Small abode for the agile and unemcumbered

honorbiltkitApril 24, 2012

I restored this space -- basically the equivalent of two bays of a decrepid three bay garage -- into a studio apartment two years ago. The tenant has now left, so I had occasion to take some photos for craigslist, and I thought I would show off this small but extremely cool for the right person transformation.

Exterior before

Exterior after (flagstones need de-clovering)

I have no interior before photos. The space came with about 500 broken VCRs, so I assume it was once some kind of repair shop. The only windows were the clerestory windows in the faux garage door walls. It was dark.

The space became bi-level by reframing the hip roof to clear what had been beams across the room at ceiling level. The sleeping loft was created over the bathroom. The library ladder (which is really less tricky to use than one might think) also provides access to the "second story" storage.

The kitchen is based on a broken restaurant refrigerator unit, that now forms the base cabinets. Backsplash is slate. Upper cabinets, dishwasher, and fridge are painted russet to match. There is no oven provided, and a disposal is not even possible.

The bathroom has a great walk-in shower, a converted kitchen cart as a vanity, and and washer and dryer in a closet.

My very talented contractor is responsible for almost all the design and all of the construction and details. My only contribution was to insist a library ladder be used instead of some kind of constructed stairs, which would have taken up too much space.

Anyway, my city is now once again encouraging "auxillary dwellings," after discouraging them for a long while. This one is minimal in square feet but plenty big in style and mod cons, I think.

I am tickled russet with how it came out.

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It's totally cute! Is there a ledge on the sleeping loft to keep someone from rolling off in their sleep?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:11PM
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What a neat space! I vote in favor of keeping the clover. ;)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Keep the clover, or put in mother of thyme and woodruff to grow between the squares?

Honorbilt, you done GOOD, hon!!! What a delightful space.
So the city decided it was a good idea--again? It sounds like OUR town, still discouraging such arrangements.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:27PM
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What a great space. You and your contractor did a wonderful job of design & use of space.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:27AM
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That is phenomenal. I am toying with the idea of turning my garage into a guest suite, since my driveway is too narrow to be useable (I park at the bottom, since if I drove all the way back to the garage, it would take me 10 minutes to back out every morning, in order to avoid hitting either the house or my neighbor's fence). This is definitely inspirational!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:43PM
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I love this! Such a clever use of space. I love the materials used in the kitchen and the colors. If I was a single person living on my own I would love to live there!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:09PM
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that's lovely! runs circles around either of the apts I had while single!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I think it is a great space. I am not agile enough any more but it would have been fun in my youth.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Oh wow, that is amazingly cool! You and your contractor are one dynamic duo!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Very nice . Love the kitchen design and the COLOR. No way could I use that ladder, unless I was reaching for books...once a week.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Repurposed things, artistic design - what's not to love! If I was young & single, I'd rent it in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 12:48AM
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Thanks for the compliments. I will forward them to my contractor.

The "footprint" for a double mattress is outlined with molding, about 15 inches in from the ledge. One could end up on the floor, but it would take something like sleepwalking or diving dreams.

The clover between the flagstones will be replaced by creeping thyme, although perhaps not this spring.

And for all of you who imagine that library laddering to the sleeping loft is beyond you, know that the access was successfully demonstrated to would-be renters by yours truly, 66 years old and with apparently no articular cartilage left in her knees. The secret is using the ladder barefoot, so that your foot maintains a reliable grip. Get to the top, swing your left knee onto the platform, and Bob's your uncle.

I was surprised myself by how easy it was.

Cheers. hbk

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Any chance your contractor lives in the DC/Baltimore area??
Love love love the space.
Too fun.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 5:41PM
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