A garage becomes a relaxation zone

This couple cornered off a long driveway to create their very own 'secret' courtyard and relaxation zone.


Meet The Homeowners

Grant Newman and Melissa Kretschmer live in Wynberg in the Western Cape. They renovated in 2008 for a mere R14 000 - the deck was added at the end of the year and cost about R11 000.

Reason For Renovating We bought a 1930s house that had been subdivided - meaning the entire flow of the house and garden was dramatically altered.

About 25% of the property comprised a long driveway to the side of the house with a single garage, which we realised we could corner off to create our own 'secret' courtyard and entertainment area

The Style
Although there is an eclectic mix of styles in our new outdoor area, the entertainment room has a strong French inspiration with the double French doors, chandelier and use of gold detailing from the wall stencilling to the mirrors.

Overall we wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere but also bring a bit of elegance to an unconventional space.

Grant and Melissa found a clever use for old scaffolding - they made floating shelves to house their books, and a footrest at the bar.

Is it a good idea to turn a garage into a living space?
Though certain buyers will definitely see such an extension of living space as adding value to a home, it could very well limit your potential selling market, cautions Westernpro valuers. In our security-conscious society, a converted garage only adds value to your home if you also have secure, enclosed parking space.

Renovation Tips

  • A dedicated entertainment area in your home leaves a lot of room for fun and functional decoration. This is the ideal place to introduce design elements you pick up in your favourite shops, restaurants and on your travels.
  • Freestanding lights, such as table or standing lamps, are valuable components to any lighting scheme. However, these options are not possible without a plug point close by. Think about having an electrician install extra plug points for lighting elements when you undertake your renovation.