Before + After: A Dingy Garage Becomes a Bright Guest House

Interior designer Kimberlee Gorsline had a dream to transform her 300 foot square (27 metre square) two-car garage behind their house into a cheery Airbnb guest house for the "adventure seeker, the savvy traveler and those who appreciate little design details". In the fourth installment of the mini make-over series in association with Builders Bay (a little black book for all things needed to renovate your home) we take a virtual look at the incredible transformation from dingy garage, to a beautiful, independent living space that helps Kimberlee and her family offset the rising cost of living in Seattle. 

The garage was technically an empty one-room shell - talk about working from scratch! Kimberlee thought hard about who was most likely to stay there and settled on "the millennial crowd looking for a boutique hotel-like experience without the boutique price tag."

The goal: "To make a warm and inviting space that our guests would look forward to coming back to after a full day of exploring the city or gorgeous mountains and trails that define the Pacific Northwest." 

© John Granen
The exterior cladding was painted in fresh white with black details and the sliding garage door was replaced with double glass doors that slip in light. From the outside, it's hard to imagine that this clean, Scandi-style cabin was ever a garage at all!

© John Granen
The interior has been completely transformed into a bright, predominantly white living space with touches of blue, green, pale grey, light wood, and brass details. The studio has been divided up into zones and features a queen sized bed, a charming kitchenette and dining area and a small, spa-like bathroom.

"From a design standpoint, I wanted it to feel light and airy, yet have some really big statements throughout. To achieve this I maximized the floor plan and made the most of every square inch, and selected really unique and fun finishes that really create that wow factor."

© John Granen
A Flanged Edge Upholstered bed and bright cushions from West Elm add a cosy touch to the narrow yet practical bedroom area.

© John Granen

© John Granen

I'm a big fan of shiplap walls, they really add something to the bedroom area of this studio. Not only does a shiplap wall have a clean and classic look, it's also great for adding architectural interest and bringing a space to life without adding clutter. For anyone that's tempted - there's a great DIY tutorial here!

The little wall mounted bed side tables from Etsy were custom made to fit the narrow space between the bed and wall. They even come with a drawer!

© John Granen

Mirror vignettes are a great design trick for small studios: they look pretty (these ones are available here), bounce light around and create the illusion of space. Think about placing mirrors somewhere they will reflect the items you like to look at - like a fiddle-leaf fig!

© John Granen
The fabulous kitchenette was fitted with cabinets painted in Dard Hunter Green by Sherwin Williams and VZAG White Gold tiles from Tile Bar. In a larger kitchen this could start to feel over the top, but the beauty of a tiny kitchen is you can totally get away with a bold style statement - and since it's a small area you'll keep the cost down too.

"I wanted to make a few bold choices, like the hunter green kitchen cabinets or patterned tile, because while a lot of people might be too timid to make those choice for their own home, who doesn't love trying it on for a few days? At the end of the day I am so happy with how it all turned out!"

© John Granen

© John Granen

The mid-century dining space is also gorgeous! The laquer table and Lena chairs are both West Elm and make a perfect setting for tea for two after a day on the trails (OK, who am I kidding... an ice-cool G+T!). 

© John Granen

The Sherwin Williams Naval sink cabinet combined with the Tulum gray and white cement tile from The Cement Tile Shop create a great style statement in the bathroom. I also love the combination of the IKEA Stockholm mirror and metal globe sconce  from Shades of light.  You can source a similar custom-made shower curtain here.

© John Granen

Wow! Isn't this such an incredible transformation? Am I the only one wishing I had a garden shed or dis-used garage in need of some TLC? Or perhaps you have just the spot? Needless to say Kimberlee was thrilled with the results: 

"Seeing it transform from such a utilitarian, dingy garage to a bright and cheery little retreat was so much fun and so rewarding!"

If you're loving the look of this studio and would like to stay, you can check out the listing here.

Thank you so much to Kimberlee for inviting us into her guest house - and also to Apartment Therapy where I first spotted this studio. 

Or if you're already on Builders Bay looking for items for your renovation (who needs a garage anyway?!) you might also feel inspired by a garden shed on a shoestring budget,  a dreamy little place in the garden to call home and although not a tour, Carrie the caravan!

Have a wonderful weekend!

PS Thank you so much for your amazing survey feedback - both positive and 'constructive' - so grateful! I'll be stopping by tomorrow to share the results and announce the winners of the three signed copies of my lagom book.

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An awe-inspiring factory conversion

Good news! It's Friday! I hope you've totally rocked the working week or simply powered through everything you had to do - in which case you totally deserve one of these  - skål! Since I'm on a bit of an industrial-style role (with a feature of this fabulous converted warehouse and a review of Sara Emslie's book Urban Pioneer in the last two days alone), I thought I'd complete the week with one final industrial space.  Elze, behind beautiful blog Everything Elze, captured this magnificent home in a former Philips factory in Eindhoven just before the owner Lieke moved out. Simple cognac, wood and black furnishings allow the original features of the building including the vast windows and high, concrete ceiling to take centre-stage, while natural textures and plants bring the living space to life. 
What an incredible place to live, don't you think?!

Photography: Elze / Everything Elze

Could you imagine having the space to have not one but three massive industrial pendants over the dining table?!(They remind me a lot of the ones from my favourite Copenhagen restaurant - Höst which I featured here). Any tips on where to find lamps like these? By the way, I was so pleased to get your tips on the armchair in this post - thank you!

Get the look from Lieke's home: source vintage school chairs here. I love this cognac leather sofa. cross blanket. This lovely jump suit is similar as is this leather satchel.

You can see the full tour here and keep up to date with Lieke's latest projects on instagram here. And if you fancy it, there are plenty of converted factories to drool over here (this artist's home is one of my favourites - isn't it amazing?! Love the "Nobody panic, I know origami and pilates" bag!).

It's been a while since I shared a little link love, and there's so much wonderful inspiration out there right now I think it's about time, don't you?!

A cheerful Swedish designer's home.

Love this post by Danielle Witte - that side table!

A romantic, rustic touch in the bathroom.

This Swedish country-style home tour.

A tiny house.

5 interior instagrams to follow - you might just recognise one of them ;)

Feel free to share your tips in the comment section below!

Have a great weekend!

PS Don't forget to enter the give-away!

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A beautiful, rustic mill on the shores of lake Rinnen, Sweden

I absolutely love this time of year (don't get me wrong - I do get a bit of a winter slump round about January / february time, I promise!) - but as the days get shorter and the leaves turn from yellow to deep red things start to get super cosy. Dark mornings and evenings are transformed under the glow of candlelight. Autumnul pictures of people gathering around a table for a hearty stew or caramelized white chocolate tart start to pop up on my Pinterest feed. And I start to feel hugely inspired by rustic spaces (and hungry!). That's why this beautiful converted mill caught my eye.  After an extensive renovation, the Erlandsson family are embracing their new life in the former flour mill on the shore of lake Rinnen deep in the forest of Värmland, Sweden which includes a beautiful space for year round gatherings. Let's take a peek inside...

Credits: Photography - Carina Olander (shared with kind permission). Styling Anna Truelsen. See the full feature in Hus & Hem 12/201. 

Aaaaaa, just so cosy, don't you think? 

What a perfect room to gather for birthdays, thanksgiving (for you americans and canadians!) and Christmas (in fact I'm pretty sure I could come up with something to celebrate every week of the year, if this were my home, how about you?!). 

We can still create a lovely rustic style at home though - here are a few items I love from the mill : Linen table cloth (or stonewashed linen by the metre), long haired sheepskin throw, chunky knit blanket. I love classic Swedish Skultuna brass candleholders - and have a couple myself - beautiful! Although not featured, this one is lovely too. 

I can imagine the upstairs bedroom looks something like this - can you?! 

Have a cosy day! 

PS  We photographed a few beautiful, rustic homes for my book Modern Pastoral last year and I've been dreaming of a owning a lovely retreat ever day?!  

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Mid-century sitting room in a converted garage

I was doing so well all week with the wifi and then there was a thunderstorm and it all went caput! Sorry for the radio silence yesterday! Now it's fixed, I thought I'd nip in to spread a little love this weekend with a pic of a fab mid-century sitting room in a converted garage.

Everything except the garage doors (although they do make a great backdrop?!) can be found in this wonderful little Etsy shop I stumbled on earlier on in the week.

Have a lovely weekend and see you Monday (wifi here in Sri Lanka permitting!).

My Scandinavian Home posts feature affiliated links. However, I only ever share pics, business and product info I truly love and think you will too! This is not a sponsored post - I just happen to love the sitting room - it's fab! 

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A magnificent townhouse in a converted school

As soon as I hear the word 'conversion' I know it's going to be good (I'm talking barns, warehouses, even a converted bar). There's something about the word which sings fabulous architecture and cool interior (isn't that so?). And this New York City lower east side townhouse in a former school (found via one of my fave blogs The Style Files) is no different. Designer Labo Design Studio has worked hard to ensure the original structure plays a big part in the three storey family home, which also comprises an art gallery on the ground floor (of course!). The space has been simply furnished with mid-century chairs, natural word and soft textures against a backdrop of white and exposed brick. Oh to have a space like this to play with....


Labo Design Studio

Minimalist decor really was the way to go with this space as it allows the architecture of the former school building to shine through (although there are flashes of colour in the space too - as seen in the full tour here). Those vast windows on the top floor are just incredible don't you think? The light!  

Loving the leather mid-century chairs too, you can pick up a similar pair here (no bidding required - love that!).

I've featured several converted schools on here before, including the home of a Swedish artist and Ylva Skarp's wonderful home. There's also a whole host of other conversions in the MSH archives - including factories and vicarages (sorry, you might just have to extend your coffee break....).

Thank you to everyone for entering the give-away to win a signed copy of my book (there's still time!). It's always nerve-racking putting your own work out there and all your words of encouragement are so heart warming.

Have a lovely day!

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A Swedish home in a former shop

I do love a conversion, don't you? I've featured many here before, including a former  barn, garage, bar, artist's atelier, carpenter's workshop, vicarage, schoolhouse and even monk's retreat, and they all have something very special about them. A history. I was therefore thrilled to discover this home in a former shop in Rörjostad / Värnhem here in Malmö today. It belongs to Emma Parkinson - an extremely talented interior designer who I've had the pleasure of meeting a few times.  Emma has successfully turned the 1920's building into a lovely family home. Prying eyes are kepy at bay with a simple film on the lower half of the windows and the walls have been kept fresh white to allow light to bounce around. What a truly lovely space. And it's actually for sale if anyone's tempted?!

Bo-laget . Homeowner: Emma Parkinson
What do you think - could you live here?

This is the second time we've seen green in the bathroom in as many weeks (remember this home with the green splashback?). I think the sink looks great against the white tiles with black grouting in this home, how about you?

I love the children's room too - I've used hearts instead of dots on the walls of my little girls room, I also love clouds and raindrops too. They don't have to be kept to kids rooms though- as you can see from this adult bedroom! Such a pretty way to quickly update a room.

I also spy - the mark eden schooey koushi light, Eames RAR rocking chair, Chrome C print, similar spotty cushion, dot wallstickers on children's wall, washi tape and Aesop soap.

Have a lovely day!

PS I can't wait to see what Emma does with her next home! 

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