Looking for design ideas for your garage conversion? Making it look like a natural part of your home, and less like a converted garage, is vital for its success and your home’s future saleability. Before work starts, commission scaled drawings of the finished project, indoors and out, and include details such as power sockets and furniture layout.
Find tons of design advice, inspiration and garage conversion ideas below – and for step-by-step practical information, check out our expert guide to planning a garage conversion.
- Discover the cost of your garage conversion with our extension cost calculator.
1. Create a multi-purpose space
The integral garage of this house was used for storage rather than the car, and the owners wanted to add a home office as well as utility room and downstairs toilet and shower area to their home.
Architect Your Home used the full width and depth of the original structure for the utility, then extended it towards the garden to make space for the toilet/shower room and the home office at the rear to give it windows with an outlook over the garden. Insulation was essential, but there weren’t any other issues to be tackled because the garage was integral. It cost £42,000.
Find more tips on how to transform a space small in a functional home office.
2. Create a new kitchen diner
Looking for garage conversion design ideas to make a dramatic difference to your home's value? The owners of this home wanted a larger kitchen-diner so, instead of extending their house, they converted their integral garage, using the new space to enlarge their existing kitchen, and creating a utility, cloakroom and dining space, too. The project cost around £48,500 in total.
Find out how to design an open plan kitchen diner in our guide.
3. Replace garage doors with consistent architecture
Ensure the brickwork, materials and windows replacing the garage doors match well with the existing house. Ask builders to fully tooth and bond the new brickwork into the old.
Often, the top of the garage door is lower in height than the other doors and windows on the ground floor. Consider whether you will be able to match the brickwork or external materials if the garage door opening requires reducing in size. In this case, you can choose to go for an architectural contrast, such as below.
Find out more about transforming the exterior of your home to get the finish just right.
4. Position the interior door correctly
Design the position of the interior door to the new room in the right place. It’s best to consider what the ideal position would be, rather than going with the existing door if there is one. Work out how the door’s position will affect the furnishing of the new room – it’s no use positioning it in an ideal place in the hallway if it makes the new room awkward.
5. Create a double storey space
A larger than average single car garage attached to the house by a wall at the front with good ceiling height provided great potential for this conversion. Aquila Property Group created a galleried sleeping area at the top of the space. Beneath, there’s a kitchen as well as dining space, living area and shower room.
The roof of the garage was changed, sound insulation was added to the walls, and a steel beam protects the integrity of the roof and houses the galleried bedroom. The floor was dug down to create extra head height and it was replaced with a concrete slab with underfloor heating. It cost around £55,000.
6. Get natural daylight into your garage conversion
Looking for contemporary garage conversion design ideas to create a bright, light space? If you can fit in extra windows to make the new space feel more like a room and less like a conversion, do so. If the garage faces the garden, replacing one wall with floor-to-ceiling windows or folding-sliding doors will make it feel wider and much more spacious, but do consider how this will restrict the layout of the room.
7. Pay attention to your room's proportions
The cheapest way to visually change the proportions of the room is by using paint colours that make it feel bigger and brighter. Keep windows uncluttered, and hang mirrors to reflect light and stretch the space visually. Shop for furniture that matches the room’s proportions; if it’s too big, the room will feel cluttered. Invest in good storage, too. For more tips on buying furniture for smaller spaces, check out our guide.
8. Connect your garage conversion to the garden
The owners of this once dilapidated garage wanted to transform that space into a versatile open-plan living area, filled with natural light and access to their garden. Their first move was adding in plenty of roof lights, then they replaced both of the solid garage doors – one became a large Crittal window, the other a new garage style door but with windows built in to allow for even more light.
Love the look of this open-plan space? Go and check out all of our tips on how to design an open-plan layout – it takes more thought than you might think.
9. ADD A UTILITY ROOM AND CLOAKROOM
When a garage adjoins a kitchen or hallway, it will be very useful as a utility room. Use it for everything from laundry to extra storage and, if possible, squeeze in a downstairs cloakroom, too. Depending on your needs, you might even be able to devote half of a large garage to utility and leave the other half for a car. Or, you could split the room to create half utility, half playroom, for example. For a utility, underfloor heating will be useful for keeping the room warm and dry, while good ventilation is also a must.
Read more about planning and designing a utility room.
10. Convert a garage into a home office
Want garage design ideas to make a family home more practical? A home office is a good one. Best sited away from the main living space if you have a family who will want the TV on while you try to work, it can also double up as a homework space, so having it near to where you’ll be most of the time can be very useful. It will need plenty of natural daylight to make it welcoming during the day, but invest in good blinds if it is south-facing, and ensure the heating is sufficient.
The artist owner of this 1970s Surrey bungalow (below) bought the dated home with improving in mind. Bliss Interiors undertook the total transformation of the property and, as part of the work, the garage was converted to create a light-filled studio. A door was added in the kitchen of the house to link the new space to the rest of the home. Storage was retained at the front of the new room, which features doors that can be opened to let in both air and light. Generous views and access to the garden were created at the back of the new living space. It cost £75,000.
Looking for more tips on how to design home office? We've got plenty of advice over in our dedicated feature.
11. Convert a garage into a playroom
For a garage off a kitchen-diner or living space, this is the perfect use for families with young children. Include a TV, too, to help keep your living room much more of an adult space. Good daylight, ventilation and lots of practical storage will all be must-haves. Bear in mind that children grow up very quickly, so when you’re converting for this purpose, think ahead to how you might use the room then.
Check out these playroom design ideas for more inspiration.
12. Convert a garage into a bedroom
With a small garage off a living space or hallway, converting it into a spare bedroom for guests is a good idea, but the room will be much more practical if you swap a conventional bed for sofa bed and fit in a desk or exercise space to double the functionality. The downside to a downstairs guest bedroom might be lack of access to a toilet or shower room. So, if there is enough room, squeeze in a space-saving wet room.
13. Convert a garage into a living room
Thorne Wyness Architects transformed the under-used attached garage of this home (below) into a self-contained apartment, including a living space with the most of the amazing view. The garage wasn’t accessible from the main house, and the separation of the two was maintained when it was converted.
The work required the replacement of the truss in the garage with a ridge beam. The main challenge for the architects was ensuring that the conversion didn’t feel mean while complying with the building regulations, and fitting in all that was required. It cost £45,000.
14. Build a home gym in your garage
Ideal for a room that leads off a hallway or kitchen, a home gym will need to be fitted with air conditioning or a window that can be opened to keep it fresh. Add a flatscreen TV and mirrors to make it feel like a real gym, and devote the back of the room to a shower space.
Read more about how to build a home gym in our guide.
15. Convert your garage into an annexe
Converting a garage into an annexe is best suited to an unattached, probably double, garage because it will give both you and the occupant privacy and space. Depending on your arrangements, you will have to fit in a shower, possibly a laundry room and kitchen, plus a generous bedroom/living space. The room will need lots of natural light, and you should consider how it will be joined, if at all, to the rest of the house. At the very least, you might want a covered walkway between the two buildings.
If you need anymore practical advice on adding an annexe go and have a read through our in-depth feature.