At Remodelista, we brake for creative garage conversions. Over the years, we’ve come across some standout examples of found space, including an
Airy Studio Apartment Over a Garage in Auckland, a Guest Room in a Garage in North London, and our own Michelle’s Mill Valley Grottage. The latest is a Santa Ynez, California, multi-car garage in which one of the stalls now serves as a couple’s art studio.
The makeover is part of a full property renovation of a 1971 ranch house in Santa Barbara wine country by Dylan Henderson of
Salt Architecture and Rita Donahoe of Rita Chan Interiors. The owners are a young couple who lead the California good life: they divide their time between here and LA, and requested a dedicated creative space for painting, drawing, and photography. Scroll to the end to see Before and After shots of the garage exterior.
Photography by Gavin Cater of Cater Photography, courtesy of Rita Chan Interiors, unless noted.
Above: In addition to housing vehicles, the redesigned four-car garage holds a gym and art studio. In the 1970s, the original owners built and restored horse-drawn carriages and wagons, hence the need for so many stalls. Elliott and Pohls Construction worked on the project. Photograph courtesy of Salt Architecture. Above: Architect Dylan Henderson designed the airy, new space, and Rita Donahoe fitted it with a wrap-around counter and built-in storage in marine plywood. Her cabinetmaker supplied the classic pegboard on the back wall. The white porcelain pulley lights are Cobb Rise and Fall Pendants by Original BTC. The vintage chairs were bought on 1st Dibs; to find similar examples search Toledo drafting stools. Above: Wanting to warm up the space with patinated surfaces, Donahoe introduced an antique work table found at Santa Ynez General. Above: The drawers opposite the worktable were repurposed from a toolshed on the property and inserted into a new framework. The copper dome pendant light is vintage, and the pair of copper sconces are Original BTC’s Exterior Bracket Light. The original concrete floor was finished with a coat of matte gray epoxy. Above: “Using marine plywood for the cabinets and the countertops offered a raw, rustic look that also feels clean and modern,” says Donahoe. An industrial metal shelving unit from Club Cu adds more patina to the setup. Above: Henderson clad the exterior in shou sugi ban from Delta Millworks and added a standing seam metal roof with a cupola. “The intent was to allow the garage to recede into the background of the site allowing the airy greenery of the trees to be dominant and visible in the foreground,” he explains. “Copper accents at the window-lined cupola, gutter, and downspout provide a sharp outline to the building.” Above: “The cupola was created to allow heat to escape and provide natural ventilation as the garage tends to get quite hot,” says Henderson. “The height and the ventilation grills pull hot air up and allow it to escape, keeping the interior cooler during the day. The landscaping is by Bosky. Before Above: The structure previously was an extended version of a classic garage. See the rest of the project at Salt Architecture: Rancho Refugio.
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