Dad Turned His Garage into the Ultimate Mother-in-Law Suite
Full of designers, builders, and residents dedicated to the tiny house movement, Portland has somewhat become the unofficial tiny home capital of America. After his son was born, longtime resident Martin Brown found himself in need of accommodating his mother-in-law since she wanted to live closer. Instead of moving her in, he moved her out— out to their decked-out former garage. He had the detached unit converted into a tiny bungalow fit for one. Now the family can conveniently visit one another whenever they want— and grandma is right there to babysit!
The 1920s structure took a year to plan out before construction took place, and kept some of its original elements. Tough concrete flooring remained to keep the home’s maintenance at a minimum. In order to retain privacy, the Browns purposely did not install windows on the sides of the house. Because the home is in close proximity to the main house and the neighbors, having windows in the walls would’ve made it feel too open. Instead, large glass double doors and skylights bring a burst of natural light and expansiveness into the space.
For the living area, a convertible sofa serves as seating as well as guest sleeping quarters. Martin notes that the sofa is positioned to provide a “vista view,” giving the dweller an opportunity to see outside the space and not feel so closed in. The cleverly designed round kitchen preserved some parts of the original garage with its concrete countertop. The countertop contains little pieces from the garage embedded in its body. A two-burner stove saves space along with a shelf unit that houses cookware and dishes. Martin explains that the dish rack serves a dual purpose for drying and storing dishes, eliminating the need for additional storage. Open shelves underneath the counter store a microwave and other necessities, while a slim refrigerator fits snugly in a corner. The ceiling of the kitchen also has a cool porthole to allow light from the skylight above to pour in. Since it’s also part of the bedroom floor, it adds a touch of a playful peek-a-boo effect to the room.
The loft area of the house is reached by a set of alternating tread stairs, as Martin’s son explains. They are meant to save space and be safe. Once upstairs, a bed, closet and sitting area for reading are framed by a wood railing. Here, you’ll see the skylight nestled in the ceiling. Back downstairs, a tiny modern bathroom is complete with a pedestal sink and walk-in shower. Since it’s the size of a closet, a pocket door has been installed to save space and seal it off from the rest of the living area. Outdoors, the cozy purple house is accented with tall plants and planters to provide more privacy from street view. The little cottage has its own walkway, giving it a homey feel while still maintaining its separateness. A small patio bistro set adds yet another bit of charm. What do you think of this garage turned house? Would you move someone into one? Tell us in the comments!