Before & After: Annette and Gustavo's Incredible Garage Remodel

Last time I took a visit to Annette and Gustavo's 100 year old craftsman home in Beachwood Canyon, we were greeted by gorgeous landscaping and one of the coziest family homes I've ever seen. Annette is the co-owner of lovely garden shop POTTED in Los Feliz, and her green thumb is all over the family's recent garage remodel. They gutted the entire 420 square feet and added a fully working kitchen and bathroom, a laundry room, and access to the backyard, complete with a pool. Perfect for any guest or renter! Welcome!

How long did the renovation from start to finish take? It took about 3 and a half months.

What was your overall concept/idea? Our garage had a really beautiful ceiling that was just the old bare wood with all the exposed cross beams. Because of this, we always envisioned it as a loft-like space that we could make into a really cute guest house. We also knew that while we thought of it as "our pool house," we wanted it to be private from our yard so that in case we needed to rent it out there was privacy for all. That's why we chose to make the main entry on the driveway, utilizing the old garage door opening. We fenced off the area in front so the guest house has its own private patio.

How would you describe the style? The house is 108 years old, but the pool house definitely has a more modern feel without, I hope, clashing with the main house. We purposely used modern cabinetry, windows and doors and kept things clean, while all the repurposed wood gave it the old-world warmth of its age. Things like using real linoleum sheets for the floor also really bridged the gap between old and new. It was also super fun to come up with all the tiling ideas that used old tile from the main house in a more modern way.

Were there any surprises that came up during the process that weren't anticipated ? (Good or bad?) Well, the ceiling was the biggest issue. Because we wanted to retain the high ceilings and preserve the old wood, we were coming up with real problems in the insulation department. It's one thing to have a ceiling like that in an actual garage, it's quite another to live in it. The only solution we could come up with was to lay in 4" thick dense foam between all the ceiling joists and then to lay another wood ceiling over it. This was breaking my heart, as I was so in love with the old wood, until my contractor came up with the solution to "torch" the new wood with a blow torch and then use a wire brush to scrape off all the charred bits. This gave us a beautiful finish that wasn't exactly like the original ceiling, but very close in feeling. The other issue was the front door. We hadn't taken into account that the floor would be raised and so the front door ended up being a lot shorter than we would have liked, but it still worked. So sorry really tall people... you might have to duck.

Thank you Annette + Gustavo!

(Photographs: Bethany Nauert + Annette Gutierrez)

(Image credits: Bethany Nauert)