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In Portland, an Old Garage Becomes a Breezy, Hip Home

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Keyword: rent-free

Turning a garage on a property into a separate micro home is one way to downsize and experience the freedoms of "small living"—that is, if your city allows it. Lucky for Portland couple Bryan and Jen Danger, their city actively encourages these so-called "Accessory Dwelling Units." And so when the Dangers returned to Portland from a year-long trip across Mexico and Central America, during which they'd shed most of their belongings and rented out their five-bedroom house, they quickly decided that converting their 480-square-foot garage into a second dwelling would allow them to continue to live rent-free and with the kind of flexibility they desired.

How the Dangers went about this process is documented in the latest episode of Houzz TV, embedded below. Give it a watch to see how the couple incorporated as much reclaimed materials as possible, creating a custom loft, staircase with storage, wooden bar on wheels, metal wine rack, and more. Also note the dramatic folding glass doors that opens up the entire space to the exterior.