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Space exploration

Why waste good living space on your car? This astute interior design has transformed a tired garage into a colourful dual-use study and guest bedroom

Interiors by Pat de Pont, Strachan Group Architects (SGA)

From the renovating architect:

The owners currently occupy a minor dwelling on the rear of the site and rent out the original 1920s bungalow. 

With an increased demand for 'work from home' options, the owners saw the opportunity to up-cycle the existing garage building to put this space to better use than simply housing the car. 

The conversion was to provide a full-time home office/workspace as well as occasional overflow sleeping for visiting guests or family, which had sometimes been a challenge in the minor dwelling.

By relegating the car to an external hard-stand and up-cycling the existing bungalow-styled double garage into a studio space with kitchenette, bathroom, and storage areas, the homeowners have achieved an enviable and unique home / work lifestyle.


The main studio has built-in desking and cabinetry for efficient space use and a fold-down desk and bed, allow the space to be converted from work room to bedroom in two simple moves.

The exterior of the building was required by planning rules to mimic the original bungalow with the weatherboards, roofing, and timber joinery all sympathetic to houses in the surrounding streetscape. 

New windows with coloured glazing are a subtle, modern, reference to traditional bungalow or villa veranda windows, and along with the clear glazing, fill this studio with light.

Internally, the concrete floor has been polished and the walls re-lined with white-washed grooved panelling. 

The original garage roof trusses remain partially exposed with over-laid painted timber battens to emphasise the volume of the space. 

Birch plywood ceiling linings and cabinetry provide a hint of timber warmth to the interior.

A sunny workspace, terrace, pergola and garden was developed on the northern side of the building with roof-lit bathroom & kitchenette occupying the southeastern quadrant. 

A storage area for bikes, camping equipment and tools etc is located externally in the southwestern corner.

The change in priorities forced by the pandemic has become an accepted normal that will continue long after the pandemic has passed. 

This simple building conversion is a creative way of adapting and re-thinking the way we live and work.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
SGA
Landscape
Pergola & hard landscaping by SGA; De Pont Builders
Roof
Corrugated steel
Main flooring/bedroom flooring
Polished concrete
Wall coverings
Grooved Ply wall linings
Feature light fittings
Isamu Noguchi Akari LED
Artwork
'X' by Wendy Hannah
Builder
De Pont Builders
Kitchen manufacturer
Wackrows Joinery, Cambridge
Cladding
Timber weatherboards
Window/door joinery
McNaughtons
Tiles
Kitchen splashback – Boston Nero Nocturne, by Artedomus; bathroom floor – Mi Incario Nero (600x600); bathroom walls – White Blanco in matt finish, vertical format (300x600), from Tile Depot
Paint
Walls – Oslo Country, White
Furniture
Mid-century armchairs & occasional table by homeowner
Awards
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: Strachan Group Architects (SGA)

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Ross Keane

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