Sunday, October 9, 2016

Living Tiny : My Garage Conversion

My first adventure into Tiny Living began with my Garage Conversion. When my house sold,  I saw there was nothing available to rent in my town, and in the surrounding towns, what was available was exorbitant. A very good friend of mine offered to let me turn her garage into a tiny house apartment.

So her garage was stacked from the floor to the ceiling with rubbermaid totes, antiques, paint, tools etc., as you would expect a garage to be. Literally there was no room to walk through it. Adjacent to the garage was a gravel driveway containing a utility trailer full of yard debris and a pick-up truck.
Now hold that picture in your minds eye.

The driveway has been cleaned up, the yard debris trailer and pick-up truck have been moved away and replaced by my new patio space. The pergola is it's own story. Barbara Kirkpatrick and I put it up together in a weekend. SAdly, the first night we put it together wrong. So the next morning she came back and at one point an entire side of it fell off and went crashing through the arborvitae's on that far side. It was a comedy. Anyway, Many thanks Barb, for helping me on this project!

Walk up three steps, in through the front door (Garage side door) into my retro entryway.
Looking back into the entryway.
 Before the conversion this area stored antique furniture and paint supplies.

Standing in the entryway, looking into the living area of the apartment.
I know it looks very cramped in here, but I don't have a wide angle for this camera. There is actually enough room for my adult kids to throw down sleeping bags on the floor when they come to visit and sleep comfortably.
Originally this area was stacked to the ceiling with rubbermaid tubs and antique furniture "Projects".

Standing in the living area, looking back toward the entryway on the left and toward the kitchenette on the right. Although there is a concrete floor underneath, we had a handyman build a floating floor.
 Actually the handy man built everything in here.
The entire conversion including labour cost between $4000 and $6000 to complete.

Dining area and kitchenette

The utility sink is perfect for this small space because it has so many uses as opposed to a small, bar style sink. I can hand wash delicate clothing in it and put the dish drainer right in the sink. A towel bar hanging directly above keeps towels handy. I am making a fabric liner for the exterior which I will fasten with velcro, in order to camouflage the cleaning supplies below.
Before the conversion, the kitchenette and pantry areas were used to store paint and tools etc.

Here is the pantry. It looks a mess right now. I need to re-stack the food in the baskets. Don't judge me.
So, there is a mini-fridge with an EXCELLENT freezer! The microwave is on top of it, and on top of the microwave is the toaster oven. I have successfully baked bread and pies in this toaster oven. It was a good purchase. Also included in the pantry are a coffee maker to the extreme far right, out of view on the work station, and a crock pot, George Forman grill/panini maker  and various other appliances including a single burner electric cook-top.

The question was asked,  "where is your bathroom?"
Fortunately for me, my room mate granted me my own private use of her second bathroom, which is nearest my apartment. The other option would have been to convert what is now the pantry into a small bathroom using fixtures that would normally be used in an RV. The space in the pantry is greater than most travel trailer bathrooms and so there would be ample room to do this. In such a case, the pantry would be moved closer to the living area, on the other side of the sink where the metal cabinet is now.

Stepping out of the kitchenette, back into the living space you can see that I've got plenty of space for my books, DVD's, computer games and even a few VHS. That book shelf is long and narrow and made a perfect room divider/entertainment centre. My African Baskets on top provide storage for seasonal items like hats, scarves and mittens.The black bookshelf, connected to the large white one contains my musical instruments, art supplies and computer odds and ends.

I originally installed this shelf with the hopes of adding smaller shelves beneath it, creating a sort of stairway up for the cats to be able to sit up there and look down on my roomate's dogs, effectively antagonizing them from a safe place. Instead, for now, my plants are sitting up there.

AT one point, many many years back in the history of this garage, some one had considered putting in a cadet heater in the wall. They carved out this space for the insert, but they never completed the job. So it was a hole but not all the way through. Just to the exterior siding at the back. So I am looking at this danged thing, asking my daughter who happened to be near by, "What should I do about this stupid thing?"  She said, "turn it into a little hidden shrine". So I had some random relics from back in the day when I was in my office studio, and had that whole 'Jesus Wall' thing going on. I pulled some of the smaller pieces out after Scout (my daughter) painted the interior. So, what you see is, from top to bottom:

-My Step Mothers Crucifix
-A small shelf depicting St. Jude, Patron Saint of Lost Causes
 (they tell me he is usually depicted with his head on fire) .
On St. Jude's shelf, sits a small rubber dinosaur, and a vial of water from St. Bridgid's Well in Galway, which Scout brought back to me from her recent Ireland trip..
-On either side of St. Jude's shelf is a rosary.

Inside the Niche:
-St. Dymphna medallion, Patron Saint of the Mentally Ill, with info card.
-Picture of the Blond Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane
-Illuminated plaque of some yet unidentified Saint, TBD.
-A hand stitched postcard of the Pope.
-An LED pillar candle.

Across from the Secret Shrine and behind the big book shelf is my sleeping cubby. The wooden garage doors were replaced with brand new insulated garage doors which were installed without their tracks. The tracks are stored safely in the storage unit in case the area is ever returned to its original garage state.

So that's the gist of it.
Below are posted  two video's. One is a walk through tour,
the other is an answer the question, "What is that?".

The walking tour video is here :

Here is a descriptor of the odd, tiny, vintage TV: