An “Ancient” Garage Was Transformed into a Tiny but Beautiful Cottage

published Oct 17, 2023

An “Ancient” Garage Was Transformed into a Tiny but Beautiful Cottage

published Oct 17, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Home Type
Square feet
Sq ft
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Kate was working and living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area when the COVID-19 pandemic started, and she soon moved back to her childhood home. “I got a taste of working remotely from my tiny hometown in northern Minnesota and I decided to stay!” she explains.

“I love being home with my parents and our dog, traveling, and having the freedom and flexibility of remote work,” Kate continues. “Since moving home during COVID and deciding to stay, I have been trying to figure out a way to create more living space. While I love my childhood bedroom and the home my dad created, we need our own space now that I’m staying here permanently!” 

Kate explains that her dad, Louie, lives in her childhood home, and her mom, Flossie, lives in her own house just a few blocks away. So when it came to trying to figure out how to create her own living space, Kate says she “didn’t want an entire third property to take care of and maintain.” Instead, the family got creative, deciding to make space for Kate on the same property as her childhood home.

“We were back and forth with many iterations of a plan. At first, I thought we’d tear down our garage and replace it with a prefab garage + apartment, which was too expensive,” Kate explains. “Then we started looking into prefab homes to add to our extra lot; again, it was too expensive. Home kits, ground-up construction — everything would cost an arm and a leg.”

“So, we decided to renovate our ancient garage into a tiny cottage for me,” Kate continues. “And I mean ancient; there are various dates listed as to when our house was built, but I believe it was around 1915. You can still see pieces of old clothing that were used as insulation in our basement.”

The garage’s transformation is nothing short of incredible. It was turned into a functional 520-square-foot living space, which is impressive enough. But Kate’s goals were to also make a light, bright space full of natural elements that would be a lovely space for her and dog, Joey, to enjoy, and that was accomplished.

“The tradeoff is that my poor car now needs to live outside and our yard was a cluttered eyesore for a while, but it was the most cost-efficient option,” she explains. You can see more on her website/blog as well as Instagram.



  • The walls are Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove,” and the cabinets and some additional elements (stool, TV stand, coat hook — all family pieces) are “Pale Oak”





Thanks, Kate!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
Share your style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form