In a city like Los Angeles, where square footage is incredibly valuable, Drew and Jonathan Scott of “Property Brothers” know that plenty of people are transforming their garages into living spaces. So, it’s no surprise when their latest “Celebrity IOU” client wants to turn a dumpy garage into an office/guest space.
In the episode “Darren Criss Garage Makeover,” Darren Criss (best known for his role on “Glee”) wants to give back to his friend-turned-manager, Ricky.
The Scott brothers have just three weeks to upgrade Ricky’s detached garage, and also turn his ho-hum backyard into an L.A. oasis. Here’s how they pull it off, with plenty of take-home lessons you might be inspired to try around your own place.
Add cabinets for plenty of storage in a garage
Drew, Jonathan, and Criss are planning to surprise Ricky by giving his ugly garage a full face-lift.
That way, Ricky will no longer be forced to use his daughter’s room as a part-time office. Instead, he’ll have a comfortable office space that can double as a guest space.
However, there’s just one problem: Where will all the stuff in the garage go?
Ricky keeps everything from his drums to his surfboards in the garage. This poses a problem, because the Property Brothers need to make sure there’s enough storage not only for his garage stuff, but for Ricky’s home office items and guest room must-haves, too.
“When you think of how important storage is in a house, well, it’s even more important in a space like this, because we don’t have a lot of room to work with,” Jonathan says.
Drew and Jonathan install custom cabinets throughout, including cabinetry that doubles as a kitchenette. A sink built into one cabinet and a microwave and fridge hidden in others help to streamline the whole place and make it more efficient.
An extra bathroom adds convenience
To make the garage guest space/office more functional, the brothers add a small restroom. For decor, they play it safe, with a white artisanal tile.
As they work on installing the tile, Jonathan admires the look, saying, “These are all handmade—and you can tell, too. I love that imperfect finish.”
Criss agrees, and even admits, “It’s nicer than any bathroom in the house!”
Synthetic turf can look as good as real grass
When Jonathan and Criss are planning the backyard design, Jonathan suggests using synthetic grass and light-colored pavers.
“I wanted to go grand with all of our pavers throughout the yard, so I was thinking this scale,” Jonathan says, pointing to a large rectangular sample.
Next, Jonathan chooses a durable turf that looks just like real grass, which Drew says happens to be the exact turf he has in his yard.
“We want to get just the right artificial turf for this yard, because we want zero maintenance,” Jonathan says. “But we want something that’s going to be beautiful.”
In the end, the turf brightens up the yard and makes the whole space feel much more welcoming.
Turn an awkward corner of the yard into a hot tub paradise
Before renovation begins, Criss points out that there’s an unused strip of yard behind the garage. As is, this narrow area isn’t exactly welcoming, but Criss loves the idea of putting in either a fire pit or a hot tub.
Jonathan suggests a hot tub, saying, “This is such a cool, private, intimate area. How cool would it be for there to be a hot tub?”
When the brothers finally install a hot tub, it turns the space into a small oasis. With greenery behind the spa and seating in front, it’s an ideal spot to hang out.
A horizontal fence adds beauty as well as privacy
The brothers finish off the renovation by tearing out the mismatched fencing and replacing it with decking timber.
“The fence line in this yard before was terrible,” Jonathan says. “They had chain link, they had a pink fence, they had purple, they had gray, they had everything you can imagine. And none of it looked good. Now this beautiful, horizontal, clean-line fence going all the way around is going to give them privacy and style.”
The fence is an elegant addition to the yard, with the added bonus that it won’t require any maintenance. Decking timber is a synthetic material that has the look of real wood, but doesn’t require staining or sanding, and will last a long time.