Monday, September 1, 2014

Living in a Garage - The Tour

Hello! I am glad you have come to visit. We have been busy fixing things up around here and are excited about giving you a tour! Let's get started.....

If you come to our place- to get inside you first will go through our outdoor kitchen and dining area. We are using a workbench that we had in our old garage as a counter outside. The ground is sloped here so we had to prop up one end on logs and in that spot our counter is quite high. It is very usable however. We use this area for cooking on our camping stove, washing dishes, washing our hands and getting drinks.  We made an awning out of an old banner that Ken had for his business (it is now outdated and so he wasn't using it anymore).  To see more pictures of our outside dining area you can go to this post.
When you come inside the first area is our "kitchen". We don't have any indoor plumbing but we do have electricity and so we have a fridge and freezer. We also have other odds and ends of furniture that we have put together to hold dishes and food. We hung some shelves/cupboards on the walls and then I also put up some shelves in between the studs. 

The desk on the left used to be our phone desk and a place that we kept schoolbooks at our old house.The green desk/shelf I had used in my office at the old house and the next shelf had also been in my office closet to hold sewing/crafting stuff on. All of them are working very nicely now as kitchen cupboards. In the picture above you will notice that both desks can provide a counter space as well as holding things.
The dining area is next with our table and chairs fitting nicely between the "kitchen" and "living room". Currently we probably eat around 1/2 our meals outside but as it gets cooler more and more will probably be inside. This noon we ate inside more because it was so warm rather than it being too cold.

Here is our living room. With normal furniture and a rug laid down and a nice window - it is quite comfortable!
This is the view if you look back into the garage. Computer desks to the left, shop area in the back left corner, Storage area dividing the shop area off, a door to our room, Mara's "room" behind the bookshelves and the music area.

The desks.

These are some of the shelves that I had fun putting in the walls several places in here. Shelves are so nice for storing things.

The "shop".

The music area.

Our bedroom- which will eventually be the honey extracting room. It is 8 foot by 10 foot so not real big for a California king size bed but it works. We even fit both dressers in. The ceiling is also 10 feet high so we have gone up with a lot of storage. We have clothes hanging above the bed on both ends and shelves up high as well. The height compared with the size seems rather weird as you lay in bed but it works just fine.

Here is a view of our bedroom from the opposite corner (up on the bed- I do a lot more walking on the bed than I ever used to - for making it, for getting down clothes to wear, opening the window, etc).

Mara's room is made from bookshelves and curtains and just barely holds her bed, dresser, shoe shelf and dirty clothes basket (with clothes hanging above), It was challenging to get a decent picture.

You can get a better view from Megan's room up in the attic. This is Mara's room from above.

Now we will go up!

There are three different ways to go up to the attic - a rope ladder that leads to the boys "room", a ladder that goes up right by where the rooms divide and you can get to either room that way or a door from outside at the back of the garage.

You can see that door in the picture above. Jonathan put the door in and built the ladder (out of old parts from a discarded bunk bed). This door goes into Megan's room but the boys also like to use it a lot - just going through Megan's room to get to theirs.
Here is Megan coming into her room from that door.
This is the other end of Megan's room. Her dresser is quite light so she was able to have her full sized dresser up there. The boys are making do with smaller plastic dressers right now.
This is Megan's desk in her room. Jonathan helped her build it. She can sit on her bed to use it.
Another picture of Megan in her room. She had fun getting it ready for the tour and had me even light her candle for the picture (which you can't really see - so I thought I had better tell you).
On the other side of Megan's dresser is Jonathan's area. He put up dividers and then made places to hang all of his tools.
He also made a desk for himself. It is his special place to work on his plane kit.
This is the view of Aaron's end of the room as seen from Jonathan's bed area.
Both boys have "closets" in this area.

The new windows just got put in this weekend.

This is what is looks like when you open up the garage door. We feel rather like dolls in a doll house when this happens (which is not often).

 Another part of our home is our shower. I made it out of salvaged items.

 This is the inside view. We have one area that is the showering area divided with a shower curtain from the changing area.

 Thanks for coming to visit!!
If you have any questions please ask away - I can post more details in the future. Suggestions and tips are also welcome.


JES said...

You prepared everything so nicely! It really is cozy! My grandmother lived in a garage which was a quarter of your size with 3 little ones for 3 years (until a house was built on the property) and she always looks back fondly at those times! Thanks for sharing :)

Amy and Mark said...

Thank you for the tour!

When we were children, my parents purchased land that we were going to build on, and in the end it did not work out. Now I am wishing it would have, I would have loved living like your pictures as a child and maybe even more so as an adult.

We are enjoying taking this journey with you so very much.

MollyBea Williams said...

I like it. Megan could be a little Laura Ingalls up there in her loft.

JES said...

I forgot to mention earlier, thank you also for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week :)

Amelia said...

Wow, how neat! I especially thought the upstairs area was so cute! Megan's desk is adorable, what memories for your family! : ) You have done some fantastic creative things there!

We have friends who also lived in their garage at first too while they built their home on their land.

God bless you Abbi in your journey! I look forward to seeing the next pages...

Take care now, I know you all are building lovely family memories! <3 ~Amelia

Abbi said...

Thanks so much all of you. So glad to have you all sharing our life with us.

Betsy said...

Fun and creative times. I think you might miss it when your house is finished!

Anonymous said...

Hi Abbi,
Looks like so much fun! You are making great memories! It's nice to see other people doing things different too. It builds character! Our children that lived in the boat with us know how to do without certain things and they are not afraid to "suffer" a little if they have to. :) Will you have the house done before it gets too cold, or will you insulate the garage house? May the Lord bless you all. Carmen Ropp

In The Potter's Hands said...

These will be some great memories some day! I know the kids will always look back fondly on their days living in the garage. I love the creativity! I'm wondering how well the outdoor shower is working now that the weather is getting quite chilly. Do you have a heater in there to warm up the place a bit? Thanks for the tour! I loved it!

Abbi said...

Betsy, You are right that we might miss some aspects of it - like all the cooking over the fire. Probably by the time we have our house and it is really chilly we are going to be pretty happy to be moving. :-)

Carmen, Lord willing the house will be done before it is to cold. I am also working to get a little insulation into the garage and Ken is working on getting the siding on so we are hoping that helps to hold in some of the heat too. You have had some interesting places as well, it is always nice to know that we aren't the only ones that do things differently.

I used the shower tonight (and it is fairly chilly) and it worked pretty good. I take the lantern in their with me and it helps to heat it up a little and I try to have pretty hot water. It wasn't bad.


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