Juan's Garage Turned Modern Guest House

Juan's Garage Turned Modern Guest House

Kathryn Bacalis
May 20, 2013

Name: Juan Vasquez 
Location: Highland Neighborhood; Denver, Colorado
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived  Owned for 9 years; Remodeled garage 1 year ago

Nine years ago, Denver resident, Juan Vasquez purchased a 1920s bungalow  in the bustling Highland neighborhood of Denver and set out to make it his own. Shortly after, he took on the project of renovating his old two car garage into a restful haven out back. Originally Juan's vision was to create an indoor/outdoor space connecting the main house to the vegetable garden. But new zoning laws sparked his interest and fostered the idea of repurposing the unused space into a modern guest house and possible income property. He could envision the 400 square foot unfinished space being transformed into a bright, airy, inspirational hideaway, perfect for out of town guests or visiting family. Soon after the decision was made and the 8 month renovation began.

The aesthetic of this colorful, eclectic hideout has undoubtedly been influenced by Juan's Mexican heritage and love for overseas travel. Colorful influences from his six years spent in Argentina are prominent throughout the space. A collector at heart, Juan tells me how he was influenced by countless trips to estate sales and art auctions with a great friend in Argentina. Trips that he swears sharpened his already keen eye for good finds and really defined his sense of style. As I walked through the house, so many unique pieces caught my eye. I was so happy to hear that some of my favorite pieces were actually scores from yard sales or local antique stores!  The transformation of this space is nothing short of inspiring. 

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, natural and personal.

Inspiration: Hotel rooms I've stayed in around the world.

Favorite Element: Original artwork and a garage door that opens to the garden.

Biggest Challenge: Committing space to a comfy bed, while leaving enough space for a comfortable living area.

What Friends Say: "OMG. This was a garage?!" and "Can I rent it?"

Proudest DIY: The kitchen,

Biggest Indulgence: Granite countertops with an undermounted bar sink, ceramic stove top and custom cabinets. 

Best Advice: Make the guest house comfortable, but not so comfortable the guests won't leave. Kidding!

Dream Sources: DWR, antique stores with worldly objects.

Resources of Note:


  • Benjamin Moore: Sage on kitchen accent wall
  • Benjamin Moore: White


  • Framed art piece : Izaac Muñoz
  • Garage door and store front windows : Overhead Door


  • Framed sketch: Izaac Muñoz
  • Ceramic Snow White and dwarfs : Antique shop in Buenos Aires
  • Sofa : Pottery Barn
  • Rug : local thrift shop
  • Sony TV & Blue Ray : Best Buy
  • Shelf & Cabinets : IKEA

  • Table : Room & BoardBook Ends : street market in India
  • Chairs : CB2
  • Rug : bought in Argentina from friend


  • Framed art : Donald Fogness
  • Chinese porcelain : small local antique shop
  • Ceramic vases : Pier 1
  • Table ware : Pottery Barn

  • Frames above bed : Carolina Rodriguez
  • Headboard : IKEA - Oppdal
  • Nightstand : IKEA - Nyvoll
  • Dresser : IKEA - Nyvoll

  • Framed fotograph of La Push Beach, WA : me

  • Kohler everywhere I can.
  • Sferra towels : Gilt

Thanks, Juan!

(Images: Kathryn Bacalis)

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