Whether you’re thinking of building, remodeling or just love the look of garages and sheds, I hope today’s post will offer you some inspiration and maybe even just the detail you need for your project…
I have found that in all my years designing the best source of inspiration has come from studying classics.
In this case classic garages and sheds…
Starting with the classic garage or shed detail and how to transpose that onto a modern garage for the purpose of creating something more interesting than the boring, nondescript style garages have transformed into over the last 50 years.
Here’s an example of a garage in New England that even though it’s new, it has picked up on details that give it character:
This is a garage addition was added to a much older home, but they added the detail and architectural interest with simple things like the shuttered windows and barn style lights, but also major things like the layered fascia detail and overhang on the garage door that break up what would be a tall awkward facade.
(speaking of barn lights, check out these I found available online… so cute and less than $50!!)
Here’s an example of how a little detail goes a long way:
The charming rounded section of roof on the house was repeated on the bonus room windows over the garage.
This is a much older garage at a house in Bar Harbor, Maine:
See the cute rounded windows on the house roof? Isn’t it great how they subtly repeated that idea with the rounded detail in the eaves of the garage? And doesn’t that hip roof on the garage totally change how that looks from the side?
This is a really old ‘garage/barn’ in Kennebunk, Maine:
It has a awkward window placed really close to the door on the right, so the homeowners came up with a wonderfully clever way to play with that… They made it into a patriotic display! And they added an oversized light to balance out the opposite side.
This is one of my favorite created details I’ve seen on a modern garage:
This is a beach front house at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine. I’m pretty sure the house is quite old, but the garage is a newer addition. The thing I love is the how they visually stretched the windows down with trim and window boxes. That way the shorter, higher placed windows still offer light into the garage, but don’t allow a view into it from the street or passing front walkway.
Here is a stunning garage I found at Fortune’s Rocks, Maine:
I don’t think it’s actually an old structure, but I’m not sure. Regardless, it is so wonderfully detailed from the front and the side.
Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine, dating in the 1700’s. The current keeper’s quarters, (this beautiful house below) was built in the late 1800’s.The adjacent garage is old too, although I don’t know if it is original to the house or not.
There are wonderful details to glean from it… The exposed rafter tails on the sides… The double garage door and details… and even the pitched roof…
Back to Goose Rocks Beach:
This garage was built to double as a small 2nd level cottage too. Simple detailing and shingle siding make a world of difference to help pull that off.
Here’s an old shed that’s also at Goose Rocks Beach:
Again, simple shingle styling, but little additions like the hinges and shuttered doors are perfect on it.
Here’s the full picture of the one I featured a close up of on the title page:
It’s vintage charm is just that… charming!
Last year I shared with you a visit I had made to a wonderful nursery, Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk, Maine…
This vintage shed, one of many on their farm, looks like it was built many years ago for a roadside produce stand.
Once of my favorite pictures I took of sheds and garages is this one:
Seriously, who wouldn’t love a stone storage shed like this? And who wouldn’t love it on a plot of land facing the Atlantic Ocean like this?! This is actually a well house built on Wood Island in Maine, home of Wood Island Light. (if you’re ever in Southern Maine, I highly suggest taking the simple tour run by ‘The Friends of Wood Island Light’. I’ve done it twice in years past and hope to do it again this year.)
When it was time for us to build a garage at our former house, we wanted to achieve a few things with it. It needed to offer plenty of storage, and I wanted it to look like a classic barn or shed.
I drove around and took notes on all the old barns and outbuilding I liked, taking notes on details, like roof pitch, rafter and trim detail, etc. Then I set to work sketching a plan for it. This is what we built:
It has tons of storage… the whole 2nd floor is accessible plus the generously over-sized 3 bay garage level, plus the entire lean-to around the back. We no longer own the property this barn sits on, but I still love the looks of it. That was 15 or 20 years ago, I think, and I just couldn’t find plans for a barn like this out on the market. So I came up with my own design by studying the classic styling of garages and sheds and barns around me to reproduce something that would be classic in itself.
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Want to read more? (I have several choices for you today!!)
Click here to read the original post about the barn I designed.
Click here to read the post about visiting Wood Island Light.
Click here to read the post about our visit to Portland Head Light.
Click here to see inspiration from coastal New England style houses.
Click here to see a morning visit to Goose Rocks Beach. (video included)
Click here to read about my visit to Snug Harbor Farms.
Click here to read a different post I wrote about the barns and carriage houses in Kennebunkport.