Michelle's Light-Filled Loft Space
Name: Michelle Dew
Size: 550 square feet
Home type: Garage apartment
Location: Bryan, TX
What you're looking at:From this angle you can see half of my 300 square feet! My sleeping nook is hidden behind the kitchen with a pony wall. It perfectly fits a queen size bed. You can also view my "home office," which has a perfect view of the outdoors. (Image credit: Ashley Monogue)
From this angle you can see half of my 300 square feet! My sleeping nook is hidden behind the kitchen with a pony wall. It perfectly fits a queen size bed. You can also view my "home office," which has a perfect view of the outdoors.
My friends call this space my "show kitchen." I'm no cook, but I love a good open shelf display of cookware I'll never use. This oversized furniture piece was found my brother in the Pacific Northwest. With a little paint and elbow grease, it's the perfect addition for function and design to my space. This galley kitchen needed more than one overhead light that it was previously wired for. To optimize lighting AND budget, I made this DIY pipe light from industrial piping, IKEA light kits, and some gold spray paint. I also put it on a dimmer so I can truly set the mood.
Years lived in: 7 years, rented
Household: No one
Have any design professionals worked on this space? Myself- Cultivate Your Space
Do you currently live in your Small/Cool space full-time? Yes
Describe your space:
When I originally moved into the space, it was a simple game room with a galley bar kitchen attached to a garage. My brother and I completely remodeled the space ourselves for under $5,000 with A LOT of added sweat equity. We expanded the livable space into the garage and incorporated plenty of salvaged pieces, DIYs, and curated furnishings. The space has evolved over time with a most recent addition of an entire outdoor entertaining space and separate private entrance for my guests to enter.
Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?
The entire space is a DIY between my brother and I. From the addition of 200 square feet, to the custom light fixture, to the bathroom vanity, my entire home is built for me. My favorite DIY in the space is my kitchen cabinets and countertops. The countertops were salvaged from a University of Washington biology lab classroom, while the cabinets were purchased from a ReStore and finished out with custom stained door fronts.
How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?
I've maximized my space through strategic furniture purchases as well as expanding outdoors. My couch was chosen specifically for how it provides optimal seating, yet maintains an open traffic flow to the space. My kitchen island conveniently connects with my dining table to take up less floor space, while still providing ample counter space. My outdoor space provided an additional 200 square feet for entertaining. I built a custom deck that took up the entirety of existing "yard" space. Adding outdoor furniture that is just as comfortable as my indoor sofa invites guests outdoors.
How does your home reflect you?
My home is full of collected pieces. One of my favorite items in my home is an art piece from my very first job out of college. I worked in the foster care system, and each piece of wood in the art piece represents a child in their journey through the child welfare system. It was purchased for me as a gift at an art auction during my time on staff at the organization. Another one of my favorite pieces is my grandmother's bar piece with a marble top. I now use it a media cabinet for a tiny corner that holds my television.