Images: Donna Griffith
A converted garage gets a colourful facelift in fun shades of pink and orange.
Our tiny Toronto backyard looked like it had been abandoned centuries ago until we transformed it into the vibrant warm-weather hot spot that it is today. In 2007, my partner, Tim Stewart, and I updated the small patio with granite pavers and converted the unused garage into a second living room. Last summer, we decided it was time for the backyard to get a personality overhaul (read: a punch of colour).
Our little oasis now sits somewhere between Miami Beach and the sultan's tent. Guests - kids especially - always look forward to our summer get-togethers, mostly because of the casual, playful atmosphere. And when the summertime heat dies down, we use the space to relax and unwind.
The garage, pre-pops of colour and punchy personality.
The side table in the sitting area is actually a large planter topped with glass. Bright oversized pillows make the butterfly chairs more comfortable - not to mention easier to get out of. Doug (left) and partner Tim Stewart with their dog, Mathilda, who's taking a nap on the granite patio.
Pops of Pink
Barn-style doors take up less space. Tropical plants hide the recycling bins stored alongside the fence, while hot pink pots punctuate the steps leading from the house to the patio.
The fabric-covered panels placed inside the garage door are popped out and stored away in the winter to avoid mildew. Rattan mirrors and a banana tree define the dining area.
The sofa is punched up with bold pink and orange cushions inpired by homeowner Doug Wallace's visit to Hotel Missoni Edinburgh. The Arco lamp spotlights the side tables made from reclaimed railway ties.
This table, which acts as the designated bar area, was found in the laneway and spray-painted matte black. Shadow boxes, fashioned with the same fabric used for the garage door panels, hold mementoes from the couple's travels. The tea towel of Louis Riel (the founder of Manitoba) is a nod to the couple's roots.
How to convert your own garage
Imagine your garage as an extension of your home and treat it with the same attention to detail. First decide on how you plan to use the space, then add furniture and accessories. Remember to inject colour and pattern throughout. Here are a few more ideas to turn your blah garage into a warm, inviting room.
cover the walls with canvas sheets or pieces of fabric
- use statement lighting
- add a rug
- paint the ceiling
- treat the floor with an epoxy-based finish, or use modular floor tiles