In the December 2008 issue of 'This Old House' magazine is one of the most elegant conversions I've ever seen! A former 1916 Carriage House (garage and servants quarters) from a grand estate in Bernardsville, New Jersey, was bought and converted into a weekend getaway for a couple by Hiland Hall Turner Architects. Measuring in at 3,500 sf, the garage didn't even need an addition. As 1/2 of the home was already living space, that left the garage to be converted into a serious living room! The floorplans have a beautifully modern layout. I'm green with envy! That main living space is spectacular; measuring 25' by 45' with an 11' tall ceiling! The 4 original car doors were swapped out for large french doors with transoms above. As you can see in the top photo, you can't even tell this ever was a garage!
This is the main open living room above - the fireplace was added, but can you tell this was an unfinished space ever? They built in the walls with insulation and paneling. So beautiful!!
The library at the front of the house was originally the chauffeur's office. The bookcases are original (fancy office for a chauffeur, huh?). They now hold the board games and books of the owners.
The kitchen also contains some original items, such as the island which was originally the mechanics work table! The owners had the beautiful herringbone floors put down over the original concrete. You can see the original glazed-brick walls which were left exposed on the one interior wall. My old high school had these in the gym but they're really a unique feature pointing to the original use of the home.
You can see both the brick and the original island better here. The glazed brick acts as a perfect backsplash. I love that hood! Stainless steel is OVER in my opinion. The tall cabinets flanking the stove were originally lockers for the mechanics.
Here is a better view of the open living space created from the garage. Notice the thick walls and the row of transomed french doors with sidelights.
The paneling in the formal dining room is original as well, this was the workshop. The archway to the foyer and staircase is new, however.
In the master bedroom, the architects exposed the beautiful rafters creating a cathedral ceiling which soars up to 15'. The fireplace is new but fits in perfectly with the architecture I think. You would think it was original! Aren't you dying with envy??This project reminded me of the plans that Borries and Shearron have on their newly updated website for a French 'lanterne' house seen above and below. The long open living space with an enfilade of rooms is truly my favorite type of house. A country house with true outdoor connections :-) Be sure to check out the other 4 projects they have listed -you won't be disappointed!