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Storage Shed to Guest House

By the end of this month, the contractors should be finished with their portion of our home additions. We hired a contractor to build the additions and dry them in with electrical, plumbing, and insulation and then we will be finishing out the interior ourselves. (Yes, your prayers for our marriage are very much welcomed and appreciated during this time!) While I have been intently planning the interior for the the four years we have lived in this house, one thing I never nailed down was what I wanted to do with the exterior...and now 11 paint samples later, I am still not sure that I will love the choice I'm going with...but a decision had to be made, so I made it. It has proved to be the most stressful decision about this whole process so far. But more on that later. For now, I thought I would share one of our first little DIY projects that we tackled on this property - in the fall of 2020 we converted our storage shed into a small guest house. And thankfully I had a vision for it from the start. We will most likely update the exterior to match our new home exterior at some point, but for now it is staying as is.


When we bought the property, the previous owner had finished out one half of this 10X24 storage building to be her office. The other side was kept unfinished and used solely for storage. When we moved in, we used the finished room as a small guest room for overnight guests, as our house is quite small. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the guest room until we had already emptied it out and it was just a blank room, but here is the outside, the empty "finished out" room, and the storage side of the building before.

We took it all down to the studs and removed the dividing wall between the two spaces to make it one big room. You can see clearly that one side had been finished out with insulation and the other side was completely unfinished. But removing that middle wall made it a much bigger space - perfect for the efficiency style guest house I had in mind.

But we needed a little bit more space to add in a full bathroom and make the house complete. So we decided to add that onto the front of the building, utilizing one of the door frames that was already in place as the transition from living space to bathroom. You can see the 8X12 addition here, along with a new and improved front door.

We were definitely novices when doing this project and have learned a lot more about construction since then, so there are a few things we might've done differently. But we also had one of the best helpers on the job with us, so we felt confident in the outcome. :)

Back to the interior for now. We were in a bit of hurry to get this remodel done because our nephew was graduating from high school and planning to go to work for my husband as a hunting guide, and he needed a place to live. So we skipped over sheetrock and the daunting task of mud and tape...and went for a modern rustic vibe with plywood and tin.


To brighten it up a bit, I decided to paint the walls and ceiling white.



Then it was time to construct the small kitchenette area, complete with sink, stove/oven, fridge, and bar area for dining. We built the counters ourselves with plywood and stained them with a gray stain before applying a top coat of sealant. Eventually, we added gray curtains instead of cabinet doors on the bottom portion and did a small open shelving section in the corner up top. We also added a small shelving unit for food storage and and place to hold a microwave to the right of the futon.


Once we had just about finished out the interior, except for some minor trim and paint, I was able to briefly somewhat stage most of it for a few pics just before our nephew moved in. So here is how I had envisioned the space, although now it is full of deer heads and is much more of a little "man cave" for our nephew. There is a queen bed on the far left side of the building, a twin futon for sitting and watching tv in the middle, and two barstools at the small peninsula in the kitchen area on the far right side, although I somehow managed NOT to get a good photo of the entire finished kitchenette.


Oh yeah, and remember that bathroom addition we built? Here it is in it's almost finished state.


We eventually built a door for the linen cabinet at the far end of the room which also holds the hot water heater and the area behind the gray curtains is a closet space with ample storage area above for totes and suitcases, etc.


I decided to do a black feature wall on the exterior of the house because I love the way greenery looks against it, so I chose the color Broadway by Behr. We added some modern trellis and I eventually planted some bright fuchsia and rust colored bougonvilla plants there. We continued the roof line from the bathroom addition on over to create a small front porch area and found an old screen door out in our little barn that I also painted black. Both the trellis and porch are stained with Pecan stain. We painted the rest of the exterior a bright white, Palais White by Behr. With the finished addition, the total square feet ended up being 336, so definitely a tiny home of sorts, but with everything you need! I was quite happy with how it all turned out!

With the news that our nephew might be moving out soon, we will probably be updating this space again soon, (maybe update it and create an air Bnb?) so be sure to check back for future posts on it, and all the posts about our own home addition/remodel. We are about to be very busy with that! :)


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