Garages that belong to the house

A well-designed garage does lots more than just bring cars in from the sun or snow. It can provide space for storage, plus maybe a shop, a studio, or other hobby area.

Architecturally, the best garage also brings a sense of "belonging"-serving as a visual companion to the house and looking as if it’s always been there.

This charming brick carriage house is our first case in point Several years ago, owners Laurie and David Davis converted their original attached two-car garage into a family room. To replace it, they built a detached garage that mimics their 1957 ranch in its arched openings, brickwork, and roof pitch.

Two decades ago, architectural designer Gary Salter started planning a Colonial-style house for his family. He created an authentic period design that fits nicely into historic Norwell, Massachusetts.

Green paneled doors and red brick siding (top) help the new garage blend into the neighborhood (above). The entry to the garage and its upper level (right) matches the home’s detailing.

When he drew up plans for the original house, there was no way to attach a garage because of the septic system’s location. So, for 20 years, the family got along without a garage.

"Finally we decided to do something," says Judy, Gary’s wife. Judy acted as the client, citing her needs and preferences, while Gary supplied the design know-how.

Their solution-the half Cape Cod "house" shown here-won an award in Better Homes and Gardens magazine’s 1996 Home Improvement Contest. Janis and Gary Hostetler’s new garage solves several problems at their stately Indianapolis home. It gets their cars off the street and makes room for the workshop Gary has always wanted. Best of all, the garage accommodates secluded outdoor living in a bustling downtown setting.

Architect Terry Bradbury strove to ensure the new structure’s proportions, hip roof, and trim echoed the classic Italianate detailing of Janis and Gary’s 120year-old home. A patio, topped with a classy pergola, links the house and garage.

From its arched doors to the cupola and weather vane up top, the new garage (right) mimics an 18thcentury relic.

For security reasons, the windows on the garage’s side (above) aren’t windows at all. They’re an ornamental arrangement of shutters and trim pointed to match the house.

From the front, the garage (below right) looks like a neighboring home. Both house and garage are set back from the road and blend into the wooded landscaping.

"I don’t feel like I’m downtown when I’m sitting out here," Janis says. "I feel like I’m in an outdoor living room."

The garage features a bonus room upstairs that could someday provide more living space. "We toyed with the idea of an apartment up there," Janis says, "but decided we didn’t want people living in our backyard."

This new garage belongs to a house with history-a cottage that was built in the mid-19th century and later moved to a wooded hillside site in Zionsville, Indiana.

Automotive access to the garage (above) is from a back alley. The garage’s raised-panel siding doesn’t copy that on the three-story house, but similar proportions, materials, and color schemes tie the two together.

The garage’s rear entry (above) opens to a patio with world-of -itsown privacy. Stairs inside lead to a room above.

You hardly realize this is the back of a garage (left). The garage’s windows mimic those on the back of the house.

The homeowner would have preferred the convenience of an attached garage, but property boundaries, hilly terrain, and mature trees ruled that out. Instead, she built a rustic "barn" that looks as if it’s been on the property for more than a century.

On the ground level, the garage accommodates the owner’s 1952 British roadster, the minivan she uses for everyday wheels, and an extensive collection of garden tools and supplies. An exterior stairway climbs to a loft that stores garden furniture and other seasonal items.

Matching stain color and roofing help the garage and house righ harmonize without looking exactly alike.

Placing the stairway outside (above) doesn’t take away from storage space inside the garage.

Outdoor furniture and Christmas decorations go up and down these stairs several times a year.

A deep overhang at the front of the garage (right) serves as a porch, complete with a tilt-top picnic table.

Wrought iron hinges and latches give the overhead garage doors the look of swinging born doors.

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