Home

See how this grandma's garage was transformed into the cutest tiny home

Home is where the heart is, but for stylist Rebekah Carey and her husband, Alex McNall, home is also (conveniently close) to where Grandma’s cooking is.

The couple had the idea to turn Carey’s grandmother’s garage into a tiny home after spotting the structure while mowing her lawn one day. They looked at it and said to themselves, “It really isn’t that small, right?” and decided to move into the space along with their three dogs.

Rebekah Carey
Can you believe that's the same space?

Six months of work and about $2,000 later, they turned the dark and crowded garage into a charming tiny home with the vibe and feel of a country cottage.

“We were very lucky to have the time to collect free items as they became available on Craigslist,” Carey told TODAY Home. She added that they also found inexpensive items at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a local reclaimed materials warehouse, and thrift stores.

Closed Captioning
apply | reset x
font
size
T
T
T
T
color

Test Drive: My family tried living inside a 204-square foot tiny house

Play Video - 2:07

Test Drive: My family tried living inside a 204-square foot tiny house

Play Video - 2:07

One of the more effective, but challenging aspects to the project was installing the reclaimed wood strip flooring. Not only did the slanted cement slab require an additional step of building a frame and plywood sub-floor, but Carey said it was tedious work.

Rebekah Carey

“The space is so small, but when you're bent over that floor trying to correct for walls that are far from straight, and old bowing wood, it may as well have been a mansion,” she said. “It took so long and was incredibly frustrating, but, ultimately, we absolutely love the floors and how they make the space look like it's existed in this form for decades rather than two years.”

Rebekah Carey
Finishing the floor was a time-consuming, yet effective step.

To save on space, Carey’s dad built them a Murphy bed that is big enough to hold their California King mattress. McNall’s dad helped them insulate the ceiling and walls, which Carey said was important to because of the outside noise.

Rebekah Carey
The wall behind the couch hides a California King-sized murphy bed.

The interior features lap siding covered in crisp white paint and light-colored furniture, which makes the space feel bigger than it actually is. Carey made a storage couch out of two IKEA shelves, a children’s futon mattress and a canvas drop cloth. She put baskets and boxes underneath, creating room to store everything from clothes to dog essentials.

Rebekah Carey

A soft and flowy curtain hangs to separate the living area from the kitchenette (a purchase from Craigslist) that features a fridge, stovetop and sink. The kitchen wasn't a huge priority since Carey says most of the big meals are made in the main house and shared with Grandma.

Rebekah Carey
Crisp white paint makes the small space feel bigger.

The only thing this garage conversion doesn’t have is a bathroom, but the couple plans one adding one later this year.

Carey says that they’ve loved having the freedom to design the space just as they wanted, but the best part is being close to Grandma. “We’re incredibly grateful for that,” she said.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Steve Niedorf

    Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    Obsessed with tiny homes? We are, too. See inside some of our favorites from across the country.

  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    If Joanna Gaines designed a tiny home, this 290-square-foot home from Handcrafted Movement would be it. 

    Handcrafted movement
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    The home features a cozy electric fireplace, a farmhouse-style sink and an Edison Bulb chandelier that gives it a chic but homey vibe.

    Handcrafted movement
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    Home sweet home. 

    Handcrafted movement
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    LED lighting brightens up the bathroom which features a five-foot long freestanding tub with rain shower-head.

    Handcrafted movement
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    Upstairs in the loft bedroom, a storage shelf, baskets and hanging rod make space for clothes and other items.

    Handcrafted movement
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    This 400-square-foot charmer is a slice of heaven.

    Stephanie Butchin/Broken Glass Images Real Estate Photography
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    "It's very open, very airy and very much a sanctuary," the owner said. "You can live there year-round and feel like you're cuddled in the space."

    Stephanie Butchin/Broken Glass Images Real Estate Photography
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    With vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors, the home offers a spacious living room that flows past an eat-in bar to the kitchen, all with stylishly exposed beams and large skylights. 

    Stephanie Butchin/Broken Glass Images Real Estate Photography
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    The bedroom offers a double closet, a ceiling fan for staying cool in the summer and a door to the backyard.

    Stephanie Butchin/Broken Glass Images Real Estate Photography
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    When designer and architect Christi Azevedo came across a place with a former French laundry for sale in San Francisco, she had the perfect idea for the 88-square-foot boiler room: to transform it into a full-service guest apartment.

    Cesar Rubio
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    “The entire place was a wreck, but there were loads of details remaining,” she said. The space, which she lovingly calls the “Brick House,” was given an efficient and modern upgrade.

    Cesar Rubio
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    It now hosts a new IKEA kitchen, complete with a stainless steel countertop and custom upper doors of sanded acrylic.

    Cesar Rubio
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    The bed loft, complete with a queen mattress and plenty of storage, is located by way of a glass landing.

    Cesar Rubio
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    A 42-inch bath features a wall-mount toilet, a custom stainless steel medicine cabinet, small sink and floor drain shower.

    Cesar Rubio
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    It may be tiny, but the new 160-square-foot home feels much bigger thanks to its long panoramic windows that draw the outdoors in.

    Steve Niedorf / Courtesy of Escape Vista
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    The living space is small but efficient. There’s a double-sized daybed (queen-bed optional), extensive storage and LED lighting.

    Steve Niedorf / Courtesy of Escape Vista
  • Take a tour of tiny homes across the country

    of

    Maple cabinetry fills the kitchen, along with a stainless sink, small dining/work table, undercounter refrigerator/freezer and solid butcher block tops. Vacation in the mountains, anyone?

    Steve Niedorf / Courtesy of Escape Vista

See more of the couple’s bitty bungalow transformation here.

TOP