There’s something exciting about garages—those tiny limbo-like appendages that store cars, bikes, tools, and piles of retired crap—something that seems to imply possibility. Indeed, these spaces offer more than just storage options—they are (with a little sprucing up, of course) a refuge, a second living room, a creative launchpad, a band-practice studio. For Stacia and Phil Samartan, the garage at their Long Beach, California home would serve as a formal dining room. With the help of interior designer Susie Ho, the couple’s garage—a space that could have easily been drab and uninspired—was transformed into a stunning showpiece; a space that stands out while fitting in to the space’s architecture and the locale’s aesthetic. Check out all of the photos, plus Susie’s design notes after the jump!
Basic Steps: This project was tricky, in that it involved convincing my husband that painting the space black was not going to make the room feel too dark. I had a mood board of magazine tears taped to the walls for about two months before he was convinced. After that milestone, we ripped up the carpet, had the flooring installed and then painted. We assembled the shelving, applied the wallpaper to the inset ceiling and put up the chandelier. Then came furniture, drapes and finishing touches.
I’d like to consider myself an inventive thinker, but after looking at these file cabinets, I have to say that I never would have thought to transform them the way Matthew did. Matthew had been looking for minimalist metal planter boxes for a while and when he spotted these file cabinets for 50 cents a piece (!) at a local thrift shop, the answer was clear. This project is so simple to recreate and I love the clean and simple results. You can read about his whole process here, and if you’re lucky enough to find a similar steal on file cabinets, you should definitely consider this a great way to put them to use. Great job, Matthew!
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