To save money for a down payment, Heather and her boyfriend lived in her mother's garage-turned-studio apartment. They did manage to clean it up from this before, and transform it into a gorgeous space!
My mother's garage is converted into a studio apartment with a full bathroom and a cute little kitchen. In order to save money to eventually buy a house of our own, my boyfriend and I decided it would be financially responsible to live in the studio for a couple of years.
The studio was painted a beige color with black trim and the floors were a split between carpet and tile. We decided it would make the space feel a lot lighter and brighter if we painted everything white and put in flooring that was consistent throughout.
We first painted the entire room white, including the ceiling. We ripped up all of the flooring and rented a (terrifying) cement grinder to even the floors out. I was originally thinking of doing painted cement floors; however, after visiting Lumber Liquidators we decided to do vinyl floors that look just like aged wood floors. It took us a few days to get the floors down, but it was absolutely worth it. They are the first thing people notice and no one believes that they are vinyl! The kitchen was great originally. I sanded the wood counters down and stained them a darker brown. I also added some open shelving since storage is always an issue in a studio.
Overall, renovating was really inexpensive considering the face-lift it gave the place. We ended up spending well under a thousand dollars on everything.
As far as furniture goes, everything is from Craigslist or antique faires. The leather couch and bed are Restoration Hardware found on craigslist. The dining table and chairs are World Market and I had been planning on buying them in-store but lucked out when they popped up on craigslist. The dresser and wardrobes are Ikea also found on craigslist. Trunks, suitcases and chairs are antique faire finds. The crate shelves were made by myself using antique crates.
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(Images: Heather Eckardt)