Before and After: This Home’s DIY Garage-Turned-Bedroom Transformation Is Great

Before and After: This Home’s DIY Garage-Turned-Bedroom Transformation Is Great

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Name: Jessica Kirby, Craig Mackay, Marin (daughter), Fuji (dog), Pepper (dog), and Hunter (cat)
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Size: 1800 square foot
Type of Home: House
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

We had been looking seriously for a house for about a month and had just lost out on another house when we were outbid (blessing in disguise). We found our house the day it came on the market and went to see it that same day. We made an offer that night and it was accepted. It needed a lot of work but we saw the potential with the amazing location, incredible yard, and open layout. Over the years we’ve created a space we absolutely love that’s cozy, filled with light, and just makes you feel happy.

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Credit: Craig Mackay

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My home style is beachy New England with Nordic influences. It sort of reflects my personal style which is preppy, minimalist, casual.

Inspiration: Coastal beach cottages and Nordic homes

Credit: Craig Mackay

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I love our Sixpenny furniture, it’s all so comfy and practical with the removable slipcovers which is so crucial with pets. I also really love our Cafe Appliances. They totally transformed the look and feel of our kitchen.

Credit: Craig Mackay

Biggest Challenge: This was the first home we bought and we did all the renovations ourselves. It was a big learning process. We had a very small budget to work with on all of our projects and really tried to maximize our efforts by spending on materials instead of labor. Our house is small and it’s an open layout, but we managed to make it feel spacious and still cozy.

Credit: Craig Mackay

Proudest DIY: Converting our garage to a bedroom/bathroom

Favorite Element: Our deck and backyard

Credit: Craig Mackay

Biggest Indulgence: Our mahogany deck and cedar pergola was a big investment with materials and it was 1000 percent worth it.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Definitely converting the garage to a bedroom/bathroom.

Credit: Craig Mackay

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Think outside the box with spaces in your house. Everyone thought getting rid of our garage was a bad idea, but we didn’t even use it. It was a massive space that we knew had tons of potential besides storing surfboards and bikes. We got a small shed for storage and ended up getting an additional bedroom and bathroom using existing square footage in our home.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Don’t be afraid to try things. We’ve painted, an re-painted. We’ve added tile backsplash and tried wallpaper. There’s plenty you can do on your own without spending a ton of money. If you don’t like it, you can do something else!


Credit: Craig Mackay


  • Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen Clare Paint – Timeless
  • Kitchen Cabinets Clare Paint – Current Mood
  • King Bedroom and Bath (Garage Reno) KILZ Complete Coat in Himalaya on walls, trim and doors in bathroom, KILZ Complete Coat in White Wing mixed 1:1 Himalaya on walls, trim and doors in bedroom
  • King Guest Bedroom Farrow & Ball Peignoir
  • Toddler Room Clare Paint Timeless
Credit: Craig Mackay


  • Sixpenny Neva Sofa Corn Silk — Sixpenny
  • Sixpenny Gabriel Daybed Corn Silk — Sixpenny
  • Bench — IKEA
  • Mirror — Antique
  • Living Room Ceiling Light (visible from kitchen)
  • Samsung Frame TV
Credit: Craig Mackay


Credit: Craig Mackay


Credit: Craig Mackay


Credit: Craig Mackay


Credit: Craig Mackay


  • Bedframe — Raymour Flanigan
  • Sixpenny Gabriel Daybed in Cracked Pepper
  • Paxson Dresser — Crate & Kids
  • Custom surfboard — Tora
  • Standing mirror — IKEA
  • Custom linen blinds
  • Artwork — personal photos framed with Framebridge
Credit: Craig Mackay


  •  Hand painted Fireclay Tile and used a white grout.
  • Reese Bathroom Vanity Light in Old Bronze — Mitzi
  • Reclaimed Wood Vanity — What We Make
  • Teak Medicine Cabinets — Signature Hardware
  • Basket Hamper — Serena & Lily
Credit: Craig Mackay


Thanks Jessica!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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