Bored during Covid, Rich Joyce decided to put a television in his Natick, Mass.,…
Bored during Covid, Rich Joyce decided to put a television in his Natick, Mass., garage for a no-frills hang-out spot. Before he knew it, he had spent about $5,000 to convert the garage into a pub, with a 4-foot wooden bar, a pinball machine and a sign dubbing it “Joycee’s Bar & Grill.” Now every Friday night his friends gather in the space, where custom-made Joycee’s coasters read: “Home Is Where the Bar Is.”
“Once we got going and there was nothing else to do, it took on a life of its own,” Joyce, 47, pictured with his wife Jennifer, said of the project, seen in the first and second photos. “When you get time on your hands, it makes you a little more creative.”
Once completed, the space lent itself to Covid socializing because the garage door can be opened for plenty of air circulation. “It gave us an area where we could all hang out, and still see people,” Joyce said.
Cooped-up homeowners like Joyce have been transforming their garages into spaces that have nothing to do with cars—from home offices and gyms to ceramics workshops. Some of these conversions grew out of a necessity to add living quarters or to safely entertain friends and family, but others emerged from flights of fancy.
A garage in Glenview, Ill. was turned into a bike lounge where the owner, an avid cyclist, could store bikes and hang out with friends after rides (photos 3, 4). A family in Orange County, Calif., converted one part of their garage into a classroom for their young sons, and another section into a home gym (5, 6). In Maryland, a financial adviser who spends his free time painting transformed his dilapidated garage into a light-filled art studio with a 14-foot cathedral ceiling to allow room for his large-scale, abstract oil paintings (7, 8).
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📷: @alexgagnephoto (1), @evanpjenkins (2 & 3), @olivia_alonso_gough (6) for @wsjphotos
Photos 4 & 5 provided by One Zero Digital Media