with the outside space. The garage can be the toy center where everyone gets their supply of toys to use outside.

37) Garage Library

Image Source: dwell.com

I have a shelf inside my garage that holds some of my most important book collections. I am lucky to have a fairly large garage that can accommodate a classy shelf. I do not have to fetch my books from the house when I can simply have them in the garage.

38) Garage Dining Space

Image Source: homedit.com

Most garages have their entrance into the house very close to a kitchen. This makes most garage conversions ideal as dining spaces. The garage conversion into a dining space creates more space in the main house. A garage converted into a dining space can potentially hold more people than the typical dining space in the main house.

39) Install Wifi

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The best way to make the garage more habitable is to have internet access in the garage. Once there is the internet, anyone in the garage will not be compelled to use another room to browse or stream.

40) Soundproof Space

Image Source: everest.co.uk

The reason why I chose to use the garage was to stay away from distractions by the kids. The noise was a bit too much. Once I was done with the garage conversion and moved in, the noise was still audible. This was when I looked up effective soundproofing ideas which I used to soundproof everything, including the garage door. Now I can work in peace.

41) Wet Bar

Image Source: thespruce.com

Whenever a family gets together or a barbeque weekend hangs out, there is the need to have a bar. A cousin of mine converted his garage into a wet bar, and for this reason, we always vote for his place to have the get-togethers.

42) HVAC System

Once I turned the garage into a new living space, I had to include everything that makes a living space habitable. This included installing a floor heating system, not in the previously existing garage.

Image Source: saveonenergy.ca

Having a well-ventilated garage has been the best experience as I spend most of my time in the garage.

43) Clothes-line Room

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There are days when there is too much cloud cover, and the sun never comes out, and the garage comes in handy for hanging clothes. I have a neighbor who never has a problem with the weather because she hangs all the clothes in the garage. Some clothes need to be hang-dried in the shade, and using a garage is an ideal option.

44) Online Store Depot

Image Source: cnn.com

I needed space to keep my items when I started selling merchandise online. The garage came in handy because my wife was already tired of all the boxes in the dining room. So I had to create space in the garage to handle all my inventory.

45) Gaming Center

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I love gaming with my boys. Every time I have a free day, I can head over to my friend's house to hang out over PlayStation, and since we do it in the garage, we can bring out the children in us.

46) Teen Spot

Image Source: yourteenmag.com

I am tired of seeing my teenage boy sneak his friends in. I understand because I have been there. Before I converted the garage into my own space, I wanted it to be his spot where he could hang out and relax with his buddies and throw a party. However, he might have to do that with his garage.

47) Surround Sound

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Something is calming about having a good sound. The garage deserves to surround sound if its purpose is a home cinema. This enhances the experience tenfold.

48) Heated Concrete Slab

Image Source: pinterest.com

Converting your garage might take a lot of effort. However, it would be a bummer to undertake such a project and not have the garage conducive to staying in. for this reason, it is vital to include a concrete slab with floor heating installed to keep the garage warm during the cold seasons.

49) Wall Paint

Image Source: elledecor.com

Painting a wall either makes or breaks a room. I wanted the garage to be habitable, and I had honey-oak interiors combined with other colors to look presentable and nice.

50) Virtual Tee Box

Image Source: bostonglobe.com

The best business deals and connections happen on the golf course. Bringing this right inside your garage is a great move. A putting green will convert your garage from dead space to the most important wing in your house.

51) Table Tennis Room

Image Source: liveabout.com

Having ping pong is one of the best ways to hang out for people across all age groups. Unfortunately, I must go to the local club to play with my son. However, if there were anything I could have in the garage in the future, it would be a ping pong table.

52) Wet Room

Image Source: plumbnation.co.uk

Wet rooms need a lot of space, and the garage offers a good renovation project. If you need new space for a wet room for leisure or medical purposes, this is the best time to look into what the garage offers.

53) Soaking Tub

Image Source: lowes.com

There is a lot of peace of mind to have inside a soaking tub. The best place to have a soaking tub is outdoors or in the garage.

54) Green-House

Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

A greenhouse comes in handy during winter. I have a property with an unused two-car garage, and that is where I did my first garage conversion project. The greenhouse has been a vital source of flowers during winter.

55) Living Room

Image Source: homedit.com

If you are lucky to have a double garage, a living room is one of the best things you can have in the garage. My garage space passes for a living room because I have designed it in a way that passes for a living room.

56) Smoking Room

Image Source: kare-design.com

Okay, let's face it. We all need that one place to unwind and indulge in our guilty pleasures, and what better place than the garage?

57) Collection Room

Image Source: keatingeconomics.com

If you love collecting records, shoes, antiques, and other unique items, the garage is yours for the taking. Seeing the awe in people's faces every time I open my garage doors is satisfying because of the antiques I have on the bookshelf. Imagine a whole garage looking like a tiny museum.

58) Prayer Room

Image Source: iliteam.org

We all have our beliefs. Prayer is solemn, and the garage offers the perfect spot to take moments off to talk to God.

59) Dance Studio

Image Source: danceparent101.com

If you need a space to practice your dance routines, you do not have to keep moving the table in the living room. For example, I realized my son would dance in the garage before I moved things in it after my renovation project.

60) Big Screen

Image Source: mydomaine.com

Having the biggest screen you can get installed in the garage is a vibe that would be hard to beat. Watching the latest movies with family is always fun, and a garage is an ideal place to have a movie cinema of your own.

Final Thoughts

The garage has more potential than just holding cars. If the car is safe outside, it is time to rethink the functions of the garage. If you have a detached garage, the possibilities are even more. The garage conversion cost might be high, but every dollar in the project is worth it.

Image Source: designfor-me.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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